IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #680:
4 Quick Ways to Trigger New Muscle Growth
TRY THIS AT YOUR NEXT WORKOUT
4 Quick Ways to Trigger New Muscle Growth
Q: Your change-to-gain philosophy has served me well. I have most of your e-books and look over them often to remind myself of methods I can put in my workout for new growth (Double-X Overload is one of my favorites). I’ve gained almost 15 pounds in the past nine months, most recently using Pre-Ex 3X. I know you’re now using that method almost exclusively. Are you doing anything special to change it up?
A: For those unfamiliar, Pre-Ex 3X merges pre-exhaustion, supersetting an isolation exercise with a compound move to solve the weak-link problem, with the 4X mass method–moderate-weight, short-rest growth-threshold training.
For example, pick weights for cable crossovers and bench presses that will allow you about 15 reps on each. Now do 10 reps on crossovers, then immediately move to bench presses and do 10. Easy. Now rest for 40 seconds, then do it again. Not so easy–pump and burn igniting. Repeat one last time for a total of 3 rounds, and go to failure on both exercises. Killer burn, pump and fiber activation…
You can do that for every bodypart. It’s one of the best density-for-immensity tactics, giving the target muscle more work in less time. In the above Pre-Ex 3X sequence for chest, you get six sets done it about six minutes. End with a 4X sequence on a stretch position move, like flat-bench flyes, to complete the Positions-of-Flexion full-range chain. Result: Your lower-middle chest will be completely trashed and primed to GROW.
Pre-ex works so well because it eliminates the weak-link muscle. For instance, when you do bench presses first, as most trainees do, your smaller triceps crap out way before your chest. But if you do crossovers right before chest, you prefatigue your pecs. Now when you go to bench presses, your tri’s and chest are closer to equal strength, and your tri’s can push your pecs further into the growth zone. (You’ll feel it, believe us.)
Pre-ex is amazingly effective and has been used by many top-level bodybuilders for exceptional size gains in both the myofibrils and sarcoplasm of the key growth fibers. Mike Mentzer is probably the most well known pre-ex advocate. He was using it for every bodypart when this pic was taken–his Mr. Universe win with a perfect score…
There are a number of ways to switch up pre-ex supersets. Here are a few excellent choices…
1) Modified Pre-Ex. For this tactic you simply get rid of the supersets; however, doing the isolation exercise first still gives you good pre-fatigue effects. For example, do a 3X sequence on lateral raises for delts, 35 seconds between sets. Then do a 4X sequence on overhead presses. It’s a completely different feel than supersets–plus, you can use a bit more weight on the second big exercise. (Current pro Evan Centopani used this method to bring up his lagging chest.)
2) Postactivation supersets. Here you superset but you reverse the order–do the compound exercise, then immediately move to the isolation exercise; now rest for 40 seconds, then do it again. For example, squats to leg extensions. The 40 seconds of rest after the leg extensions allow enough recovery for your squats to be more manageable and scientists suggest you get a different fiber recruitment pattern–and perhaps more deep growth fibers involved.
3) Straight Positions of Flexion. For this you go back to the standard POF exercise order: midrange (big compound), stretch and contracted. You simply do a 3X or 4X sequence for each. For triceps that would be close-grip bench presses (midrange), overhead extensions (stretch) and pushdowns (contracted). POF produces mass stimulation on multiple levels, including muscle synergy, stretch overload, occlusion, peak contraction and anabolic receptor proliferation.
Add the Pre-Ex 3X superset method to those, and you have 4 great ways to trigger a new size phase. Change to gain.
Till next time, train hard–and smart–for BIG results.
Note: For a complete pre-ex superset workouts as well as a modified pre-ex program, see the Pre-Ex 3X e-book. For more on the Positions-of-Flexion mass-building method see the 3D Muscle Building, e-book. For a unique look at postactivation, see the High-Definition workout in the X-treme Lean e-book.
–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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