Q: Because 4X mass training expands the sarcoplasm [energy fluid] in muscle fibers, is it necessary to get more carbs when I use 4X? To me it seems that heavy lower-rep training, which neglects the sarcoplasm and concentrates on the myofibrils, requires more protein to rebuild those strands. With 4X, though, you train both equally, so I’d think carbs are more necessary because glycogen is stored in the sarcoplasm of the fibers.
A: Interesting that you’d mention that. It’s something Mr. America Doug Brignole recently pointed out. He made great gains with his version of 4X mass training and said his results were even better when he increased his carbs, especially around his workouts.
He got better results no doubt for the very reason you mentioned: Moderate-weight, high-fatigue 4X training blasts both the myofibrils and the sarcoplasm. Most heavy-training systems stress mostly the myofibrils, but it’s the sarcoplasm where glycogen from carbs is stored. The more you stress and expand that energy fluid, the more carbs you need—if you want to get the biggest, fullest muscles possible.
On a personal note, at the beginning of the summer I thought I’d kick-start my fat burning by going to a whey postworkout shake that contained only 20 grams of carbs. Within a week my muscles were flatter and softer. Once I got back on my 60-grams-of-carbs postworkout protein mix with some creatine added, my size and hardness returned with a vengeance—and my pumps were off the charts too.
If you haven’t tried taking a higher fast-carb and fast-protein mix after you train, I strongly suggest you give it a go to grow! There are plenty of fast-carbs-and-fast-protein postworkout mixes out there. I use Muscle-Link’s RecoverX to refill, reload and rebuild because it’s here, sold through Home-Gym.com. You may still be able to get Muscle-Link’s special deal, two four-pound canisters of RecoverX for only $59.95–and you get a free 60-serving bottle of CreaSol, micronized creatine. I put that right in my RecoverX drink to take advantage of the insulin surge stimulated by the fast carbs.
Editor’s note: Steve Holman is the author of many bodybuilding best-sellers and the creator of Positions-of-Flexion muscle training. For information on the POF DVD and Size Surge programs, see the ad sections in this issue. Also visit www.X-Rep.com and X-Workouts.com for info on X-Rep, 4X and 3D POF methods and e-books. IM