In yesterday’s newsletter I explained how higher-rep sets to failure may do somewhat less muscle-fiber damage than heavy sets to failure… [Read more…]
In yesterday’s newsletter, we looked at a new interpretation of hypertrophy research that suggests going to all-out muscular failure may do more harm than good with heavier loads.
Researcher Chris Beardsley says that heavier sets to failure do most of the damage on the last two reps; therefore you should stop two reps short to achieve most of the hypertrophy stimulation while avoiding that severe damage. [Read more…]
Mechanical tension, or mechanical loading, is resistance stress on the muscle fibers. It’s the big key to hypertrophy.
And for the purpose of muscle growth, we want mechanical loading that targets fast-twitch engagement. That occurs optimally with a cascade effect, activating slow-twitch fibers first followed by fast-twitch… [Read more…]
Q: I have learned an incredible amount from your X Arms e-book. My question has to do with emphasizing the biceps heads. You suggest total focus on one head at each workout. Instead, I want to use two sets in each position of flexion, with each set focusing on a different head. For example, for the first exercise (midrange), I’ll do one set of close-grip preacher curls for the outer biceps heads; then follow with one set of wide-grip dumbbell curls for the inner heads. I’ll do that for the stretch-position exercise and the contracted position exercise, using the specific movements in your e-book, one set for each head in each position. I plan to use that biceps routine every arm workout. I’ll use the same two-sets-for-each-position idea for triceps too. What do you think?
A: Let’s see, two sets in each of the three positions of flexion, one set for inner-head emphasis, the second for outer-head emphasis. Interesting. That’s a different strategy from what we outline in X-traordinary Arms, which is to focus on one head of the biceps at one workout, then focus on the other head at the next to build awesome arms. [Read more…]
Q: I am in need of some back width, or more specifically, lat development. I’m following your 3D HIT program listed in the X-traordinary Arms e-book, but I’m not getting a pump, and I have a hard time feeling my back working. Do you guys have any suggestions?
A: The 3D Positions-of-Flexion lat routine in that program is…
Chins (midrange), 1 x 9-12
Dumbbell pullovers (stretch), 1 x 9-12
Rope rows (contracted), 1 x 12-15
One reason you may not be getting a big pump is the last (contracted) exercise, rope rows…[Read more…]
Intermittent Fasting is all the rage right now and for good reason—it works! Even jacked movie stars like The Rock, Terry Cruz, and Hugh Jackman use it for shredded muscle.
We’ve used it off and on for years. Check out Steve’s initial results, which were spectacular—and he’s in his 50s…[Read more…]
Q: I heard that close-grip bench presses can build the inner pecs. But then a pro bodybuilder said that’s false. He said no exercise can build the “inner” pecs—or “lower” biceps for that matter, and that those are muscle-building myths. Which is correct?
A: While close-grip bench presses won’t direct development to the inner-chest area, some researchers suggest that putting a muscle into elongation, or stretch, against resistance can thicken the fibers at the insertion point. For example, doing flyes for more chest beef near the sternum… [Read more…]
Q: You’ve said that training each bodypart only once a week never worked for you. But I saw mention in a previous article that you did make gains doing that with X-centric training. I like training each bodypart only once a week because that’s the way the pros do it. Should I use X-centric training to make it work better for me?
A: First, following the pros workouts is a bad idea for 99 percent of us. Steroids and other anabolic drugs make most of what they do NOT applicable to drug-free trainees. It’s like trying to make your Toyota Camry perform the same way as a Formula-One racing car. It can’t be done without some MAJOR “enhancements.”… [Read more…]