Q: What’s your opinion of rest/pause training, the way Mike Mentzer used to do it? I’ve read that he did heavy singles with six to 10 seconds between sets, and he did only four of those rest/pause singles for each exercise.
Here’s a backstage shot of Arnold casually hitting a shocking double-biceps pose. We’re not sure who took it, or what contest it was, but we are sure that it was the Oak at his absolute best… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve seen you guys recommend behind-the-neck pulldowns before in your newsletter as long as lighter weight and a specific range of motion is used, but you never seem to mention behind-the-neck presses. Is the behind-the-neck press not a good shoulder exercise?
A: First understand that any type of behind-the-neck move—pulldown or press—can overstress the shoulder capsule. It’s not a natural position; however, the behind-the-neck position can provide a unique angle of pull on the target fibers for new development… [Read more…]
Q: For us home-gym rats, how can we incorporate Positions-of-Flexion mass training with a very basic setup? I only have a barbell, rack (for squats/bench, etc.), and a dip/chin station; I don’t have any dumbbells. Is it possible?
A: It’s very difficult to do full POF routines for most bodyparts without dumbbells because most finishing contracted-position exercises are single-joint moves, like laterals for delts or bent-arm bent-over laterals for midback. Nevertheless, you can improvise and create some very effective NEAR-full-range bodypart programs. [Read more…]
Q: I’m using the Fat-to-Muscle Workout, and the negative-accentuated technique [one second up/six seconds down] has given me a lot of new muscle, and I’ve noticed that the excess muscle trauma you guys talk about has helped me lose a good amount of fat, too. I’m amazed! Now, however, I feel like my mass gains are slowing down. I think it’s because I’ve adapted to the negative-accentuated sets. How can I intensify them? Or should I switch to a different technique for a while?
A: Don’t drop the NA technique unless your goals have changed for your physique. If you’re still trying to lose fat as you build muscle, a set with one second up and six seconds down on every rep for every large bodypart will help you get there faster… [Read more…]
Q: In many of your workouts, you suggest forward-lean laterals. What are those, and why should I use them instead of regular standing lateral raises [for medial-delt-head mass]?
A: The deltoid is a unique muscular structure. It controls the movement around a ball-and-socket joint, so the fibers wrap around the area in bundles, moving in many directions. You can see that in this photo of Jonathan… [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…]
Back in the 1970s, people thought Arnold was big—almost too big. Then came Lou Ferrigno, who was even bigger… [Read more…]
Q: I just got the your Size Surge 2.0 e-book. Great programs and tons of motivation (Jonathan is a beast). My question is on the M4X workout you have listed with the finisher set added on. Instead of negative accentuated or pure negatives, could I do your 30-20-15 TORQ method instead? I really want to incorporate the upper hypertrophic-tension time [60-plus seconds] for more mass.
A: You could do that; BUT it’s a pretty large increase in total volume. That’s because instead of only one additional “finisher” set, you’re doing three. And instead of 7 extra reps, you’re doing 65! Quite a big difference… [Read more…]
Q: X-Reps are giving me some wicked-awesome mass gains. The extra pump and burn I get from [those end-of-set partials] is hot! But I was thinking that since they work so well, how about using only the short X-Rep range for all of my sets, without any full-range reps? Wouldn’t that give me some giant mass gains?
A: We first addressed X-Only sets in the X-Rep Update #1 e-book and even included a chapter on former Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler’s workout, which includes a lot of X-Only sets. Check out his X-Only Hammer Strength machine inclines (photos courtesy of Mitsuru Okabe)… [Read more…]