Yesterday I mentioned Mike Mentzer’s training style. While he tended to use a fast Speed Set tempo on his sets, despite saying otherwise, he often ended sets with slow forced reps and pure negatives… [Read more…]
Q: You mention Mr. Heavy Duty Mike Mentzer a lot. I know he recommended slow negatives on every rep—like three to four seconds to lower the weight. Wasn’t he doing too much damage, and do you have any idea if he ever used Speed Sets? [Read more…]
Q: Many years ago, I tried negative-only sets on most of my exercises. My partners lifted the heavy weight for me, and I lowered it slowly, six seconds on each of six reps. I got some decent strength gains but not much mass at all. That’s what gives me reservations about your negative-accentuated [or X-centric] technique. Will it build muscle for me even though pure negatives didn’t?
A: The heavy, pure-negative sets that you tried are great for building neuromuscular efficiency—the nerve connections that improve strength. You also get some muscle trauma; however, you lose muscular tension between each rep when your partners lift the weight for you… [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…]
Q: I had your original 10-Week Size Surge book from many years ago and just picked up the Size Surge 2.0 e-book. Thanks for revising it to include 4X training! I’m 45 now with a lot of joint damage from heavy “lifting,” if you want to call it that. So your [moderate-weight] 4X method is perfect and has me making new muscle gains. Thank you! My question concerns the “finisher” set you recommend in one of the workouts. Do you think pure-negative or negative-accentuated sets are better?
A: For the uninitiated, the Size Surge 2.0 e-book has a few new workouts compared to the original, including an alternate Phase 2 routine that’s Positions of Flexion with a few heavy sets, 4X work, AND a one-exercise mass finisher using an intensity method… [Read more…]
Q: I want to do a weekly rotation of light, medium, and heavy POF. For
A: Your “weekly rotation” sounds like a great idea for adding mass along all pathways. And the variation should keep you stoked…
However, at 49 you are right on the cusp of heavy-training tolerance…[Read more…]
Q: I’ve seen you guys talk about Mass Finishers in the past. Is that a Positions-of-Flexion term, a special exercise, or something to do with
A: Lol. It relates to mass—as in muscle size—and you could say that it’s a “special” exercise…
We first outlined this technique in the Size Surge 2.0 e-book—in the chapter on Mass-4X training. You do it after a full-range Position-of-Flexion bodypart routine (there’s a complete sample program there for every muscle group)…[Read more…]
Q: I’m getting great results with sets using six-second negatives [on every rep of a negative-accentuated set]. I’m bigger and leaner after one month. My question is, Should I do pure negatives to get even better results since I could increase the weight? My partner can lift the weight for me, and I’ll lower slowly [six seconds] for as many reps as I can get till failure. The heavier weight should cause more trauma and better muscle gains and fat loss, right?
A: That depends on your level of training and your recovery ability (genetics). Pure negatives are extremely traumatic and should be used infrequently…[Read more…]
Q: I’m reading your original X-Rep e-book [The Ultimate Mass Workout], and you have the Ultimate Exercises listed for each muscle. For lats, it’s close-, parallel-grip chins. I have a hard time with chins because I weigh around 220 pounds. Can I do them on the pulldown machine instead?
A: Yes, do them on the pulldown machine for now; however, once you’re strong enough, do the chinup-bar version… [Read more…]
Q: It seems like every month I have to miss a few workouts because of life, like business trips, family stuff, etc. If I know I’m going to miss like a chest and back workout, should I just add those bodyparts to my last workout? Or should I skip and pick up with that workout when I’m able to? The add-on idea is appealing, but I don’t feel like I do the muscle group justice unless I train it with all three Positions of Flexion. But then the workout is too long and I feel overtrained. What should I do to make up for missing workouts?
A: Even if you’re only going to miss one workout, you’re going to feel as if you’re shrinking in those areas if you don’t work them… [Read more…]