Q: I’m in the first phase of the Size Surge Workout, and it’s incredible! I’ve already gained 4 pounds in three weeks. That’s more than I’ve gained in the past year. I’m super psyched for the next step, so I was looking over phase 2 and noticed behind-the-neck pulldowns. I’ve read those are dangerous. Can I substitute something else?
Q: I’m in phase 1 of the Size Surge Workout. I like it a lot, but I notice that I’m getting some wrist pain during barbell curls. Should I try a wider or narrower grip for more arm gains without the pain?
A: You’re extremely motivated. How do we know? Because you apparently read the Size Surge e-book up through phase 1 and stopped so you could attack that program. If you would’ve read further, you would’ve seen that Jonathan had the same problem and switched to dumbbell curls in phase 2… [Read more…]
Q: You guys have so many different programs and mass tactics. Should I just pick a routine I like, do it for five weeks, then pick another? For example, I’m thinking about using 4X Mass Workout. Then I could go to Power-Density. Thoughts?
A: That can work very well. As we always say, change to gain. But when we say that, we are primarily talking about tactics, not exercises…[Read more…]
Q: I’ve been training like a madman for six months, but my arms haven’t budged. I’m getting stronger, and I do see more veins on my biceps, but my arms are still skinny. A guy at the gym told me it’s because I have small bones. My wrists are under 7 inches around, and he said I can’t expect much size with small wrists. Is that true?
A: Um, in a word, NO. It’s not true. The size of your wrist has nothing to do with where your biceps and triceps attach, how much muscle-fiber density your muscles have, or your ability to pack on muscle mass.[Read more…]
Q: I’ve read almost everything at your site [X-Rep.com], and I’m ready to get started. I’m 17 years old, 5’11” and 175 pounds. I’ve been training for two years. My question is, Which program should I start with? Should I do Jonathan’s 20-pounds-of-muscle-in-10-weeks program [3D Muscle Building e-book] or go straight to your X-Rep Mass-Detail Workout [in the Ultimate Mass Workout e-book]? Your X-Rep program gave you freaky results fast, so I’m thinking I should go with that one.
A: Either would work well for you at this point. At 17, you are in your prime growing years. And you already have some experience. So if you continue to train hard and sensibly, you should build stellar progressive mass with whichever routine you choose.[Read more…]
Q: I did the first [5-week phase] of Jonathan’s 20-pounds-of-muscle-in-10-weeks program [from the 3D Muscle Building e-book] and didn’t get much size from it. I gained about 3 pounds and still feel skinny. Should I go ahead and do the second five weeks of different 3D Positions-of-Flexion workouts? Do you think that by hitting all of the positions [in the Phase 2 workouts] that I will make better gains than with the first part?
A: Full speed ahead—continue with Phase 2 (your gains from Phase 1 are actually darned good; more on that in a moment). By shifting to training each muscle in the midrange, stretch and contracted positions, you should get another more sizeable muscular adaptation (growth jolt).[Read more…]
Q: I’m super impressed! I’ve been on the Size Surge workout for four weeks, and I’ve gained 7 pounds. My shirts are tighter with no increase in my waist, so it seems to be all muscle. The program calls for a back-off, or low-intensity, week between the two training phases. Is that really necessary, or can I go right into Phase 2? I don’t want to lose any mass. Any time I’ve taken a week off or even reduced my training, I’ve gotten smaller.
A: No, do not go right into Phase 2. The back-off week (#6) between the two phases has a definite purpose. It will allow your nervous system to recharge and your muscles to completely recover so you can push into the next phase with more intensity. And during that downshift week, you should get bigger, not smaller, despite what you thought you experienced in the past. Here is what hypertrophy researcher Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D., says about the process… [Read more…]
Q: The Size Surge program is very motivating, and I want to start. I’m very skinny. My problem is that I can only make it to the gym two days a week. Can I make any progress doing that? Can you suggest how to alter the program for two workouts a week instead of three?
A: Yes, you can make progress on 2 workouts a week. In fact, our colleague, Stuart McRobert, who is a hardgainer expert, often suggests that high-strung “skinny” types (ectomorphs) train ONLY two days a week for best results. More than that, he says, can deplete too much recovery ability and slow or halt muscle gains. [Read more…]
Q: I’ve been killing my workouts for about three months, using mostly heavy sets, finishing with 4X and TORQ. Making excellent gains, but I think it’s time to back off and get back to basics. What program would you suggest? I’m thinking three days a week for a while with basic mass-building exercises.
A: We have several. If you’ve never used 10×10, now may be the time. There is an excellent 3-way split routine in The 10×10 Mass Workout e-book. You could just use it 3 days a week, training each muscle once or train four days a week, so the Monday workout repeats on Friday… [Read more…]
Q: A lot of bodybuilders go all power in the off-season. They push for more strength so size will follow. I’m thinking about using the Phase 1 program in Size Surge for that purpose—mostly big exercises with heavy weights training three days a week so I get plenty of recover-and-grow time. Would that program be okay to use for the entire 10 weeks instead of moving to Phase 2?
A: You’re right, even Arnold used to do a two-to-three-month power phase in the winter—but it wasn’t heavy low reps on every exercise, as we’ll explain. That’s the problem with the way most trainees do it: They go heavy on ALL exercises all the time for too long and neglect critical sarcoplasmic size, which can be a big muscle-building mistake… [Read more…]