We’ve both lived in a beach town—Steve still does—and nothing fuels workouts more than summertime near the ocean. You know you’re going to be hitting the sand (or lake or pool) more than a few times, so you better be hitting the gym hard. [Read more…]
Q: I’m trying to get that crisp division between my pecs. I want to be able to see the inner part of my chest muscles from the lower part all the way up to the collarbone. I do lots of cable crossovers, but I’m only seeing a bit of detail in my lower chest. Any suggestions?
A: One problem may be fat in the area. A bit of adipose covering the pecs will blur or negate any detail. You need to be fairly lean to see the chest-muscle division (cleavage) from top to bottom.[Read more…]
One of the most motivating pics we ever saw when it comes to arms is Arnold’s biceps shot on the cover of his best-selling book Education of a Bodybuilder. Holy sky-high bi’s! It doesn’t look real—but it is (no PhotoShop back then).[Read more…]
Q: I’ve been lifting for about 1 1/2 years, trying to build a mass base, but it’s just not happening very fast. I like the idea of 3D Positions of Flexion [training each muscle in its midrange, stretch, and contracted positions], but almost everyone I talk to says to stick to only the big, basic exercises and forget about isolation moves. Should I just continue using the big basics and hope I build size and strength, or is now the time for me to try 3D POF?
A: Using only the big, basic exercises, what we call midrange-position moves like squats for quads, is fine for, say, a six-week phase every so often (like winter); however, we firmly believe that those who make big gains using only big exercises have an abundance of pure fast-twitch fibers and exceptional nerve-to-muscle connections (neuromuscular efficiency). They are genetically gifted, unlike the majority…[Read more…]
Q: I’ve read a little on your Point-of-Flexion training, and it seems complicated. I was thinking about getting the 3D Muscle Building e-book, but I’m not sure I’ll understand it. I guess I really want to know two things: if it works and if I will “get it” once I read the e-book.
A: It’s actually “Positions” of Flexion, but “Point” of Flexion works too—same meaning. POF is far from complicated; in fact, it streamlines mass-building bodypart routines. POF gets to the “point”—you don’t waste time or effort so you have more recovery ability for maximum growth.[Read more…]
Q: I need to get leaner, and I think I’d better start now if I want abs by springtime. I know I need to diet, but I don’t want to lose muscle. What’s the best way to build muscle and burn fat?
A: Many will say that you will lose muscle if you reduce your calories enough to burn fat, but we disagree…[Read more…]
Q: You recently referenced Mike Mentzer, and I’m wondering if you guys have ever trained with his HIT style. One-set-to-failure training seems to work for some people, and I know Mentzer’s training evolved into that after he stopped competing. Have you tried it or something similar?
A: One of Steve’s early influences was Mike Mentzer. He trained with Mike’s Heavy Duty style in his 20s, and even won his first bodybuilding contest using a Positions-of-Flexion version of Heavy Duty that he devised (more on that below)… [Read more…]
Q: I wanted to report on my progress. I’m 53 and am making the best muscle gains of my life using something you haven’t really discussed. I get bored easily, so what I do is one week I use the Over-40 STX workout [Anabolic Reload e-book] and the next week I go to the Pure-Positions STX program [Stretch Overload e-book]. I think it’s working so well because every week I am getting all three of the hypertrophy requirements but with different splits and exercise mixes. I swear my shirts are already tighter after only three weeks. Just want to thank you guys for my new gains!
A: Hmm, very interesting—and a novel approach. We usually suggest doing one of those programs for four to six weeks, then switch to the other for another four-to-six-week mass phase.
But who are we to argue? Sounds like alternating them is working off the charts for you in the over-40 muscle mass department. Exciting stuff! Now… [Read more…]
Q: The Double-X stretch method you describe in the last chapter of the Stretch Overload ebook really got me sore. All I did was add one set of the stretch exercise for each muscle [listed in chapter 1] with Double-X to my current workout. My question is, do you think just doing a heavy straight set of the stretch move would be better? For Double-X I have to use a lighter weight to get the hitch at the bottom of each rep.
A: Glad to hear that you were able to Double-X your muscle mass. For the uninitiated, Double-X Overload is simply a partial rep at the point of stretch between each full rep.
For example, on incline curls, you [Read more…]
Q: I liked the suggestion of moving from The Anabolic Reload Mass Workout, with a high-rep set first to fatigue slow-twitch fibers (STX), to a workout with a heavy pyramid first followed by STX on a contracted move. After five weeks on that, I’d like to add in stretch-position exercises for more trauma/muscle stress and, I hope, more growth. Is there a workout you can suggest?
That’s how you get more growth, guaranteed. The addition of stretch-position exercises will inflict new muscle stress and a significant spike in muscle mass… [Read more…]