Monthly Archives: December 2012

TWG 77: The Process of Goal Setting

2012 is fast drawing to a close so The Wellness Guys sit down to talk about their goal for 2013. Rather than just talk about goal setting in theory The Guys decided to give a real life example. This episode … Continue reading

The Arnold Press for Building Shoulders

www.ironmanmagazine.comQ: What do you think of the Arnold press for developing the shoulders and of dumbbell shoulder presses in general?

A: The Arnold press is a fine exercise—and because the hands don’t reach full pronation until the top of the movement, it could be considered a more natural movement and easier on the shoulders.

As a strength coach, I’ve found that the seated dumbbell shoulder press is a powerful diagnostic tool. I use the ratio of the seated dumbbell overhead press to the bench press as a method of assessing structural balance. Specifically, the weight performed for eight reps on each dumbbell should represent 29 percent of the weight you can lift in the close-grip bench press. So a man able to close-grip bench about 220 pounds for a single would use a pair of 65s for eight reps on seated dumbbell overhead presses.


Quick Hangover Helper

www.ironmanmagazine.comAccording to an item by Marianne J. Legato, M.D., in the August ’12 Prevention, the best thing you can do for a hangover after a night of hard partying is drink strong  tea with honey: “The caffeine constricts the blood vessels in your head and relieves some of the pain while the honey helps break down the alcohol more quickly.”



Hair: New Head Gains

www.ironmanmagazine.comMany older men take saw palmetto supplements for prostate health. It comes from a small palm tree native to Florida and similar tropical environments.

Now there may be another reason to take saw palmetto: new hair growth.

According to the May/June ’12 Well Being Journal, Colorado researchers gave either saw palmetto or a placebo to 20 men, aged 23 to 64, who had mild hair loss.

Among those who took the supplement, 60 percent showed improved coverage and thickness. The authors concluded, “This pilot study showed significant hair-restoration benefits.”

—Becky Holman


Cannonball Delts

www.ironmanmagazine.comQ: I need some new exercises to get my delts growing. I do tons of standing and seated laterals and also machine laterals. My shoulders look decent, but they just don’t have that cannonball effect.

A: I know what you mean. No matter how much I improve my shoulders, I still fight at every workout to make my delts look like the melons on guys like Dennis Wolf, Kevin Levrone and Phil Heath. Your question reminds me of Einstein’s definition of insanity: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

I’m amazed at how many trainees are willing to keep pounding away on the same exercises week after week, month after month, with little to no results. Of course the standard dumbbell, cable and machine laterals work extremely well at building the side heads of the delts for many, but you have recognized that in your case they’re not getting the job done. (Kudos to you.)

Before I give you a few new movements to sink your teeth into, I must point out that there may be other areas in your overall program that could also be responsible for holding back your gains. First, make sure your nutrition and supplementation are on point and that you’re getting adequate rest. Also, are you performing laterals correctly and in a way that truly targets the  side heads? I’ve witnessed some extremely poor execution in my time, with so much swinging of weights that it’s the lower back that takes a beating, not the shoulders. You can also try training shoulders on their own day, switching up rep schemes, lifting tempos, intensity techniques and more.

Okay, now for a few novel ways you can attack your side delts:

1) Very-wide-grip upright rows. When most people perform upright rows, they use a narrow grip and bring their hands up to about mouth level. That stimulates the midtraps and front delts. If you widen your grip to a little beyond your shoulders and bring the bar no higher than your upper chest, you strongly target the lateral-delt heads.

2) Leaning one-arm dumbbell or cable laterals. This is not so much a unique exercise as a change in the resistance curve for stimulating somewhat different motor unit pools. Grab a dumbbell or low cable with one hand, and with the other grasp some type of sturdy support. Position your feet close to the support so that when you allow your nonworking arm to straighten, you will be “leaning away” at a significant angle. That will increase the resistance at the top of the strength curve and force a deeper contraction than you get with basic laterals.

3) Incline one-arm laterals. This is the opposite of exercise 2. Again, you will be altering the resistance curve of the exercise; however, this time you will need greater force to get the dumbbell moving at the beginning of the movement. The result is a different stress for your central nervous system and the ability to exhaust even more motor unit pools. To perform this exercise, set an incline bench at about 45 degrees. Grab a light dumbbell—15 or 20 pounds—and lie sideways on the bench. Keep the working arm almost completely straight and never let the dumbbell come in contact with your body—think constant tension! Raise the weight slowly until your arm is at a 90 degree angle to your torso, and then fight the weight hard on the way down. Stop when it’s two inches from contacting the side of your thigh-and-hip area..

An awesome superset that will totally trash your side delts is exercise 3 to failure, followed immediately by exercise 2 to failure, about 10 reps each.

Write back to me soon and let me know if you’re having trouble fitting through doorways! —Eric Broser


Editor’s note: Eric Broser’s new DVD “Power/Rep Range/Shock Max-Mass Training System” is available at His e-books, Power/Rep Range/Shock Workout and The FD/FS Mass-Shock Workout, which include complete printable workout templates and Q&A sections, are available at


Max Muscle With Power-Density: Combo-to-Grow Workout Tip

IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #720:
Max Muscle With Power-Density: Combo-to-Grow Workout Tip


Max Muscle With Power-Density: Combo-to-Grow Workout Tips

Q: In the 3-exercise Positions-of-Flexion version of the Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout [pages 25-28] you have power sets on the big exercise followed by 4X density on that same big exercise. I like that, but you end each bodypart with drop sets on the contracted exercise. Can I use 4X instead of the drop sets on the last contracted-position move too? I love 4X.

A: Absolutely. The key to the Power-Density protocol is to go power + density (midrange), power (stretch), density (contracted). For example, for triceps you do…

Midrange: Close-grip bench presses, (pyramid) 2 x 8, 6; (4X) 4 x 10
Stretch: Overhead extensions, (heavy) 2 x 8-10
Contracted: Pushdowns, (double drop) 1 x 10(7)(5)

A double-drop for pushdowns is: Hit failure around rep 10, reduce weight, immediately go to failure, reduce weight, go to failure one last time…

To use 4X instead, take your 15RM weight, but only do 10. Rest 35 seconds, then do it again. Continue for four sets and go all out on the fourth–get as many as you can. Either DENSITY style is excellent for a final GROWTH-THRESHOLD blood bath.

Q: I really like the BASIC Power-Density Mass Workout [pages 12-14]. Only doing one or two basic exercise for each muscle with power plus density sounds like a good, quick program since I’m short on time. Will those condensed workouts really build mass after I’ve been using Positions of Flexion [midrange, stretch and contracted exercises]?

A: If you’re short on time, you don’t have a choice. The good news is that it may be exactly what you need for super-compensation and a NEW mass…

The body is a highly adaptable organism–but doing too much for too long can produce slow to no progress–a.k.a. overtraining. Remember, overtraining can be a cumulative thing; it can take weeks to finally body-slam you into a rut.

You may be close, so now is a great time to pare back the volume–but still cover the POWER-DENSITY bases with ONLY the key exercises.
For example, your entire chest routine is:

Decline presses, (pyramid) 3 x 9, 7, 5; (4X) 4 x 10

Now if you’re a bench-press hound, you could do a power pyramid on flat-bench presses and 4X density on decline dumbbell presses. The routine is flexible–just stick to the big exercises, one or two per muscle. The shoulder routine in the BASIC workout is a good example of a two-move attack…

Dumbbell presses, (pyramid) 3 x 9, 7, 5-6
DB upright rows, (4X) 4 x 10

You do one or two exercises for each major muscle group–Power followed by Density. Simple size building. Oh, and when you go back to 3-way Positions of Flexion, the stretch- and contracted-position exercises will trigger new adaptation–which means you a new burst of GROWTH.

Q: In the BASIC Power-Density Mass Workout you have V-handle pulldowns as the only lat exercise. I know you I.D. that as the Ultimate Exercise for lats in The Ultimate Mass Workout e-book, but those hurt my forearm. Can I do regular [pronated-grip] chins instead?

A: Yes, but you won’t be able to do both Power and Density for chins–unless you’re freakishly strong on that exercise…

We suggest chins for Power and regular pulldowns for Density, like this…

Chins, (pyramid) 3 x 9, 7, 5-6
Pulldowns, (4X) 4 x 10

Of course, if you’re a freak, you can go ahead and do a 4X sequence on chins after your power sets. But most trainees will need less than bodyweight, so pulldowns is the answer. Power plus Density for muscle immensity.

Till next time, train hard–and smart–for BIG results.

–Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson


ALERT: $15 Power-Density e-book…

The Power-Density Mass Workout e-book is only $15 for a limited time. It’s jam-packed with power-density workouts that include the 4X mass method as well as standard power pyramids. Lots of mass-building tips and tricks too. For more info, GO HERE: Power-Density e-book <==


LIMITED-TIME $14.99 to $19.99 BEST-SELLERS: We’re offering each of these at their lowest price ever to get you big and ripped by spring. Click on the title you’re interested in for more info…

1) The 4X Mass Workout–fast, simplified supersaturation training for X-treme size

2) The X-traordinary X-Rep Workout–the latest update to our original X e-book

3) The X-centric Mass Workout–the negative-accentuated training manual

4) The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout–total body transformation training

5) X-traordinary Muscle-Building Workouts–10 complete mass programs

6) X-traordinary Arms–includes the 3D HIT workout system with big-arms routines

7) 3D Muscle Building–the original Positions-of-Flexion mass-training manual

8) X-treme Lean—Fat-Burning and Nutrition Guide (with training too)

9) The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

10) The Ultimate 10×10 Mass Workout

To follow the ITRC training program in “Train, Eat, Grow,” get a copy of the latest issue of IRON MAN.

This Special Report was submitted by Jonathan Lawson and Steve Holman.
The IRON MAN Training & Research Team

The ITRC Training Newsletter is not intended as training advice for everyone. You must consult your physician before beginning any diet or training program. You may forward this email to as many friends as you want, but do not photocopy or reprint this report in any format without the written permission of the copyright holder.

Help us build the IRON MAN Research Team — Tell a friend! If you know someone who would benefit from Supplement Updates, Diet Tips and Freebies, forward them this e-zine or tell them to visit us at and click on FREE Training Newsletter.

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All Content (c) Copyright 2012 IRON MAN Magazine
All Rights Reserved


Dressed to Kill—the Weights

www.ironmanmagazine.comWhat do you wear when you train? Some people would scoff at that question, as if putting any thought into it makes you less hardcore. There are those who pride themselves on being as “bummy” as possible—old, stained generic sweats that wouldn’t look out of place at your local homeless shelter. A real man doesn’t need any special clothing to train hard!

While that may technically be true, plenty of so-called real men and bodybuilding greats have found that certain apparel choices actually have a positive effect on their performance in the gym. Think back to the Golden Eagle, Tom Platz, who to this day has yet to be eclipsed in terms of lower-body development. On leg day he ritualistically donned tight yellow or red sweatpants, as they gave him a psychological boost for feats in the squat rack that would kill most men.

Six-time Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates was known to have certain shirts and pants that he wore on chest day, back day, etc. Superstition? Not exactly. Each outfit was selected for comfort and ease of movement in specific exercises. And if you’ve seen any of Ronnie Coleman’s DVDs, you know he has a unique style. A lot of what he wears would look good only on a man of such monstrous proportions, plus few of us could get away with the loud colors, stripes and tights that Ronnie is partial to without being ridiculed.

Personally, I like to dress well in the gym, as I consider it more like my office than a place to exercise. I take my workouts very seriously, so I prefer to look sharp when training. And I’m far from the only one. It’s common these days to see serious trainers decked out in the height of gym fashion—because it’s another way of taking pride in their bodies. Why would you work so hard to have an exceptional physique and not showcase it in stylish fitness gear? I know I feel more confident when I’m dressed well. Most people do. So why limit that to your workplace or a  nightclub?

You don’t need to spend a ton of money or go to great lengths to be the best-dressed person at your gym. Simply putting a little consideration into what you wear can make a big difference. When you look good, you hold your head higher, and that  confidence is a powerful part of doing your best in any endeavor.



Q&A: Should I add wrist curls to the end of an arm workout?

www.ironmanmagazine.comQ: What do you think about adding wrist curls to the end of an arm workout?

A: It’s a good idea—in fact, you might even consider doing them at the beginning of a workout! When bodybuilders complain that they can’t add mass or strength to their elbow flexors, I often suggest that they add some direct grip and forearm work.

Adding direct forearm and grip work to your workout regimen will make your curling poundages go up. You’ll find that forearm muscles such as the flexor carpi radialis contribute to elbow flexion. Consequently, strengthening the forearm muscles leads to enhanced biceps and brachialis development. That’s not a recent discovery—elite bodybuilders of the 1960s were known for having great forearms and being able to handle Herculean weights on curling exercises.

The late Chuck Sipes won the ’60 IFBB Mr. Universe and placed second to Sergio Oliva in the ’67 Mr. Olympia. At 5 ’9 1/2” Sipes had 19 1/2-inch arms. He said, “Every bodybuilder should work the forearms regularly as part of their workouts. I worked in sawmills and lumberjacking when I was younger, and this helped my development and strength quite a bit.” The bodybuilding legend practiced what he preached: Sipes could bench-press 570 pounds raw and perform barbell curls with 250.

In designing forearm workouts, I often superset two types of wrist curls with different forms of resistance to overload the entire strength curve, as follows:


A1) Palms-down dumbbell wrist curls,

2/0/1/0 tempo, 3 x 15-20

No rest

A2) Palms-down low-pulley wrist curls,

2/0/1/0 tempo, 3 x 15-20

Rest 120 seconds, go back to A1.


B1) Palms-up dumbbell wrist curls,

2/0/1/0 tempo, 3 x 15-20

No rest

B2) Palms-up low-pulley wrist curls,

2/0/1/0 tempo, 3 x 15-20

Rest 120 seconds, go back to B1

Editor’s note: Charles Poliquin is recognized as one of the world’s most suc-cessful strength coaches, having coached Olympic med-alists in 12 different sports, including the U.S. women’s track-and-field team for the 2000 Olympics. He’s spent years researching European journals (he’s fluent in English, French and German) and speaking with other coaches and scientists in his quest to optimize training methods. For more on his books, seminars and methods, visit Also, see his ad on page 131.   IM


Arnold’s Latest: Total Recall[Download a free issue of Iron Man Magazine for iPhone and iPad]

Is there any American immigrant story—or a life story anywhere—that approaches the level of accomplishment that Arnold Schwarzenegger has achieved in the past 40-plus years? The best bodybuilder, the biggest movie star and the governor of California, a state that has the sixth largest economy in the world. If his life’s achievements were a fictional tale, it would be dismissed as impossible, an example of the writer’s fantasy.

 Like fiction, however, it all started with Arnold’s imagination. With Arnold it always starts with want. He wanted to come to the United States because he believed that it held opportunity that could only be realized there, in America, where anything is possible. That vision of his future was made possible because of his love of bodybuilding.

Read the rest of the entry at John’s Blog


Food Facts

www.ironmanmagazine.comIce in your water that you drink during a meal can help reduce calorie load. Drinking water during your meal will make you feel fuller faster—and the cold water will force you to burn a few more calories as your body increases blood flow to stabilize your body temperature.

Fish oil caps, which are rich in omega-3s, can also help reduce appetite, according to the October ’11 Health. Taking two 200-milligram caps about 30 minutes before lunch and dinner helps release the hormone cholecystokinin, which helps alleviate appetite.

Grains may be making you fat. According to the May/June ’12 Well Being Journal, “Grains contain goitrogens, or thyroid-inhibiting substances, as well as ‘foreign proteins’ like gluten and gliadin, and they are an extremely common source of allergies and sensitivities that can lead to physical, mental and emotional disorders.” Whew! You may want to consider reducing or eliminating wheat from your diet, especially when you’re trying to rip up—or just stay sane.

Bananas can help fight depression. According to the January ’12 Bottom Line Health, bananas are a good source of tryptophan, a precursor of serotonin, the brain chemical that helps regulate mood.

—Becky Holman