IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #662:
3 Ways to Get Bigger and Stronger Now
TRY THIS AT YOUR NEXT WORKOUT
3 Ways to Get Bigger and Stronger Now
Q: I’ve been using an all-4X mass program for eight weeks, and I put on a lot of muscle the first six weeks. Now I feel like I need some heavy training. Is the best way to alternate total-heavy workouts with total-4X workouts or should I do a mix at every workout, like heavy sets on the big exercise and follow with 4X on the isolation moves?
A: There’s a third option: Doing all exercises heavy for four weeks. We discussed that in a previous e-zine, using the Size Surge program as a model. We suggested SS Phase 1 as all heavy. It’s 3 days a week with mostly big exercises–perfect for a heavy, basic, size-and-strength-building phase–with a day of rest/recovery after each workout.
After that four weeks of heavy training, you go to full-on 3-way Positions of Flexion for each muscle. Do that five-week phase as ALL-4X. So you do an all-heavy phase alternated with an all-4X phase.
You said you made great gains with all-4X, so you should go back to it after a stint with all-heavy-training. That should give you another BIG mass uptick.
From there you may want to experiment with the mixes you described. There are a couple of example programs in The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout e-book, POF Power-Density for example.
Mixing heavy and 4X-style training at every workout can work BIG time. In fact, many pros go heavy upfront and then end with DENSITY-style training on the isolation exercises–short rests between sets and/or higher reps.
However, there are experts who believe specificity is better–that is, using all heavy for a period of time, like four weeks, then moving to more density-oriented training for another four weeks, like 4X or even 10×10 on one exercise per muscle group (almost pure sarcoplasmic stimulation).
What will work for you? That’s part of the fun–experimentation for mass creation. And let’s not forget change to gain.
Q: In 3D Muscle Building you have incline one-arm laterals or one-arm cable lateral as the stretch move for the side-delt head. Is one better than the other? They feel completely different to me.
A: Both provide resistance on the medial-delt head when the arm is across the front of the torso. You don’t get that with standard lateral raises because of gravity and your arm positioning–at the bottom of the stroke your arms are perpendicular to the floor with delts resting (zero resistance).
Okay, back to your question: Which is better, incline one-arm laterals or one-arm cable laterals? That all depends on you. Both exercises have flaws…
The incline one-arm lateral is a bit awkward and can be more difficult for you to maintain resistance on your side-delt head at the bottom. You must reverse the movement BEFORE your arm is perpendicular to the ground so you keep tension on your side-delt head.
The cable lateral is more comfortable, but if the weight is too heavy, you will tend to twist your torso, rotating back to involve the stronger front-delt head more. Plus, weight-stack drag makes the negative stroke lighter than the positive stroke–and the negative is what provides the most growth stimulation.
So the best advice we can give you is to use the one that FEELS best to you. Then, every so often go to the other for a couple of workouts before shifting back to your go-to delt-stretch move. That’s good advice for all POF bodypart exercises and routines.
Oh, and always try to include stretch-position exercises. Remember the animal study that produced a 300 percent muscle-mass increase with only one month of stretch-overload "workouts." Stretching each muscle against resistance is an incredible growth stimulus.
Till next time, train hard–and smart–for BIG results.
–Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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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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