Connect
To Top


Try the Rhythm Method for More Muscle Hypertrophy


Q: Your Progressive-Speed 4X concept has really helped me get bigger and stronger in only the four weeks I’ve been using it. I’ve been doing mostly compound exercises, with X-centric on the first set, two standard sets, and speed on the last one. I notice you’ve been doing two X-centric sets instead of one. Is that better?

A: It’s not necessarily better—just another variation. You can use any of those tempos within a 4X or even 3X framework.

For example, I often end my chest work with incline dumbbell presses, but my pecs are so hammered that four sets seems like overkill. So I do only three, like this:

Set 1: X-centric—lift in one second and lower in six for about 9 reps

Set 2: X-centric—the same tempo again for about 7.

Set 3: X-celeration—a final set with speed, with each rep lasting 1.5 seconds, for about 12.

Of course you can do only the first set as X-centric and the last two as X-celeration sets. Or X-centric, standard and X-celeration. It’s up to you. The point is to vary the tempo.

According to Olympic coach, muscle-building expert and IM scribe Charles Poliquin, “Slow-speed lifting [like X-centric] brings about more metabolic adaptations than high-speed lifting does. [It’s] also associated with increases in muscle glycogen, CP, ATP, ADP, creatine, phosporylase, PFK and Krebs cycle enzyme activity. Training at faster speeds does not induce those changes. Also, performing slow reps builds the connection between the mind and muscle.”

Faster-speed lifting tends to engage more muscle fibers, thickening the myofibrils, but slower-speed lifting can enhance that as well as encourage size gains via the above “metabolic adaptations.”

Back to Poliquin: “Pierre Roy, a national weightlifting coach in Canada, told me that he was using five-second eccentric contractions for sets of six reps in preparatory training periods when he wanted one of his lifters to gain size.”

[Note: Many facets of negative-accentuated training, with sample programs, are covered in The X-centric Mass Workout e-book, available at X-Workouts.com.]

—Steve Holman

Editor’s note: For more on X-centric sets and moderate-weight growth-threshold 4X mass training, see The 4X Mass Workout 2.0 and The Ultimate Super-Size Crash Course, e-books available at X-Workouts.com. For e-books on X Reps, fat-loss nutriton and bodypart specialization, visit the X-Shop at X-Rep.com.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Latest

  • Muscle/Training Research

    Fail First, Then Grow Should you fail before you even really get started? At least two scientific studies say yes. In...

    Sharon OrtigasFebruary 17, 2017
  • Five Foods For Muscle

    To add more mass, try adding these underrated foods to your plate. By Team Iron Man   If putting on muscle...

    Sharon OrtigasFebruary 16, 2017
  • Fat Loss Research

    “Cap” The Calories Turns out the burning sensation you get from chili peppers isn’t just for your taste buds. Capsaicin—the culprit...

    Sharon OrtigasFebruary 14, 2017
  • Core Values

    Doug Miller is serious about bringing transparency, efficacy, and integrity to the supplement industry. By Mike Carlson   “Necessity is the...

    Sharon OrtigasFebruary 13, 2017
  • Fall Guy

    By Amanda Burrill, MS   The holidays are approaching and out to try and derail your diet, but there are ways...

    Sharon OrtigasFebruary 10, 2017
  • What The Pros Take

    Five world-class athletes share their daily supplement programs. By Mike Carlson   The quest for a lean and muscular body is...

    Sharon OrtigasFebruary 9, 2017
  • ThreePeat or Mr. Consistent

    Olympia Men’s Physique champion Jeremy Buendia makes history—again. By Mike Carlson   PQ: “It is our responsibility to be a good...

    Sharon OrtigasFebruary 8, 2017
  • Frida Paulsen Stern

    Amazing abs and hypnotic stage presence makes this young Bikini pro an exciting addition to the IFBB ranks. Interview by Mike...

    Sharon OrtigasFebruary 7, 2017
  • Back Attack

    Unleash your inner beast with a smart and technical program that mixes hypertrophy with functionality. By Mike Carlson   Everyone loves...

    Sharon OrtigasFebruary 6, 2017