Q: I love the Super-TORQ mass method you outline in the Power-Density 2.0 e-book. I’m 55 years old, so moderate weights are great for me, but I can’t quite wrap my head around doing such high reps at every workout. I alternate with heavy workouts as you suggest in the e-book because I’ve brutalized my joints over the years (screw you, heavy benches—Lol). Is there a MODERATE-power/Super TORQ workout I could use instead?
Q: I’m using the Size Surge program for the second time. I tried it last winter and saw great gains…about 10 pounds! I’m on Phase 1, week 4 and have already seen new gains…about 3 pounds of muscle. I’ve been reading about your 4X mass training. Could I do that on Phase 2?
A: Yes, you can use the 4X mass-training method in Phase 2 of the Size Surge program. That’s a great choice. During Phase 1 you’ll have been training three days a week with a few HEAVY sets per exercise on a basic program. After five weeks of that myofibrillar-dominant training, you’ll be ready for a more balanced attack and a surge in sarcoplasmic expansion to pack on even more MASS. [Read more…]
Q: I’ve been working out for a couple of years now pretty hard. I’m feeling frustrated because I’ve been tall and skinny my whole life: 6’2″ and 170 pounds. I just can’t seem to put on any muscle. Is it a possibility that a person just can’t build muscle no matter what they do? I receive your e-zine and read about other people’s gains, so I’m wondering if I’m doing something wrong or maybe I’m genetically incapable of going from twig to big.
A: You will put on muscle—convince yourself of that; however, you’re in the skinny ectomorph boat with Steve, so you must be realistic, not frustrated. He weighed 120 pounds when he started weight training, and it took time for him to twig to big and looking like a bodybuilder—but even now he doesn’t look all that big in clothes. [Read more…]
Q: Maybe I missed it since I’m a relatively new subscriber to your newsletter, but what is the Ultimate Exercise for shoulder size; wide-grip dumbbell upright rows or dumbbell presses?
A: We first identified each Ultimate Exercise for every major bodypart in our first e-book, The Ultimate Mass Workout. There’s a comprehensive chapter on each one, why they are best, and also a few complete programs with just those moves—like V-handle chins for lats… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve been intrigued by the recent 10×10 newsletters and jumped in to give it a try. In your learned opinion, if one were to perform a reverse 10×10 using that technique with the maximum weight possible in decreasing amounts throughout the 10 sets, would it constitute overtraining and negate the activation of the type-2A muscle fibers’ endurance component? I was thinking you would get at both the “power” AND the “endurance” functions of the type 2As better this way. I would only use each big Ultimate Exercise for every bodypart [as outlined in the 10×10 e-program].
A: A reverse 10×10 pyramid means you reduce the weight on each set. And you do each of those 10 sets of 10 reps to exhaustion. First, that’s 10-all-out-sets approach is a very different animal than standard 10×10 style, which is taking a weight you can do 20 with, but you only do 10, rest 30 seconds, do 10 more, and so on till you complete 10 sets—first sets are easy, last few are brutal. [Read more…]
Q: I’m making amazing gains using the Basic Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout, [which is only one Ultimate Exercise for each muscle]. My workouts take about 40 minutes, which is fantastic, and I really feel both the Power and Density sets on each exercise. My only concern is that I’m not getting all the muscle growth possible because I’m not using full Positions of Flexion. I’ve got most of your e-books, and you base your best programs on POF [three exercises for each muscle—midrange, stretch, contracted]. Am I getting the most growth possible using only one Ultimate Exercise for each muscle?
A: Well, almost. Scientists contend that force generation is the number-one max-mass trigger. Fortunately, you’re using the best exercise for optimal force production—the key big compound move—for each muscle. In other words, most of the Ultimate Exercises are big multi-joint exercises that put the target muscle in its best ergonomic position for maximum leverage—and you begin each with a Power pyramid to amplify force. You’re obviously covering that get-big pathway exceptionally well, but we fully understand the want for even more muscle mass. [Read more…]
Q: I’m putting in more hours at work to make ends meet, so I don’t have a lot of time to train. I can get to the gym three days a week. I really want to start The Ultimate 10×10 Mass Workout [that uses only the Ultimate Exercise for each muscle group]. My problem is that I’m not convinced the 10×10 method will work. As much as I want to try the routine, I’m not sure I’m convinced that using lighter weights can really build muscle.
A: For the uninitiated, 10×10 is taking a weight you can get 20 reps with, but you only do 10. You rest for 30 seconds, then you do 10 more and so on until you complete 10 sets of 10 reps. The first sets are easy—almost too easy—but the last few sets are severe, and the pump is unreal. [Read more…]
Q: After reading one of your articles that discussed the study where light, longer sets built muscle, I was thinking that maybe that’s why X Reps build so much size. Because they’re partial reps where the muscle is stretched, you block blood flow and get more tension time by making the set last longer. Do you think that’s the case—that X Reps work because they make a set last longer?
A: No doubt that ex-tending the set with X-Reps is one reason those power partials are so effective at building more muscle. As you said, you not only pulse at the
Q: I just got your Super-Size Crash Course. Great programs in it! I’m older (48) and have been training for almost 20 years. Thinking about using Phase 2 with Downward-Progression 4X, but I’ll alternate with TORQ for “lighter” training days. Do you think that’s a good plan?
A: We think it’s a great plan, and one we’ve used for excellent change—and good pain—to gain. For the uninitiated, here are the two methods to alternate:
Pick a weight with which you can get 15 reps, but only do 12. Rest 45 seconds as you add weight, then do 10. Rest 45 seconds as you add weight, then do 8. Rest 45 seconds as you add weight, then try to get 6.
So your reps look like this: 4 x 12, 10, 8, 6, adding weight on each set.
You could call that semi-heavy training, and it’s perfect for older trainees–or anyone who doesn’t want to hammer their joints with ultra-heavy poundages. The short rests between sets prevent that…
At your next workout, you’ll do lighter DENSITY training with TORQ—tension-overload repetition quantity.
Take your 30-rep max weight and go to failure. Yes, 30 REPS. Rest 45 seconds, then go to failure again, shooting for 20. Rest 45 seconds, then go to failure one last time for 10 to 15 reps. You get high-end hypertrophic tension times…
Alternating those two methods from workout to workout is great for SAFER power work alternated with lighter, sarcoplasmic-expansion hits.
It’s really a less-joint-stress version of Power-Density for new muscle immensity.
Note: DP 4X and TORQ, as well as Progressive-Speed 4X and pyramid training, are explained—and included in the programs—in The Super-Size Crash Course e-book.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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Q: I’ve been using the Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout, and getting fantastic results. My muscles have become more defined, so I look bigger, yet my bodyweight is the same. I’ve read your Power-Density e-program as well, and it makes a lot of sense. My question is, Do you think the negative-accentuated fat-to-muscle method is good for Density? Maybe that’s why it’s working so well after my heavy sets.
A: The bodybuilding truism is, Lose that last 10 pounds of fat and look 20 pounds bigger. That is, a more defined physique creates the illusion of size—and that’s what you’ve done. Here are pics of Jonathan’s back, which looks much bigger in the second more ripped photo, but he actually weighs a little less…[Read more…]