Here’s an eye-opening quote is from former pro bodybuilder Tom Platz, who was third in the Mr. Olympia was third in 1981… [Read more…]
Q: Your less-intense approach to build more mass makes sense from a physiological standpoint. I tried it using the Old Man, Young Muscle workouts, and the pump was still awesome. I felt very energized after. I felt so good, I started wondering if I should be doing more sets. What do you think?
A: Adding sets is tricky because it depends on a lot of factors, particularly your recovery ability…
At my age, which is 63 (birthday this month—gifts welcome), I find three sets to be my limit, although I sometimes do four for stubborn muscles, like chest.
So I’m old, plus I have skinny genetics—which can also limit recovery. It’s a double whammy…
Even so, 2019 Drug-Free Mr. Universe Doug Brignole, who is my age with much better genetics, has also found that for each muscle, three sets is best…
He says he’s growing much faster since cutting back and is so excited that he may compete again—at age 63; however…
For stubborn muscles, like his side-delt heads, Doug will do a couple of drops on his third set…
In other words, he does that last set, immediately reduces the weight, does a few more reps, reduces the weight again, and cranks out one last set.
And he—and I—now stop all sets short of failure, even the drops. No writhing around to try for one last nerve-frying rep…
Those are a few options—either add a set for your stubborn muscles or try drops on your third set.
If you have fairly good recovery, you may get away with doing both for your stragglers—add a fourth set plus drops.
But always monitor your progress. That means to keep your eye on the prize, which is more muscle size.
New: Get the ideal exercise for each muscle, the best add-on moves for ultimate mass, complete 35-minute workouts, exercise start/finish photos and details on building muscle fast and efficiently in Old Man, Young Muscle.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
Testosterone prescriptions do more HARM than good for older men
Millions of men are struggling with the problems associated with low-T in today’s world, such as extra belly and chest fat, low energy and stamina, lack of sexual desire, ED problems, and loss of muscle.
Sadly, millions of men also turn to Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) to try to overcome these problems and try to feel like a new man again…BUT there are some VERY concerning problems with TRT that every man NEEDS to know.
After reading the article below, you might want to consider alternate routes of boosting your T levels naturally instead of through something that’s potentially as harmful as TRT…
–> Why Testosterone Replacement Therapy can do more HARM than good (for any ladies reading this, please pass this on to your husband or boyfriend if they are using or have considered using TRT)
Q: I’m using 4X, TORQ, and Super TORQ exclusively—no heavy training. I’ve already added about six pounds of new muscle in just a few months. Can I train each muscle more frequently than every four days? It seems like with moderate poundages, each muscle would recover quicker and I could train more often to grow even faster. Should I try it?
A: Try it. Whether it works well will depend on your recovery ability—and your age may also have a bearing…
Consider this: Research has discovered that the older we get, the more muscle inflammation derails muscle growth. [Merrit, E.K., et al. (2013). J App Physiology.] [Read more…]
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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