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…]
A colleague recently asked me what I thought about using slow-motion reps on the first set…
“Funny you should ask,” I said. “I experimented with that last year and found that [Read more…]
Q: In one of the chapters in 4X Mass Workout 2.0, you say that V-handle cable rows is both a mid-back stretch exercise and a lat contracted exercise. Since it’s a lat-contracted move, can I use that as the first exercise in a modified Pre-Ex routine for lats? So it’s V-handle cable rows for 4X to pre-exhaust the lats followed by pulldowns to continue hitting the pre-fatigued lats.
A: The short answer: No, not a good choice for your first lat move. The point of the pre-ex workouts in the Pre-Ex 3X e-book is to train the target muscle first in ISOLATION—with no smaller ancillary muscles involved… [Read more…]
Q: I use Pre-Ex 3X supersets a lot when I can. Removing the weak-link muscle makes so much sense as a way to make the compound exercise more targeted and work harder. The look of my physique has completely changed these with new vascularity since adding these. I recently saw a mention of doing the second exercise in the superset in speed style. Does that work well? I’d love more new veins and size.
A: Yes, for many muscle groups Pre-Ex makes a lot of sense. For example, isolating your chest with cable flyes first, and then immediately moving to dumbbell bench presses helps even out the strength of the now pre-fatigued pecs with your fresh triceps… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve always gotten pretty good size and strength gains from
A: Great question! For new readers, the myofibrils are the force-generating actin and myosin strands in the muscle fibers. If you have more of those than usual, you would be considered myofibrillar dominant. A good example of that is Mike Mentzer, who was squatting over 500 pounds at age 16…[Read more…]
Q: I’ve added a lot of muscle using Pre-Ex 3X and modified pre-ex. I must commend you for coming up with it. One problem I have is with leg extensions. They hurt my knees when I do them first. Funny that squats don’t hurt me. Leg extensions are the only quad isolator. What should I do first instead?
A: We didn’t come up with pre-exhaustion. That honor goes to the late Bob Kennedy, publisher of MuscleMag…[Read more…]
Q: I’ve been using MMX Compound Aftershock [from a recent newsletter]. The high-rep stretch exercise first, before the big compound move, really makes a difference. What a great burn and pump. If I use a high-rep contracted-position move first, is that postactivation?
A: Yes, you could consider it postactivation, as it too increases growth-fiber recruitment on the second big exercise. So for quads, Compound Aftershock would be high-rep sissy squats followed by a superset of lower-rep sissies and squats… [Read more…]
In the past, we’ve mentioned how changing tempo on each set can produce huge growth effect.
For example, if you’re using the X-centric training method, you do your first set X-centric (lift in one second, lower in six), your second in standard style (lift in one second, lower in 3), and your last as a speed set (each rep in 1.5 seconds)… But can you fuse two for a killer double-speed muscle growth combo-to-grow method? Yes…