Q: I’ve read that studies looking into pre-exhaustion (isolation exercise prior to a multi-joint move for the same muscle) found that it isn’t any better at building muscle than straight sets. Mike Mentzer seemed to believe that it was a magic mass builder, like doing leg extensions first before going immediately to squats or leg presses. You have a stretch-first pre-ex workout in Old Man, Young Muscle. Is it any better than just doing straight sets? [Read more…]
Q: First I want to thank you for Old Man Young Muscle. I’ve made spectacular gains in my meager home gym similar to what you did. My problem now is that I’m getting 25 reps on my first set of dumbbell decline presses with my 50s, and I have no more weight to increase resistance. Should I just keep going till I get 30? Then what?
A: The late Doug Brignole, friend, biomechanics genius, and Mr. America winner, did 30 reps on his first set. So, yes, you could just keep trying to add reps to your decline presses until you get there… [Read more…]
In yesterday’s newsletter, I discussed blocking blood flow to the target muscle by doing a continuous-tension exercise first for high reps, then following with the ideal exercise…
For example, you could do a high-rep set of leg extensions before sissy squats, the ideal exercise. Or cable flyes before dumbbell decline presses for chest… [Read more…]
Q: Reading Old Man Young, Muscle and how an initial high-rep set tires the slow-twitch fibers makes sense. But wouldn’t using a continuous-tension exercise be best for that first set? The blood-blocking [or occlusion] on those exercises you talk about in OMYM should tire and shut down the slow-twitch sooner, right?
A: That’s an interesting idea and one I addressed a few newsletters ago: “Occlusion and the Mass-Exercise Shuffle.” It’s great that you’re thinking about making our workouts more efficient rather than just blindly following… [Read more…]
Q: I’m making my best gains ever with the Power-Density Mass Workout. I’m already up six pounds in four weeks, and I see new muscle somewhere every workout, training just about 40 minutes a session. I have a question about my lagging bodypart, shoulders. Can I add sets to the listed workout, or how should I force my shoulders to grow like my other bodyparts?
A: Most of the bodypart routines in the Basic Power-Density Mass Workout consist of only one Ultimate Exercise per muscle group. That makes for quick, simple workouts: First you pyramid the weight over three sets for max force, or Power; then you reduce the weight and attack tension, or Density with a 10×10-style sequence, but using only four sets… [Read more…]
Q: Your Pre-Ex 3X Mass Workout is just what I needed. It boosted my mass considerably (about five pounds so far), and my joints feel great. One question, though: Is there a way to intensify it without adding more rounds? Going from three to four might wipe me out too much and cause overtraining.
A: We often suggest altering the LAST set in a Pre-Ex cycle. For example, if you’re doing cable crossovers (isolation) supersetted with bench presses (compound), you could add a rest/pause set to one or both exercises on the last round… [Read more…]
Dorian Yates won his first of six Mr. Olympia titles in 1992. His huge, grainy physique was the next step up from the more aesthetic previous Mr. O, Lee Haney… [Read more…]
This impressive shot of Mike Mentzer was a poster that Steve had on his wall in his late teens for motivation… [Read more…]
Dorian Yates won his first of six Mr. Olympia titles in 1992 and officially ushered in the mass-monster era. His huge, grainy physique was the next step up from the more aesthetic previous Mr. O Lee Haney… [Read more…]
Q: I’m training at home like everyone else, but I don’t have a lot of weight. In fact, on many exercises, like dumbbell bench presses, the weight is way too light. Is there anything I can do to keep my muscle growth moving forward without going heavier?
A: First, bodybuilding is called “progressive-resistance” training because adding weight and/or reps to your exercises can increase muscle size…
We say “can” because getting stronger does not always mean getting bigger. Strength may also be the result of neuromuscular adaptation—nervous system efficiency—or better coordination/leverage. [Read more…]