We harp on the Size Principle of Muscle Fiber Recruitment a lot. Why? Because it explains how to get the most muscle growth possible—in both the fast-twitch as well as slow-twitch fibers… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve read that you can tense your muscles enough so that you can essentially pose to grow. But there’s no resistance involved at all, so I really don’t see how that’s possible. What do you guys think?
A: We used to be skeptical too, but we always notice that as we begin getting in shape and start flexing more as we check our progress (whether it’s in front of a camera or our bathroom mirrors), our muscularity increases quickly.
We thought it was just a coincidence, and that our training and diet were primarily responsible for our accelerated gains—and we were probably right for the most part. But a study we’ve discussed before suggests that flexing a muscle for extended periods does indeed help make your muscles larger and more detailed… [Read more…]
Q: Most of the programs in your e-books don’t have a lot of work sets. Pro bodybuilders use a lot more volume than you recommend, and they’re obviously pretty huge and ripped. Are there any studies that prove less time in the gym is good or that show the best number of sets for a workout?
A: Too much stress, whether in relationships, in the gym, or on a bungee-jumping platform, causes cortisol to surge. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can force your body to eat muscle tissue for energy. Not good! And it lowers testosterone, which also can cause muscle loss (not to mention a lower sex drive). A study that looked at how training volume affects testosterone in men was done several years ago (Alemany, J.A., et al. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 36:S238)… [Read more…]
Q: In the “X Factor” interview at X-Rep.com, Jonathan says you guys tried a static contraction at the end of isolation exercises with only mediocre size results. But I just got the X-Rep Update #1 e-book, and you’re recommending them. Why have you found static holds more effective now than in the past?
A: When we first used static contraction many years ago, we did them on contracted-position exercises, like leg extensions, holding the flexed position for as long as we could after full-range exhaustion. That’s a hold after a number of regular reps. We got good gains, but later that hold at the end of a set evolved to X Reps on the big midrange exercises instead of isolation moves, and that worked much better at building bigger, fuller muscles.[Read more…]
Q: Your 4X mass method has 35 to 45 seconds rest between sets. I’ve seen research that longer rests between sets can be better for strength and muscle growth. What’s your take on that?
A: Legendary trainer Vince Gironda, the Iron Guru who trained Mr. Olympias as well as Hollywood stars to build muscle fast, first got us into reducing rest between sets for muscle growth—he called it Density Training…[Read more…]
It’s becoming clear that muscle elongation is very important for accelerating hypertrophy to a new level.
In other words, loaded stretching can provide another layer of freaky size quickly.
An older study that we often reference showing that was performed by Jose Antonio, Ph.D., et al.—and it produced incredible muscle size increases. Here’s what he said about it: [Read more…]
It’s always interesting to see studies that come out on muscle activation with varying protocols. One of particular interest is from the National Strength & Conditioning Association [May 29, ’15]…
It compared two protocol, but with the same time under tension and load, 60 percent of 1-rep max. The exercise was Smith-machine bench presses, and the subjects were experienced resistance trainers… [Read more…]