As the editor-in-chief of Iron Man magazine, I had the opportunity to talk to many scientists and experts in the strength-training field as well as bodybuilders, including Arnold, Mentzer, Boyer Coe, Tom Platz (below), Cory Everson, and more. [Read more…]
Q: Your recent truth about muscle growth newsletters were enlightening. You’re right about growth not being visibly noticeable on a day-to-day or even week-to-week basis. You also said that 20 pounds of muscle a year is spectacular, but didn’t Jonathan gain 20 pounds of muscle in only 10 weeks with the Size Surge workout?
A: Your memory serves you well. Yes, Jonathan did pack on an incredible 20 pounds of muscle in 10 weeks; however, he was regaining a lot of that beef… [Read more…]
Q: I just started the Size Surge program. I love it and can already see results! I just had a question about abs. In the this program, you have only one day for abdominal work. Is that really enough to get great washboard abs? Can I add some ab training to other days or maybe the off days?
A: You can add some ab work if you like, but keep in mind that your abs are getting a lot of work supporting your torso on all the big exercises you’re doing on Monday and Friday—from presses to upright rows to squats. Notice how Jonathan has washboard abs in this photo as he does dumbbell shrugs, showing that they’re almost always working to some degree… [Read more…]
Q: I was on your newsletter list back when you guys were kicking butt at Iron Man and released the Size Surge program as an e-book, but life caught up with me and I unsubscribed for a while. You guys used to be all high about the Size Surge Workout, but since I rejoined your X team a while back, it seems like you rarely mention it anymore. What’s the deal—what happened to Size Surge? I was thinking about getting on it, but if it’s off your radar, maybe it’s no longer a good option?
A: What happened to Size Surge, you ask? Nothing… It’s still a great for most trainees during their winter mass-building phases. The 10-week program is built around big, basic exercises with plenty of power sets, muscle trauma, and lots of recovery time. That style of training works optimally when you’re not restricting calories—bad-ass bulk building at its best. [See Jonathan’s before and after photos from the first Size Surge experiment on the Size Surge page.] [Read more…]
Q: I’m astounded by Jonathan’s Size Surge transformation in only 10 weeks. His arms got huge, and he said his gains really took off during the second phase when he started using Positions of Flexion. I was thinking that I should do POF for arms in phase 1 too. Like for biceps, he has two sets of barbell curls and two sets of concentration curls. Wouldn’t I make better gains if I did two sets of barbell curls followed by one set of incline curls [for stretch] then one set of concentration curls? That’s the same number of sets, but now it’s full-range POF. I could do the same for triceps too.
A: That sounds like a good plan—at least until you realize one reason phase 2 in the Size Surge program works so well is because the muscles get a progressive-shock size effect when you shift to full-range training for the last four weeks. In other words, you force more growth adaptation to happen when you add stretch-position exercises like incline curls for biceps and overhead extensions for triceps at week 7… [Read more…]
Q: I have limited time to train—three days a week. I can get to the gym M-W-F, but I usually have family stuff on the weekends, so that’s it. Can I build a bodybuilder physique by training only three days a week? What program would you recommend?
A: Can you get a bodybuilder physique training only 3 days a week? That depends entirely on your genetics. We’ve known a few guys who looked like bodybuilders going to the gym zero days a week. Not kidding—lucky bastards. LOL! [Read more…]
Q: I got The 4X Mass Workout e-book, and it’s fantastic! I tried it on arms for a few weeks, and they blew up at every workout. I measured, and I gained a quarter-inch in only three weeks. Thank you! They’d been stuck for over a year at just under 17″. I’m convinced and ready to use 4X on all bodyparts. I want to do your full-range Positions of Flexion method for each muscle, 4X on all exercises, but the POF routine in the 4X e-book is a 2-way split. I don’t think I can work legs and chest on the same day. Is there an alternative?
A: Don’t be a wuss! That’s the Phase 2 Size Surge program Jonathan used to pack on 20 pounds of muscle in 10 weeks, so suck it up and just do it…
Kidding! That 2-way split is too taxing for some trainees (not just wusses), which is one reason Jonathan provides a 3-way POF split in his Size Surge e-book (pages 55-57). Here’s how that less-taxing mass plan pans out… [Read more…]
Q: I’m a big fan of your workouts and have purchased most of your e-books. Thanks for all the advice and keep up the inspiring work! I have a 15-year-old son who’s starting to get serious about lifting. He wants to play football, so he’s looking to improve his overall size and strength. Would you recommend your 4X Mass Workout for him? I’m trying to figure out which of your programs would be best for someone his age.
A: For football, your son will want to concentrate on building strength and power with size as an after-effect. The 4X Mass Workout is primarily for muscle mass with less of a strength emphasis… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve seen Jonathan’s before and after photos and read all the info [at SizeSurgeWorkout.com]. Can you give me more details on why the program works? What makes it different? I think I just need to be convinced that it’s going to work for me.
A: We don’t blame you. If you’re going to invest a full 10 weeks in a program, you want to know the mechanics of how and why it works. The Size Surge program does! It can build loads of muscle if you train hard with it, and there are a number of reasons for that. The primary one is that both phases are dominated by big compound exercises, and the workouts are designed and organized to maximize their size effects. [Read more…]
Q: I’m on the Size Surge 2.0. I’m loving it! Feeling bigger already, but I have a question about shrugs. I started with dumbbell shrugs, 4X style. Then I went to barbell shrugs and got a whole new soreness in my upper back. The exercises don’t feel that different. Why did I get so sore?
A: Amazing how one little tweak to an exercise can trigger new soreness. It’s all about angle of pull and restriction vs. non-restriction. [Read more…]