Showing posts from September, 2013

Perfecting the Power Clean

Q:How do I master the hang clean? How do I do the hip drive and the triple extension of the hips, knees, and the feet but not feel the arm soreness because of the heavy weight? I watched lots of videos teaching the hang clean from coach Mike Burgener, etc. Would you give me some advice?

Thank you so much for your time and kindness!

Take care,

My Answer: People tend to use the arms too much with hang cleans as opposed to power cleans.  Depending on your goals this may or may not be a good thing. If you're looking for overall mass development, then sloppy technique on the hang clean would be a good thing since it builds up the biceps, back and traps.

If you're looking to lift more weight on the hang clean, then you need to pay more attention to technique.  If you're feeling it more in the biceps, then you're doing more of a cheat curl as opposed to a hang clean. With cleans, you got to move your body around the bar, not move the weight around you.  You…

Do BCAAs Work in Building Muscle?

Hi James,

I was just reading the Email page on your site where you mention you will accept questions and answer them on your blog. This is really cool of you, and I have a question that's been bugging me for some time.

I work for a supplements retailer in the UK called Bodyfuel. I see a lot of athletes come and go and a lot of different opinions. One particular query has been coming up recently and no-one seems to know the answer. It relates to BCAAs. They seem to be the latest thing and very popular, but my question is this: Is it enough to take just BCAAs, or are other supplements also required?

As I understand it, BCAAs help my body use fat as energy and convert this to muscle, so with a good diet, I shouldn't need anything else to get lean and muscular. Would you agree with this, or do you have a different opinion?

Best regards,

My Answer: Why do I get the feeling you're just trying to promote your supplement website, Thomas? ;)  I personally have never got…

How to Gain Muscle and Not Look Bloated

Q: For ectomorphs who want to gain lean muscle while staying cut and avoiding the bloated look, what do you recommend when it comes to weights?  A lot of guys who have the gift of being naturally defined and lean tend to think that if they do high reps, with semi heavy weight, it will produce results.  Is there a better method to superior gains?

Answer: High reps will get you cut, but only if you do high reps with low rest periods.Ectomorphs tend to be naturally lean, however, so ectomorphs shouldn’t overemphasize high reps.

To get the ripped and muscular look, ectomorphs should concentrate on increasing muscle tone or the hardness of their muscles.Muscle tone comes muscle tension.The higher the tension, the greater the tone.The heavier the weight, the greater the muscular tension, and thus the greater the muscle tone.So if you’re an ectomorph then you should emphasize heavy weight with lower reps.This is will give you a hard and dense look, not the bloated look that many bodybuilders h…

Neo-Classical Bodybuilding for the Senior Bodybuilder

Q: I am retired NYPD. Little older now, ha ha. Your Hypertrophy for the Ectomorph program fits well into my abilities at this time. Happy to learn that reduced volume is best. I have a few old shoulder and elbow injuries that get aggravated by excessive volume. Nothing too serious, just annoying. Again, thank you for the program.  Which of your books do you recommend for a +65 guy?


My Answer: For the older bodybuilder I would suggest Neo-Classical Bodybuilding.  This book has a chapter on low volume training, which is more appropriate for senior bodybuilders.  This chapter reveals how that even though you train with low volume, you can still manipulate other program variables to sustain muscular growth.

Q: Just picked up a copy ofNeo-Classical Bodybuilding, but it is definitely not geared to beginners. Any advice or routines for a beginner?

My Answer: Make no mistake: most of my programs and books are meant for intermediate to advance trainees.  I don't dumb down my materia…