This classic shot of Vince Gironda, the legendary Iron Guru, was taken way back in the 1950s. His aesthetic physique, with its symmetry, lines, and rippedness, holds up today. Yep, even now most guys would kill to walk down the beach looking like Vince… [Read more…]
Q: This is kind of an odd question, but does hot weather help make muscles grow? I’ve noticed this summer, when it’s been blazing hot outside, I make my best gains. In the winter, my gains are much slower, sometimes nonexistent. Could it be the heat?
A: It could simply be more summer-time motivation—you train harder because you want to look good at the pool, lake, or beach. It could also be leanness and darkness—being more ripped and tan makes you look bigger and better. There’s a good chance that heat and/or sunshine may have something to do with it, along with sweating. Perspiring more sheds water from under the skin, and that means more vascularity more often, which adds to your bigger, more-shredded look. But heat may be the key… [Read more…]
We’ve both lived in a beach town—Steve still does—and nothing fuels workouts more than summertime near the ocean. You know you’re going to be hitting the sand (or lake or pool) more than a few times, so you better be hitting the gym hard. [Read more…]
The shots of Frank Zane (left) and Mike Mentzer below show a unique contrast of physiques and conditioning. Both were taken at the 1979 Mr. Olympia, with Zane weighing 190 and Mentzer 210.[Read more…]
“Man, you look incredible—amazing abs!” Who doesn’t want to hear compliments like that when peeling off your shirt at the beach, pool, or lake? Make a promise to yourself: You’re going to get ripped and look better than ever this year…[Read more…]
Do you do every set the same way? You know, same rep tempo, same hand spacing same rest between sets?
Our motto is “change to gain” because it takes something unique to add more mass to your physique. Here’s a good example of making a change on each set. On seated biceps concentration curls…[Read more…]
Q: I just started using the 30-20-15 [TORQ] method on one exercise for each muscle. I do the other exercises as regular sets or 4X. The higher reps really feel incredible. What a great pump and deep fiber hit. My question is, Which exercise is best for 30-20-15—midrange, stretch or contracted?
A: As we’ve mentioned before, the angle of pull is different on each of midrange, stretch, and contracted exercises, so fiber activation can be unique as well.[Read more…]
Q: I like the idea of training quads by doing front squats supersetted with back squats. My quads get almost a pre-ex effect from the strict fronts, then my glutes get better leverage on the backs to drive my quads for more growth. But I’m not very strong on fronts and can get a lot of reps when I immediately go to back squats after. Should I just do high reps on the back squats—say 6 on the fronts and 12-15 on the backs?
A: Definitely an option—if you don’t get too breathless. When training quads with higher reps, the lungs often fail before the target muscles. That’s a problem, to a degree…
You do want the breathlessness, as that’s hypoxia that can boost metabolic/anabolic drive for new size. Here are a few other options…[Read more…]
Q: I’m interested in building up my body. I’ve been visiting some workout forums, and lots of people are recommending your quick starter workout. Can you explain why it’s so good? Will it work for me? I want a new body, but I don’t want to look like the Incredible Hulk or anything. Maybe Captain America or Thor, though. Lol.
A: The quick starter workout you’re referring to is our Quick-Start Muscle-Building Guide, and it has you begin with a two-week break-in program, using the basic exercises, like squats, bench presses, etc., one to two sets each (all exercises are fully explained with printable start-and-finish-position illustrations).
It’s a full-body workout that takes about an hour on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and it’s geared to upregulate your nervous system and coordination quickly so you can start building muscle immediately after this two-week “learning” phase. Then you move to something more unique to accelerate gains…[Read more…]
Q: I noticed in some of your newsletters and in articles on your website that you guys do behind-the-neck presses and behind-the-neck pulldowns. Don’t you know those can trash your rotator cuffs?
A: You’re not the first to reprimand us for using those so-called dangerous old-school muscle moves. However, we think the injury potential of behind-the-neck pulldowns and behind-the-neck presses is overblown because it’s dependent on genetics, exercise form, and where you place them in your program.[Read more…]