Q: I don’t seem to see you guys talking about warm-up sets very often. Do I need to do any? I’m interested in building the most mass possible.
Q: I want to get strong over the winter. I heard that that’s what Arnold used to do. I know that if I get strong, I will eventually get bigger, which was how the Oak did it. What’s the best workout for that?
A: First let’s get some insight into Arnold’s winter training routine. Former IRON MAN Publisher John Balik was there, often training with Arnold, and this is what he had to say about it: [Read more…]
We’ve discussed our “iFast” method for simultaneous hypertrophy and fat loss (yes, it is possible)…
It’s basically a 12-hour protocol done only two non-consecutive days during the week…
We were apprehensive at first, but it works. Here are Steve’s results—and he’s in his 50s… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve recently had to cut back my workouts to three days a week and was looking back through many of the X-Rep e-books. I came across the Mass F/X program in 3D Muscle Building that looks fantastic. Just what I’m looking for. But I would like to use TORQ instead of the drop sets and rest/pause on tension-time days. Will that be too much work?
Q: Your Positions-of-Flexion [mass-training system] has helped me get huge with a lot of new muscle over the past six months. Thank you! One question I have is with hamstrings. In both the 3D Muscle Building e-book and The Ultimate Mass Workout, you have feet-forward Smith machine squats as the best midrange hamstring exercise. Don’t my hams get plenty of midrange work when I do squats or leg presses as my midrange quad move? Can’t I just skip the Smith squats and maybe do extra sets on stiff-legged deadlifts [hamstring stretch] and leg curls [hamstring contracted]?
A: We’d like to say yes, but, to be truthful, you don’t get a lot of hamstring innervation with free-bar squats or even leg presses with your feet high on the footplate… [Read more…]
Q: What’s your opinion of loosening exercise form at the end of a set to get a few more reps? Like on curls I keep the reps strict for the first six or seven, then I use some upper-body motion to complete two to three more reps. I’m using the 4X method, so the weight [throughout the 4 sets] is only moderate, not heavy. I’m only using momentum to fight the fatigue buildup at the end of the fourth set. Is that okay, or should I keep my reps strict through the entire 4X sequence?
A: Because the poundage is moderate on a 4X sequence, that’s all the more reason to keep it strict all the way through. Momentum will only take the tension off the target muscle. A very SLIGHT form alteration is acceptable, but keep it as strict as possible to the end of the fourth set… [Read more…]
Q: I’m testing your 4X variations [Shock-centric, 4X Pyramid, etc. from one of your recent newsletters]. Great stuff! Isn’t another way to get more mass simply to add sets by increasing the volume to 5X or more on any exercise?
A: Yes, volume increases, as in tacking on sets to 4X so you’re doing 5X or 6X, can boost mass gains—to a point. It’s a lot like tanning: To get darker, you can increase exposure time. The problem is diminishing returns… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve been reading about the 4X training and am wondering if you have any advice on how to use it with a full-body three-days-per-week routine. I just started using the 4X method for each bodypart. I do one exercise per muscle. Monday I do chest, shoulders, back, bi’s, tri’s, abs, legs. Wednesday I do the same body parts but in a different order and using different exercises. The same goes for Friday. I take the weekend off. I’m drug-free, so I think I’ve been overtraining till now. I’m hoping that 4X will help spark some new gains.
A: That sounds like a great plan for building more mass. First, skeptical readers need to realize that three-days-per-week programs can do incredible things. We discuss the Colorado Experiment in Size Surge 2.0 and 3D Muscle Building, a four-week research project in which Casey Viator gained 60 pounds of muscle… [Read more…]
Q: You’ve said high-rep leg work can increase testosterone. Will the first high-rep set on each exercise in the Anabolic Reload STX workouts boost T even more?
A: It appears that reason high-rep leg work boosts testosterone is due to heavy breathing, big-muscle stimulation, growth-fiber activation, and muscle burn… [Read more…]
Q: You have an all-10×10 program in your e-book [The Ultimate 10×10 Mass Workout], but I’ve heard that you don’t think total 10×10 routines are that great. I wanted to try it, but now I’m not so sure. Do you still believe that the all-10×10 program is not good?
A: For those unfamiliar with it, 10×10 is taking a weight you can get about 20 reps with, but only doing 10. You rest for 30 seconds, then do 10 more and so on until you complete 10 sets of 10 reps. The first sets are a breeze; the last ones are brutal and create an insane pump and burn.
The beauty of 10×10 is that you do it on one exercise per bodypart, so a muscle is cooked to the bone in about 10 minutes. The problem with the all-10x1o program is that it’s pure DENSITY…
As we’ve said, the dominant fiber type in the biggest bodybuilders is the DUAL-component type-2As. They have both a power and density, or endurance, component. That means you need BOTH power and endurance to build the most muscle size. With 10×10 you’re getting almost pure density. But that can be a good thing…
Total 10×10 training is great if you’ve been doing a program dominated by power-oriented sets—as most bodybuilders do. The majority neglect density almost completely because they are brainwashed into believing that heavy weights build the most muscle. Even we’ve fallen into that trap before. That’s why when we first tried an all-10×10 program, we each packed on more than 5 pounds of muscle. We thought we’d found the Holy Grail of muscle building…
However, gains quickly subsided and began to regress—because now we had been neglecting the POWER component. The moral is that if you use a total-10×10 program like the first program outlined in The Ultimate 10×10 Mass Workout with only the ultimate exercise for each muscle, use it for only 3 to 4 weeks (our gains began to regress after week 4). Then go back to a balanced attack or even a power-oriented workout.
A good, balanced attack is the Heavy/Light 10×10 Mass Workout later in the 10×10 e-book. On that one, you do a heavy, straight-set POF workout for a muscle—power—then the next time you train it, you do only the big exercise for 10×10—a total 10-minute density mass blitz. Balanced power/density for major muscle immensity!
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
If you want to build muscle (of course you do!) and ramp up your testosterone levels while burning a ton of fat at the same time, you need to try this workout if you haven’t already…
–> Use this cutting-edge cardio trick to boost testosterone and muscle growth
Note: This is NOT traditional HIIT or boring steady-state cardio