Q: I don’t seem to see you guys talking about warm-up sets very often. Do I need to do any? I’m interested in building the most mass possible.
Q: I’ve been using the POF-Power/Super-TORQ Mass Workout [in the Power-Density Mass Workout 2.0 e-book]. My mass gains have shot up significantly over the past several weeks. Alternating heavy POF work with Super TORQ [high-rep work on only one exercise] is producing the best growth response in years. My question is about the optional deadlifts that begin the Friday workout. Doing 8-10 reps hurts my back, so I’m thinking about using only one 15-to-20-rep set instead. Is that okay, or should I just train through the pain?
A: First, never “train through the pain” of injury. More on your lower back in a moment. Let’s address the question of reps… [Read more…]
Q: I’m testing your 4X variations [Shock-centric, 4X Pyramid, etc. from one of your recent newsletters]. Great stuff! Isn’t another way to get more mass simply to add sets by increasing the volume to 5X or more on any exercise?
A: Yes, volume increases, as in tacking on sets to 4X so you’re doing 5X or 6X, can boost mass gains—to a point. It’s a lot like tanning: To get darker, you can increase exposure time. The problem is diminishing returns… [Read more…]
If you’ve been with us for a while, you know we harp on “change to gain” a lot, especially for those who want insane hypertrophy…
It pays BIG muscle dividends to periodically alter your workouts—sometimes radically. And, yes, even we get stuck in ruts and forget to rotate in some new hypertrophy smart bombs… [Read more…]
Q: You talk about including higher-rep sets in workouts so you build the fast-twitch fibers as well as the mitochondria and sarcoplasmic fluid. But in light of the new findings that slow-twitch fibers have much more growth potential than previously thought, couldn’t slow-twitch growth be the real reason bodybuilders who use both lighter weights and heavy weights develop extreme muscle size?
Yes, it is all of the above: fast-twitch AND slow-twitch swelling as well as sarcoplasmic fluid expansion and mitochondria proliferation… [Read more…]
Q: I tried Arnold’s method of using a high-rep set to end my major exercises, like bench presses, (Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout e-book, Chapter 1). But I’m just too fatigued to feel the target muscle on that last set. After reading about Doug Brignole’s 50-40-30-20-10 method in Chapter 4, I was thinking about using that on an isolation exercise to feel the target muscle better, like crossovers for chest after bench. Is that a good idea?
A: It could be, but you left a lot of variables out. For example, how experienced are you? That amount of work may be too much. How many days per week are you training each muscle? If it’s once, that amount of volume may work well, if it’s twice, maybe not.[Read more…]
Q: You offer up the Brazilian study that shows doing a single high-rep set to failure before heavier lower-rep work produced more hypertrophy than standard training (multiple sets at 75% 1RM). But in the Ultimate Power/Density Mass Workout e-book, you mention that Arnold used a high-rep set LAST—a “burn-out” set. So which way is better, high-rep set first or high-rep set to finish?
A: A good observation, but there’s something missing in your description of what Arnold used to do. Go back to the Power-Density e-book and read it again—Arnold typically used a pyramid, adding weight to each set. And on his first set, he used a light weight for 15 reps, then a SLIGHTLY heavier weight for set 2 so he got 12 reps…[Read more…]
Q: I love the feel and pump I’m getting from TORQ [30-20-15] and Super TORQ [50-40-30-20-10]. My problem is on the drop sets on the last set. I am so fatigued, I don’t get many reps on the drops. I revert to the poundages I used on the previous sets, but no go. Should I just lighten the poundages even more for my drops?
A: That’s one solution. Another is to drop the get-big bomb by changing the parameters of the drops… [Read more…]
Q: I notice that you guys often use a double-drop set on the last one when you do TORQ. I love that muscle maker variation, and it appears it’s gotten me bigger in the past few weeks. Do you have any other ways to vary that method?
A: To refresh memories, TORQ is tension-overload repetition quantity… [Read more…]
Q: Incredible interview with [Mr. America] Doug Brignole in the Power-Density e-book. So cool that he has studied kinesiology and physiology and determined the number-one best exercise for each muscle. He said decline dumbbell presses are the best chest exercise for overall mass. Does he ever use barbell declines or Hammer-machine decline presses, which bring your hands from a wide stretch to close at the top for a better pec contraction? Or what about dips? [Read more…]