Q: Pre-Ex 3X works! Condensing the workload with prefatigue supersets is an incredible mass stimulator. I’m seeing it happen after only a few workouts, and the pump is unreal. One question: Do you think it might be advantageous to do lower reps on both exercises, like sevens with heavier weight instead of 10s? Doing 10 reps on both exercises back to back seems to wear me out before the third superset.
A: Studies indicate that a person’s optimal rep number can be dependent on body type. Thicker mesomorphs, like Mike Mentzer or Branch Warren, can do better with lower reps, while skinnier ectomorphic types build muscle best with slightly higher reps.
In many of Mentzer’s training booklets that included preex, he wrote, “Select weights in your exercises that allow for at least six good positive reps; then continue with several more negative reps.”
So after six reps his partner would lift the weight, and he would lower slowly under control for another three or four negatives.
His first six reps were controlled: “Both the raising and lowering of the weight should take at least four seconds to ensure that the work was done by the muscles alone.”
That means his first six reps took about 24 seconds, and then he would add negatives to the end—another 15 to 20 seconds. So even though he used heavier weights for lower reps, he still extended his muscle tension time beyond 40 seconds most of the time.
And that’s precisely why I recommend 10 reps when you’re not including intensity tactics like end-of-set negatives. With 10 reps at four seconds per rep you’re getting 40 seconds of tension time.
If you have a partner, try Mentzer’s lower-rep preex supersets plus negatives. It’s a great change-to-gain strategy.
If you train alone, you can use lower-rep sets with rest/pause, as described in the Pre-Ex e-book. That is, do six, rest 10 seconds, and then do five. Immediately move to the compound exercise, and use the same R/P style. Do that for three rounds with 40 seconds between rounds.
Pre-Ex 3X Superset
Lateral raises (R/P) 3 x 6(4)
Presses (R/P) 3 x 6(4)
That’s one more Pre-Ex variation for major mass creation.
Note: You can get The Pre-Ex 3X Mass Workout at www.X-Workouts.com.
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