IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #607:
Big-and-Ripped Tips: Size Surge, Burn Fat
TRY THIS AT YOUR NEXT WORKOUT
Big-and-Ripped Tips: Size Surge, Burn Fat
Q: I'm really stoked about using the Size Surge program. A friend at my gym said he used it last winter and put on 12 pounds of muscle after only 8 weeks. My question is about burning fat while on the program. I don't want to get fat, but I know I have to eat big to get big. You've said that X-centric [or negative-accentuated] sets can help burn more fat. Can I work those in somehow to Size Surge?
A: Absolutely. We try to use X-centric sets throughout the winter to help keep the lean machine revved so abs don't completely disappear.
In fact, if you're going to use the original heavy-training version of Size Surge--as opposed to the moderate-weight 4X version we've talked about--the X-centric sets will help you burn more fat AND expand the muscle sarcoplasm for extra mass. That's important because heavy training tends to neglect that important anabolic "layer."
For the uninitiated, an X-centric, or negative-accentuated set, is driving through the positive stroke in one second and then slowing down for the negative to about six seconds. So on bench presses, you would lower the bar to your chest in six seconds, then blast it back up in one. That's seven seconds per rep. If you do, say, eight NA reps, you get 56 seconds of tension time. Most trainees' sets last about 20 seconds…
The longer NA tension time does a number of great things for muscle size and leanness:
1) As we said, longer NA sets build the sarcoplasm, the energy fluid in muscle fibers, a BIG contributor to muscle size. Heavy lower-rep training tends to neglect that, focusing more on the myofibrils, the actin and myosin strands in the fibers that generate force. If you only train heavy, you leave lots of muscle size on the table. By the way, stressing the sarcoplasm builds the mitochondria there, and that's where fat is burned. But there's more...
2) NA sets give you a lean-machine bonus: In addition to revving up the mitochondria where fat is burned, you expend calories as your body repairs the myofibril microtears. Your metabolism ramps up for days after the workout to fix that damage, and a lot of the repair energy comes directly from bodyfat. Yes, you burn fat 24/7 as your body heals your muscles, making them--and you--bigger, stronger AND leaner.
3) NA sets will cause myofibril remodeling for new growth. While heavy sets hit the myofibrils hard, the slow lowering on moderate-weight NA sets causes unique microtrauma and swell in the myofibrils as well. So like heavy training, NA sets will get you sore. Don't overdo it.
Exciting stuff--and the reasons we make it a point to include X-centric sets through the winter--to get bigger and stay leaner...
In the Size Surge program, simply tack on an X-centric set to the BIG exercises only--after your two heavy sets. For example, for quads you would do two heavy sets of squats, one NA set with a lighter weight (six seconds down, one second up), then one heavy set of leg extensions. That's it. (Remember, on this program your quads get hit three days a week--more frequency means fewer sets per workout)...
We suggest that to prevent too much overall soreness, you should add the X-centric set to only lower-body exercises on Monday--squats, stiff-legged deadlifts and calf raises--and then only upper-body exercises on Friday. So Friday's chest routine would be...
Bench presses, 2 x 7-9, 1 x 7NA
Flat-bench flyes, 1 x 7-9
Incline DB presses, 2 x 7-9, 1 x 7NA
Incidentally, Casey Viator gained over 60 pounds of muscle in four weeks during the Colorado Experiment training three days a week, which we discuss in the Size Surge e-book (SS Phase 1 is based on Viator's 3-days-per-week mass program). He used a lot of negative emphasis during his workouts and got incredible fat-to-muscle results...
So no matter what program you're on, add X-centric sets for more big-and-ripped success.
Till next time, train hard--and smart--for BIG results.
--Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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1) The 4X Mass Workout--fast, simplified supersaturation training for X-treme size
2) The X-traordinary X-Rep Workout--the latest update to our original X e-book
3) The X-centric Mass Workout--the negative-accentuated training manual
4) The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout--total body transformation training
5) X-traordinary Muscle-Building Workouts--10 complete mass programs
6) X-traordinary Arms--includes the 3D HIT workout system with big-arms routines
7) 3D Muscle Building--the original Positions-of-Flexion mass-training manual
8) X-treme LeanFat-Burning and Nutrition Guide (with training too)
12) Eric Broser's FD/FS Mass-Shock Workout
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X-WORKOUTS: Find specialized e-workout programs, including Power-Density, 10x10 and Eric Broser’s Power/Rep Range/Shock....
NEW: The X-traordinary SIZE SURGE Workout, Jonathan Lawson’s legendary two-phase mass program that packed 20 pounds of muscle on his frame in only 10 weeks. See all the changes he made to the original workouts, transcribed from his training journal. In printable templates so you can duplicate his incredible gains. You also get his eat-to-grow diet and streamlined no-frills supplement schedule, anabolic acceleration methods and loads of tips and tricks. Plus, an interview with a top-level bodybuilder who trains Size Surge style for incredible growth.
Newbies: If you’re a beginning bodybuilder, coming back from a layoff or a trainer who trains beginners, our new e-book, Quick-Start Muscle-Building Guide, is for you.
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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