Showing posts from June, 2012

Exercise and Diet Myths

James, I know I email the crap out of you, but I wanted to say thank you. I have never looked as good as I do now. All the respect to you.


My Answer: Thanks for the high praise, and kudos to you for sticking to my training principles.  A training program is only as good as the trainee's commitment to the program. 

I run into a lot of people who ask for advice all the time, but can never commit to acting on that advice.  It's kind of frustrating when I tell people to quit drinking sugary drinks, and they're sitting in front of me slurping a Monster energy drink saying, "I don't know why I can't lose fat."

It's not so much that people lack discipline that frustrates me.  I can understand when people don't want to work out or don't want to diet, because I myself lack discipline on things other than exercise.  Hell, plenty of people have seen me eat a pizza or a bag of chips and said, "Hey James, I thought you were Mr. Healthy?"


Quality Muscle

It's weird, but I have lost 10 lbs, and people say I look bigger. I have abs now and no love handles. Is it normal to look bigger and yet weigh less?

My Answer: Yes, this is perfectly normal.  Nobody gives a rat's ass as to how much you weigh.  You don't walk with a number on your forehead.  They're only impressed by how you look. 

If you're fat, then your fat is going to be inside and around your muscles.  Fat gives you size, but it doesn't give you the shape of muscularity.  Fat hides your muscles.  If you burn all the fat inside and around your muscles, then they will have shape.  The striations of your muscles will be clearly defined, and that definition makes you look bigger and more muscular.

Quality muscle, muscle that is hard and lean, is far more impressive than fat smooth muscle.

Heavy Light Compound Sets for Chest

OK, so I finished the 8x8 program and burned a lot of fat. Now I'm wanting to get on the 5x5 program. Is it okay to incorporate 2 exercises for [the] chest on my chest day instead of one? My chest is real wide but not very thick. Any suggestions on this at all? I was thinking of doing dumbbell flyes.


My Answer: Yes, you can add flyes to your chest workout.  You have 2 options:

1) Do 3 sets of 12 reps for flyes after your 5 sets of 5 reps for your chest.
2) Add flyes as a set extender to your 5 sets of 5 reps.  In other words, bench for 5 reps, immediately pick a pair of dumbbells and do 10 reps of flyes, rest.  So on and so forth until you achieve 5 compound sets.

Avoid Training Redundancy, Avoid Overtraining

Hi my name is Jay, and I am 6'5" tall about 195 to 200lbs and 15-17% body fat. I always did an endurance type of work out program, and now I want to build strength and gain some muscle mass. I am 34 and eat a relatively healthy diet. I was thinking about free weight strength training and my work out follows as such: Monday, Wednesday, Friday: Squats/Bench Press (super set)Deadlift/Military Press (super set)Bent Over  RowsCurlsTriceps workCore work Then after a little rest, I go to the park and do some calisthenics, which is done circuit style: pull ups, push ups, chin ups, squat jumps/lunge jumps.
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday: cardio (sprint interval training, handball) Sunday: Rest

Sets are 5 for the big lifts and 3 for other exercises. Reps 8-10. Would like to know what you think and if you have any advice, suggestions, or a better plan. Please, I'm all ears.
Thanks for your help, expertise, and guidance, Jay

My Answer: The first thing that stands out to me is that …

Build then Refine

Thanks James!  [I'm] enjoying your [training] methods and am using it to set an example for our senior school kids to fight the steroid craze in our school. I have taken part in competitions and would like to do it again using all your techniques and totally natural.  I would also appreciate any help or advice.
Regards, Pieter

My Answer: Hey Pieter, glad you and your students are benefiting from my training methods.  I'm not sure what sort of specific advice you're looking for, but you'll find plenty of general training advice in my books.  I'm writing up Volume 5 as we speak.  Volume 5 will showcase many of the exercises that I recommend for size and symmetry.

Bodybuilding is always a process of building muscle and refining muscle.  So you build muscle through Shotgun exercises and then you refine your muscle symmetry through Troubleshooting exercises.  It's like sculpting: you can't shape or mold what you don't have.  So you have to add on the clay or mu…