Talk about mass, this shot of Mike Mentzer by John Balik at Muscle Rock in Malibu has motivated both of us over the years. His sheer thickness and density in this pose are almost unreal… [Read more…]
Q: In the 3D HIT program [listed in the X-traordinary Arms e-book], you say to end each bodypart with one slow, higher-rep set of an isolation exercise for tension and occlusion. You also mention drop sets for those exercises. Which is better, one higher-rep set or a drop set?
A: Keep in mind that doing a drop set is a volume increase because it’s two sets back to back. For example, on concentration curls for biceps, you do a set of 10 reps to exhaustion, grab a lighter dumbbell, and immediately rep out again, getting about six more reps. Is that better than one set of 12-15 reps? That depends…[Read more…]
Jim Haislop won the Mr. America in 1968. His incredible symmetry, proportion,
When he competed at 5’11”, he weighed in at around 210 pounds with a 32” waist and true 19” arms…[Read more…]
Q: It’s hard for me to believe that a few partial reps at the end of a set [a.k.a. X Reps] can do anything measurable for muscle gains. Isn’t doing an additional set just as good or better for muscle growth?
A: At first glance, you’d think so; however, once you understand muscle physiology, you see the enormous muscle-building effects that can occur if you extend a set correctly. It all starts with the size principle of muscle fiber recruitment…[Read more…]
Many bodybuilders antagonize over their slow muscle growth, but working out smart, not just hard, will gradually transform your physique…
Still, the determining factor in how your physique will look is genetics, plain and simple—case in point teenage Mike Mentzer. Check out his physique in his late teens (below left) and how he looked at the peak of his bodybuilding career at age 30.[Read more…]
Q: I’ve been hearing a lot about muscle stretch and how it’s uniquely anabolic. What’s the best way to build mass with this information—a freehand stretching routine?
A: Freehand stretching routines can do okay things for muscle growth. In fact, a recent study showed muscle hypertrophy from ONLY freehand stretching, but it wasn’t extreme…[Read more…]
Q: I’ve been reading your e-zine for years, and I have almost all of your e-books. Great info, and thanks to you I have a lot of new muscle. 3D POF is great! My question is about rep ranges. You’ve talked about using lower reps, medium reps, and higher reps. I’ve read that the key to muscle growth is intensity, and that rep ranges don’t really matter. Can’t I just keep doing about eight to 10 reps, the best range for muscle growth, on all my exercises and train intensely, to failure, to make the best gains? Do I really need different rep ranges?
A: While intensity is the big key to forcing muscle growth, there is no doubt that the predominant fiber type in a particular muscle dictates its best rep range for fastest size gains.[Read more…]
Q: I’ve made the best gains of my life the past year with X Reps, going from 185 to just under 200 pounds. But my gains have stalled. You talk a lot about muscle adaptation, so I’m wondering if I’ve adapted to X Reps. Should I stop doing them for a while so I can pack on more muscle?
A: Adaptation to training techniques and even bodypart routines can happen in as few as six workouts. If you train a muscle twice a week, that means you can adapt in three to four weeks. We’ve talked about phase training, which is downshifting intensity for one week with sub-failure workouts after four to six weeks of all-out workouts. But sometimes even that’s not enough to kick-start new gains once you resume a high-intensity phase. Usually, you have to mix things up somehow…
Q: I’ve been using MMX Compound Aftershock [from a recent newsletter]. The high-rep stretch exercise first, before the big compound move, really makes a difference. What a great burn and pump. If I use a high-rep contracted-position move first, is that postactivation?
A: Yes, you could consider it postactivation, as it too increases growth-fiber recruitment on the second big exercise. So for quads, Compound Aftershock would be high-rep sissy squats followed by a superset of lower-rep sissies and squats… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve been hearing a lot about muscle stretch and how it is uniquely anabolic. What is the best way to build mass with this information—a freehand stretching routine?
A: While freehand stretching routines can do okay things for muscle growth, a much more effective mass-building route is doing a workout of all stretch-position exercises with weights.
That way every bodypart will get the anabolic acceleration of [Read more…]