Here’s a very cool comparison of three-time Mr. Olympia Frank Zane in his prime to how he looked peaked at age 65… [Read more…]
Q: Okay, I’m moving into my late 40s, and I’m tired of all the joint pain from training heavy—shoulders, knees, hips. You name it! I’m from the lift-heavier-to-build-mass philosophy. But from all the research I’ve been seeing, it appears I don’t have to train very heavy at all to add plenty of muscle. I’m excited to try it, and I know you guys have been preaching about how these methods pack on mass for a while, but how should I start my transition?
A: No transition necessary. If you’re hurting that much, you should go right to the easy-to-follow 4X-style workouts. The relief—and new muscle gains—will amaze you (even younger guys should try a four-week all-4X phase for new growth)…[Read more…]
Q: Have you heard of FST-7 training, and if so, what do you think of it? It has to do with stretching the muscle fascia from the inside with 7 sets of a big-pump exercise at the end of a bodypart workout.
A: The idea of stretching the muscle fascia, which is the fibrous encasements that surround muscle fibers, has been around a while in many incarnations. The original method had trainees use a rigorous, painful stretching regimen after they trained a bodypart.
For example, after working hamstrings, the trainee would sit on the floor, legs straight and together, and his or her trainer would force the trainee’s torso forward to fully elongate the hamstrings—and it brought tears to the eyes.[Read more…]
Q: I just got The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout e-book because of all the positive feedback I’ve seen. Looking over the program I notice that it’s a four-days-per-week system, but you only hit each muscle once. Is that really going to be enough work for each bodypart? I really want to lean out quickly and still build muscle.
A: If you traumatize a muscle enough, it will require several days for full recovery. And that’s one of the goals with that program…[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: The Size Surge program is very motivating, and I want to start. I’m very skinny. My problem is that I can only make it to the gym two days a week. Can I make any progress doing that? Can you suggest how to alter the program for two workouts a week instead of three?
A: Yes, you can make progress on 2 workouts a week. In fact, our colleague, Stuart McRobert, who is a hardgainer expert, often suggests that high-strung “skinny” types (ectomorphs) train ONLY two days a week for best results. More than that, he says, can deplete too much recovery ability and slow or halt muscle gains. [Read more…]
Q: I’ve been using Jonathan’s Size Surge Workout, and I gained a half-inch on my arms in four weeks. That’s great, but I’m motivated to gain even more in phase 2. Any suggestions to make that most effective for me?
A: You got excellent results in Phase 1, which is a 3-days-per-week program with lots of big, basic moves on an innovative split. The Wednesday deadlift-arms-abs workout is a good metabolic-momentum driver midweek, a nice complement to the more extensive Monday and Friday workouts on which you train quads, hams, chest, back, and delts.
Notice that you get indirect arm work on Monday and Friday with chest, back, and delt work and only one direct arm workout a week. That strategy has put some new size on your guns.
Phase 2 is full-range Positions of Flexion for each bodypart on a two-way split. You train every other day, and each workout is pretty extensive…
At Workout 1, you train quads, hams, calves, chest, and triceps. At Workout 2, you train back, delts, biceps, and abs. You rest the day after each session. While it’s true that Jonathan made excellent gains using that protocol—20 pounds of muscle with Phase 1 followed by that Phase 2 for 10 weeks. However, Jonathan has good recovery ability and better-than-average genetics for bodybuilding…
You may or may not have good recovery ability. That’s why we suggest that when you get to Phase 2, try it as is and see how you feel. If you can tell that each workout is too much for you, use the alternate 3-way split on pages 55-57 in the Size Surge e-book.
Workout 1: Chest, triceps
Workout 2: Legs, abs
Workout 3: Back, delts, biceps
Follow the sequence of workouts over Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. That will give you more recovery time as well as much shorter workouts. In fact, you may be tempted to add a lot of sets. You can add a set or two here and there—like for lagging bodyparts—but don’t get carried away. Each workout should last no longer than an hour.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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Q: I’m ready to try The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout, but you have different workouts in that e-book. The first program is four days a week, but each bodypart is worked only once each week. The second program is three days a week, but again you train each bodypart only once. Then in the Q&A chapter, you suggest using the three-days-per-week routine over four days per week [following the 3-day sequence so each muscle is hit more than once a week]. Which way is best?
A: It’s tough to answer which way is best because we don’t know the extent of your recovery ability, stress levels, experience, etc. Remember, the Fat-to-Muscle workouts have negative-accentuated sets, which do great things for a fat-to-muscle metamorphosis during microtear repair, AND heavy power pyramids, which also are very abrasive to muscle fibers. Those two factors may force the need for more recovery—like seven days. [Read more…]