If you’ve watched the male gymnasts during the Olympics before, you no doubt noticed their eye-popping upper-body mass. Some have delts, arms, and torsos that resemble competitive bodybuilders’. Very impressive, especially considering that muscle mass isn’t one of their goals; it’s just a side effect of their sport…[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: What’s better, rest/pause or drop sets, and what’s the difference? I mean, I know what they are; you rest about 10 seconds between rest/pause sets using the same weight, but with drop sets you
A: We’ve found that rest/pause is best for exercises that use max force as their key growth component (midrange and stretch movements). It’s a great way to add a little more volume and force overload without too much extra time in the gym. The short rest of 10-15 seconds allows ATP and nerve pathways to regenerate somewhat so you can continue the force-overload assault.[Read more…]
Q: You’ve mentioned an animal study that produced a 300 percent muscle mass increase after only a month of stretch workouts. That’s truly incredible. Is there more info? How do I duplicate those stretch procedures in my workouts to get that kind of muscle growth?
A: We refer to that animal study by Antonio and Gonyea in many of our X-Rep e-books, but the most extensive analysis was in X-Rep Update #1. Here’s a quote from Jose Antonio, Ph.D., from that e-book: [Read more…]
Q: I just read your X-Rep Update #1 e-book and also your Ultimate 10×10 Mass Workout. I am thoroughly impressed. What great info. I learned a lot and am applying many of your methods. I was especially intrigued by the fascia-expansion workout in X Update. It makes sense to end a bodypart routine by supersetting the contracted-position exercise with a stretch one to make room for extra growth to happen; however, I can’t superset in my crowded gym. What do you think about just ending each bodypart workout with 10×10 on a stretch-position exercise to expand the fascia?
A: Man, we love it when trainees use their heads and come up with a killer idea. That’s an excellent way to use 10×10 to get major muscle expansion, one we hadn’t originally considered. It’s an ideal solution for trainees who want to continue to use heavy weight on the big exercises, but still add on 10×10 to get a BIG bang in muscle gains… [Read more…]
Q: I’m using the full Positions-of-Flexion delt routine [from the 3D Muscle Building e-book], but my shoulders still suck. I do dumbbell upright rows (midrange), incline one-arm laterals (stretch), and standing laterals (contracted). I also do dumbbell presses after that and bent-over laterals [for rear delts]. I do two working sets for each exercise. I’m wondering if I should add more exercises and more sets. Or should I just train harder?
A: It sounds like you’re pretty frustrated, so you’re probably blasting your delts damned hard already. Training harder probably isn’t the solution.
How about increasing volume? A few more sets may produce more mass; however, before you go that route, which can sap recovery ability, we suggest you try some exercise manipulation… [Read more…]
Q: I’m using an X-Rep-based routine in the X-Rep Update #1 ebook I picked up a couple weeks ago, but do I have to use Static Contraction (StatC) sets to get the best results from it? I feel like an idiot holding a weight in the flexed position [on contracted-position exercises]. People at my gym look at me weird. LOL!
A: You don’t have to use any of the tactics if you aren’t comfortable with them or if they cause any embarrassing gym moments. BUT… Are you going to let what other people think slow down your gains?