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…]
You know the stereotype of the grumpy old man. Sometimes it fits me like a glove.
Take this muscle-building thing, for example. Last October I significantly upgraded my pathetic home gym with a multi-functional cable unit. [Read more…]
I’ve mentioned that Mr. America and Drug-Free Mr. Universe Doug Brignole has been training differently lately. He’s now 62 years old—my age.
Here’s a nice sun’s-out-guns-out shot of him before judging a Muscle Beach contest in 2018 (Tony Redding photo)… [Read more…]
Lately, I’ve been harping on the perfect resistance curve, mostly because I know the key ideal-exercise factors create efficiency of effort in the gym to build muscle quickly…
At my age, I don’t have time to waste with workouts longer than about 40 minutes 3 days a week. The lifetime finish line is looming… [Read more…]
In a previous newsletter I mentioned range of motion and how a target muscle is strongest near its stretch point and weakest at full contraction… [Read more…]
Q: I’m 42 years old, on the thin side, and have been training for several years. I want to know if I’ll overtrain by taking my work sets to failure and then adding X-Rep partials to the end. Some experts seem say it will cause burnout and that you have to be juiced to stand that style of training. I’m natural, so I wonder how it would affect me. I want to buy your new X-Rep Update #1 ebook, but I don’t want the program and methods to be too much for me to handle.
A: Steve is over 60 years old and still making great gains with X Reps and X-hybrid tactics. He’s been thin all his life—his starting bodyweight was less than 120 pounds; however, with 3D Positions of Flexion training he restructured his physique—and by adding X Reps and X-hybrid techniques in his 40s, his muscles have gotten bigger and better (no steroids)… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve had phenomenal muscle-size gains and strength increases since switching over to X Reps. I gained five pounds my first month with them! My question is, Do those build more of the myofibril strands or sarcoplasm fluid [in the muscle fibers] that you guys have been talking about? And can I use X Reps on 4X sequences?
A: For the uninitiated, X Reps are eight-inch partials you do in the semi-stretch position at the end of a set to failure. For example, when no more full-range reps are possible on incline presses, you lower the bar to about two inches off your chest and fire up to just below the halfway point for about three to four controled X-Rep explosions… [Read more…]
Q: Thank you for clearing up the muscle-growth mystery for me. I always believed in going heavier and heavier to get bigger. Now I know that’s only a small part of the puzzle. Working in the 4X method, X Reps, drop sets, and even some of your high-rep TORQ sets has already gotten me bigger in just a few weeks. My question is, Do you think some people get a better size response from power training and others get more size from density [endurance] work?
A: Absolutely. As we mentioned in a previous newsletter, the BIGGEST powerlifters don’t train for sarcoplasmic (endurance fluid) expansion yet have good muscle size. That’s because they were big dudes in the first place, which may signify more myofibril-building capacity. That would explain their extraordinary strength. The myofibrils are the actin-myosin strands inside the muscle fiber that generate force, but for most trainees that’s not the key to ULTIMATE SIZE… [Read more…]
Q: I need to build up the inside of my chest, the cleavage, so to speak. A training friend told me that really squeezing and flexing at the bottom of cable crossovers will get my inner pecs popping. Is that true?
A: While full-range cable crossovers can help develop the entire pec muscle—even the inner sections—believe it or not, the BEST way to attack that insertion point of the target muscle is by emphasizing stretch overload… [Read more…]
We often look back through our ebooks for motivation and to find mass-boosting techniques we haven’t used in a while. We recently reminded ourselves about Stage Sets from our second e-book, Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building, which also discusses the X-Fade technique, Double-X Overload and X/Pause. When we first used Stage Sets and other X-hybrid techniques within the program outlined in that e-book, we each gained 10 pounds on top of our previous year’s great gains. Definitely something to add back into the mix once in a while when you have a training partner… [Read more…]