In past newsletters, I’ve mentioned how you should be aware of and account for the indirect work smaller muscles get when you train larger ones… [Read more…]
Q: You’ve quoted Mike Mentzer a lot, and your current workouts are similar to his. But you’ve also featured Arnold’s training and mentioned that your Positions-of-Flexion method has some roots with him. Do you agree more with the Heavy Duty high-intensity approach or Arnold’s volume style? [Read more…]
Yesterday I mentioned that once Mike Mentzer retired from bodybuilding and began training drug-free bodybuilders, he got rid of forced and negative reps. They were too demanding, creating way too much damage… [Read more…]
Q: I’m in my early 40s. I’ve been lifting on and off for years, but I haven’t built a lot of muscle. I’m going to start the Old Man Young, Muscle workouts, but I’m wondering if I should do more sets since I’m younger than you are?
A: When it comes to individual volume tolerance, there are a number of factors other than age that you should consider. For example, are you a muscular athletic type—a.k.a. a mesomorph?
Since you said you haven’t built a lot of muscle, my guess is that you’re probably like me and more of a thinner ectomorph type. [Read more…]
Q: I saw a study by Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D., that showed training a muscle twice a week produced more mass gains than training a muscle once a week. I like training each muscle once a week and seem to make good gains, but I want to build mass as fast as possible. Should I switch to a different split to hit each muscle twice a week?
A: It was a “meta-analysis,” which means the researchers looked at multiple studies to come to their conclusion. Schoenfeld was one of the authors, and he is a favorite of ours because [Read more…]
Q: I want to thank you for putting together the Freak-Physique e-book. What a blockbuster resource of training information and programs. I’m using the 3D Power Pyramid Program. The quote from the trainee who gained so much muscle and strength in only a few weeks using it got me stoked. My question is, I’m more of a train-each-bodypart-once-a-week guy, so can I use it that way instead of training each bodypart twice a week? If so, how should I adjust it?
A: First, you picked a great program. We get lots of positive feedback on the 3D Power Pyramid because it’s simple Positions-of-Flexion methodology but you add weight over three sets on the big midrange move (pyramid), and do only one set each of the stretch- and contracted-position exercises. It’s basically a POF strength-building workout with a big muscle-size side effect. [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…]
Q: You guys have so many different programs and mass tactics. Should I just pick a routine I like, do it for five weeks, then pick another? For example, I’m thinking about using 4X Mass Workout. Then I could go to Power-Density. Thoughts?
A: That can work very well. As we always say, change to gain. But when we say that, we are primarily talking about tactics, not exercises…[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: You guys don’t seem to like training each muscle only once a week like a lot of pro bodybuilders. How come?
A: More muscle-training frequency is a BIG size stimulator, especially for drug-free trainees—if you do it correctly. Many pros can get away with training each bodypart with excessive volume only once a week because of genetic superiority and, of course, excessive drug use. In fact, if you look back at the best bodybuilders of yesteryear, when steroid use was minimal, training each bodypart THREE times a week was the norm prior to a contest. It’s a bit of a forgotten muscle-size trick… [Read more…]