IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #646:
4X Plus Low Reps for Mega Mass?
TRY THIS AT YOUR NEXT WORKOUT
4X Plus Low Reps for Mega Mass?
Q: I seem to be at a plateau with the 4X mass method. My poundages haven't gone up in a while, although my muscle size has increased a lot since beginning 4X training. I was thinking about trying 4X with lower reps. Do you think that's a good idea?
A: It sounds like you're making a common mistake: Using strength as a barometer of muscle-size progress. If you're looking for more strength quickly, you may want to combine 4X sequences and standard heavy training, as we'll explain...
That's because the 4X method is not about building maximum strength, although you can gradually lift more weight. The 4X method is about packing on EXTREME SIZE--it's a max-mass-building system with a strength side effect…
Remember, the key to more size for most trainees is boosting the sarcoplasm, the energy fluid in the muscle fibers. That takes long tension times and/or shorter rests between sets. What about getting stronger?
Strength indicates that you are primarily building the myofibrils, the FORCE-generating strands in the muscle--not necessarily sarcoplasmic size. And it appears that the myofibrils are secondary when it comes to muscle mass...
Scientists are beginning to believe that the sarcoplasm is the major player in creating ultimate muscle size. So if you're interested primarily in getting BIGGER, you need to stress that energy fluid more. For more sarcoplasmic stress, you might consider reducing your rests between sets in a 4X sequence…
Rest reduction was one of Vince Gironda's get-bigger triggers. When the Iron Guru had trainees use moderate-weight, high-fatigue training, he would get them down to 20 seconds or less between sets. That added mass and burned fat, as Vince's physique shows (yes, we use this photo a lot, but it's pretty much how every guy wants his physique to look to attract lusty stares)…
Another way to progress with 4X is to increase volume--the more longer-tension-time sets you do, the more pressure you put on the sarcoplasm to adapt via expansion. We've found the best ways to do that include:
1) Do a drop set on the fourth--when you hit failure on set 4, reduce the weight and immediately rep out again (you can do one or two drops)
2) Use a rest/pause set after the fourth--when you hit failure on set 4, rest for 10 seconds, then rep out again (you can do one or two R/P sets)
3) Simply add a fifth set--after set four, rest 35 seconds, then hit a fifth set
Any of those will add very little time to your workout--very efficient.
Now, to address your question about lower reps on 4X, it might be a good diversion. And while the short rests between sets may do some good things for sarcoplasmic size, to get enough for major size increases with lower reps you'll have to jack up the volume...
For example, if you go down to seven reps, you may need six or seven sets to get enough sarcoplasmic stimulation from WORKLOAD ACCUMULATION. That's because the tension time of each set is only about 28 seconds (7 reps times 4 seconds per rep) instead of 40 (10 reps times 4 seconds)…
Keep in mind that you don't have to do all 4X all the time. We have other programs, like The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout, that combine heavier, lower-rep training with 4X to get you bigger and stronger. Many trainees find that to be the ultimate combo to grow routine.
Till next time, train hard--and smart--for BIG results.
Note: The 4X Mass Workout is only $19.99, available at the X-Workouts.com. The 4X companion e-books, The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout and The X-centric Mass Workout, are also only $19.99 each.
--Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
LIMITED-TIME $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 LeanFat-Burning and Nutrition Guide (with training too)
12) Eric Broser's FD/FS Mass-Shock Workout
Latest release: The 4X Mass WorkoutFast Simplified Supersaturation Training for X-treme Muscle Size. It’s how many pro bodybuilders get big AND ripped as fast as possible for contests and photo shoots. You can use it for a blast of new mass in only a few weeks--and the workouts are quick. Guaranteed or your money back. Limited-time discount offer HERE.
X-SHOP: Find our original X-Rep e-book, as well as X Updates and Positions-of-Flexion mass-training guides...
X-WORKOUTS: Find specialized e-workout programs, including Power-Density, 10x10 and Eric Broser’s Power/Rep Range/Shock....
NEW: The X-traordinary SIZE SURGE Workout, Jonathan Lawson’s legendary two-phase mass program that packed 20 pounds of muscle on his frame in only 10 weeks. See all the changes he made to the original workouts, transcribed from his training journal. In printable templates so you can duplicate his incredible gains. You also get his eat-to-grow diet and streamlined no-frills supplement schedule, anabolic acceleration methods and loads of tips and tricks. Plus, an interview with a top-level bodybuilder who trains Size Surge style for incredible growth.
Newbies: If you’re a beginning bodybuilder, coming back from a layoff or a trainer who trains beginners, our new e-book, Quick-Start Muscle-Building Guide, is for you.
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
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