Rachel McLish was the very first Ms. Olympia winner way back in 1980. Her symmetrical physique, not to mention her head-turning beauty, catapulted her into the public eye and established women’s bodybuilding as a brand-new sport. [Read more…]
Q: I have the Stretch-Overload Workout ebook, so I know how important stretch-position exercises are for mass.I’m training in a home gym with only free weights, and overhead triceps extensions are irritating my elbows. Should I just skip triceps stretch altogether to avoid injury?
A: We’ve been there, so we feel your pain. In a commercial gym, we recommend cable pushouts instead, which is facing away from an overhead cable, lunging forward and performing behind-the-head extensions. [Read more…]
Q: Your Quick Start Muscle 2.0 has renewed my motivation for home training. I’m stoked and starting the STX workouts next week. You have the first set in both workouts for slow-twitch exhaustion. Do you think that first set is better as a slow-mo set or as a normal speed high-rep set?
A: Either of those methods on the first set accomplishes the same thing: You fatigue the slow-twitch fibers, triggering more fast-twitch-fiber activation on the set or sets that follow… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve read that training all out [to failure] is not the best way to grow muscle. The argument I read said that it causes nervous system and adrenal burnout as well as higher levels of muscle-eating cortisol [stress hormone]. Don’t you think bodybuilders will grow better if they use more sets, stopping short of failure to avoid those problems?
A: No doubt about it, training all out is traumatic. It’s brutal on the body, but that’s what makes it so effective—if you use it correctly… [Read more…]
Q: I just read through the updated Quick Start Muscle 2.0. Great info! I’m starting the new at-home workout immediately. One question: What is an incline row, and does it work mid back or lats?
A: Training at home can be a challenge, so we tried to include the best exercises for all muscle groups in the at-home workouts, especially the advanced ones…
And the incline row is in that best-of-the-best category. Why? [Read more…]
Some of the most motivating photos to us are those featuring a top bodybuilder out in the general public—when they’re in decent shape, that is (LOL). In Zen 36 we featured Arnold walking through the streets of Venice, California.
This one is Tom Platz walking the path at Venice Beach, a classic photo from one of the best physique photographers of all time, Michael Neveux…. [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…]
Back in the 1990s, Steve’s very first book was titled Iron Man’s Home Gym Handbook. Looks like we’ve come full-circle. At the moment, there’s no place like home—or nowhere else to train but home…
Like most iron men and women, we’re at home with limited equipment. Luckily, our decades of bodybuilding experience have resulted in multiple mass-training tactics and moves to keep gains coming. Here’s Steve’s report on what he’s doing in his bare-bones pump-atorium. [Read more…]