Showing posts from April, 2009

Hot Wings

"Hey James, hope this finds you well. In reading your first book, you recommend doing straight arm pulldowns for the 'V' shape. I don't have access to a lat machine, as I train at home. Is there a replacement movement?"

Greg S.

My Answer: If you're working out at home, and you don't have a cable machine, then you can substitute barbell rows for the stiff-arm pulldowns. For these barbell rows, however, you should use an underhand grip on an EZ-curl bar. It's not the greatest back exercise, but after pull-ups and pullovers, any back exercise will make your lats burn.

Olympic Lifting and Hypertrophy Work

Q:I am a 51 year old Homicide detective for the City of Philadelphia. I also have done Olympic lifting on and off since my teen years. I have read your many articles and ordered your books. I enjoy your writings very much.

What would you suggest for an old head like me who would like to still compete (Masters) in the Olympic lifts but want to add some muscle and strength? Most of my training is at home, so I am limited to a full Olympic set, dumbbells, squat racks and kettlebells.

Any advice and or routines would be greatly appreciated. Keep up the great work. I know this has been a very tough year for Police Officers.....please be safe and continue the good fight


My Answer: Good to hear from you detective. Yes, this really has been a tough year for law enforcement, and I can only imagine it's been a rough one for you guys at the Homicide Unit in Philly. I answered your exact same question for someone else, so here's what I told him.

1) You can use my Shotgun M…

Pyramid Training 2.0

"I've been doing your 10-8-6-15 routine with the six exercises for about six weeks now, with pretty good results. I think it's time to shake things up a bit, but don't know what to do to next to keep up my momentum. Any ideas?"

Thanks so much for your help!

My Answer: Try one of these: A Program for All Seasons.

Boy, I've been getting a lot of these emails asking for a follow-up program to the 10-8-6-15. I've been thinking about writing a follow-up article which will take pyramid training to the next level, so keep an eye out for this.

Pyramid Training Best for Ectomorphs?

Q: "I tried finding out where to post on your blog, but I couldn't see where to sign up. I just have a quick question, and I hope you can help. I am an ectomorph. I'm 20 years old, 138 lbs. and 6'1". Are pyramid sets the best thing I can do to gain muscle? Also I do a split routine and workout 4 times a week with about 2-3 exercises per muscle group. Does this sound ok? I'm thinking about doing the same exercises and trying the pyramid sets. Do you have any advice?"


My Answer: Nick, you obviously read my 10-8-6-15 article. Re-read the article. I outline every reason why you should NOT be doing a split routine and why you should stick with ONE exercise per muscle group.

Pyramid training is not necessarily the best program to gain muscle, but the 10-8-6-15 article does tell you how an ectomorph should train. If you're going to do the same exercises you've always done but on a pyramid scheme, then forget the split routine and …

Size, Size, Size

Q: I need help in widening my lats. I have tried many kinds of techniques, but all those exercises and techniques never work for me to widen my lats. My other body part I can manage to build muscle on my other body parts except for my lats. Can you guide me to which exercise is the best, and please give me a proper workout plan? Thanks.


My Answer: Can I guide you to which exercise is the best for lat development? Will I give you a proper workout plan for the back? I already did, Simon: Wingspan Workouts.

Q: I have a question about drop sets: How many drop sets are suitable for biceps and triceps if I do NO other biceps and triceps exercises during that particular workout?

Today I did 2 triceps drop sets with a rest of 4 minutes between them. That wasn't very heavy. Maybe I could take 3-4 sets? Are 4 minutes rest enough? A typical biceps drop set looks like this for me: 16 kg - 15 kg - 12 kg - 10 kg - 9 kg. I choose weights that I can lift 5-6 times.


My An…