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Mr. Olympia Muscle: The Truth

The Mr. Olympia is this weekend, which reminds me that many bodybuilders are still confused about building EXTREME muscle size that you see on these massive guys…

While most pro bodybuilders are strong, they DO NOT train for strength to get BIG. If you don’t believe it, check out this quote from one of the greatest–and strongest–Mr. Olympias of all time, Ronnie Coleman (pictured here with Jay Cutler). You may have seen Coleman benching 500 and pulling 800-pound deadlifts on his videos–more for show than to grow:

“I know I was doing singles and doubles in those lifts you saw me do, but that was mainly for the DVD to make it more exciting. Usually I always did my sets in the 10-12 rep range, because that’s what made me grow best.”

What about four-time Mr. O Jay Cutler? Well, he has some gargantuan wheels, yet he says he hasn’t squatted over 405 since he was 19 years old. And these days it’s often less than that because he begins his quad work with high-rep leg extensions.

Even top IFBB pro Johnnie Jackson, who is also a competitive powerlifter, says that when he trains ultra-heavy with low reps exclusively, he gets smaller, not bigger. Why? Lack of tension time—he’s emphasizing only myofibrillar growth and getting almost zero sarcoplasmic stimulation with all-heavy workouts. He must switch to using more reps and/or short rests between sets to look like a bodybuilder for physique competition.

So don’t be brainwashed into believing it’s all about pushing more weight. It is if you’re after STRENGTH. But if you want extreme muscle SIZE, you need more emphasis on extending tension time and doing more work in less time–or density intensity. That’s how to build muscle immensity.

Stay tuned, train smart and be Built for Life.

Note: If you’re interested in more on Coleman’s and Cutler’s workout styles, they are included in  Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building: “Analyzing Mr. Olympia’s Workout From an X-Rep Perspective” (Coleman–20 reps on the Nautilus lateral-raise machine? Shocking stuff.) and X-Rep Update #1 : “Mr. O’s Wild X-O Workouts” (Cutler–more moderate weights, lots of partial reps and 12 to 20 reps per set. Interesting.) You can get those two e-books, as well as The Ultimate Mass Workout, for only $24.99. That’s correct–not a typo–you get ALL 3 big info-packed e-books for only $24.99–the lowest price ever. Go HERE to check it out.

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