IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #667:
Bigger Muscles From Every Angle: Awesome Arms, Boulder Shoulder
TRY THIS AT YOUR NEXT WORKOUT
Bigger Muscles From Every Angle: Awesome Arms, Boulder Shoulders
Q: I'm a hardgainer in my early 20s, but I'm not new to bodybuilding. I'm back to it after a six-month layoff. My problem is that I have big legs but a lagging upper body, especially rear delts--my rear shoulder bones show. I would like a workout that helps me put on muscle size ASAP without much leg work. I want to focus on shoulders and arms; my arms are a little on the small side. I'm a big fan of X-Rep and The Ultimate Mass Workout e-book.
A: Since The Ultimate Mass Workout was written, we've learned a lot of things concerning muscle growth, the biggest being that generating force (heavy-weight, low-rep work) isn't the main thing that produces muscle growth.
In fact, longer tension times and short rests between sets, which expand the sarcoplasmic fluid in muscle fibers, may be MORE important for hypertrophy, especially in hardgainers. Generating force with heavy, lower-rep work trains primarily the myofibrils, the force-generating strands in muscle fibers, and neglects expanding the sarcoplasmic energy fluid. With heavy-only training you miss the major big-muscle mix...
Now which one is more important is debatable--and it could be different for each individual--but the bottom line is that you need to train BOTH. Most hardgainer types train only heavy, as that's what they've been told builds the most muscle. NO, you need BOTH types of training...
That's how we came up with the 4X mass method. In case you're not familiar, you take a weight with which you can get 15 reps, but you only do 10; rest 35 seconds, then do it again. Do that for four sets, and on the fourth do as many reps as you can--to failure. If you get 10 or more, you add a small amount of weight to that exercise at your next workout.
The 4X mass method trains both the myofibrils AND the sarcoplasmic fluid. So you may want to try training with 4X on every exercise for a while. Or you can mix in heavy work as well. There are complete heavy (Power) plus light (4X for more Density) workouts in The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout.
You can probably figure out a workout on your own, however. If you're familiar with the Positions-of-Flexion concept, it's usually 3 exercises for each target muscle, training the midrange, stretch and contracted position for full-range work and optimal development. Here are examples for your key areas…
Biceps: Standing curls (midrange), incline curls (stretch), concentration curls (contracted)
Triceps: Lying extensions (midrange), overhead extensions (stretch), pushdowns or kickbacks (contracted)
Shoulders: Dumbbell upright rows (midrange), one-arm cable laterals (stretch), standing laterals (contracted), bent-over laterals (S & C for rear delts)
You could train the first exercise heavy and follow with 4X on the stretch and contracted moves. That's a killer mix to get bigger and stronger quick.
As for de-emphasizing legs, we suggest you still include a workout for your lower body, but stop your 4X sequences at set 2 or 3, which are subfailure. That will provide blood flow without pushing those muscle past the growth threshold.
NOTE: The 4X Mass Workout contains a complete Positions-of-Flexion program with midrange, stretch and contracted exercises designated with M, S and C so you can identify them. POF programs are also included in the 4X companion e-books, The X-centric Mass Workout and The Power-Density Mass Workout, also available at X-Workouts.com.
Q: Because 4X mass training expands the sarcoplasm [energy fluid] in muscle fibers, do you think more carbs are necessary? To me it seems like heavy lower-rep training, which neglects the sarcoplasm and concentrates on the myofibrils, requires more protein to rebuild those strands. With 4X, though, you train both equally, so I'd think carbs are more necessary because glycogen is stored in the sarcoplasm area of the fibers.
A: Interesting that you'd mention that. It's something Mr. America Doug Brignole recently pointed out to us. He made great gains with his version of 4X mass training and said his results were even better when he increased his carbs, especially right after his workouts….
He got better results no doubt for the very reason you mentioned: Moderate-weight, high-fatigue 4X training blasts BOTH the myofibrils and the sarcoplasm. Most heavy-training systems stress MOSTLY the myofibrils, but its the sarcoplasm where glycogen from carbs is stored. The more you stress and expand that energy fluid, the more carbs you need--if you want to get the biggest, FULLEST muscles possible.
In a previous e-zine we mentioned a mistake we made along those lines: We thought we'd kick-start our fat burning by going to a whey postworkout shake with only 20 grams of carbs. Within a week our muscles were flatter and softer. Once we got back on our higher-carb (60 grams) postworkout protein mix with some creatine added, our size and hardness returned with a vengeance. Our pumps were off the charts too...
If you haven't tried a higher fast-carb and fast-protein mix after you train, we strongly suggest you give it a go to GROW!
We use Muscle-Link's RecoverX to refill, reload and rebuild. (See the money-saving offer below--we don't make money from that; we just believe in the product--it's that good.)
Till next time, train hard--and smart--for BIG results.
SUPER Supplement Trial Offer: Muscle-Link is offering 2 big 3.5-pound canisters of RecoverX postworkout muscle-reloading mix (60 grams of fast carbs, 40 grams of fast protein, glutamine peptides and arginine) for only $59.95, a great deal. PLUS, you get a 40-serving bottle of CreaSol titrated creatine at NO CHARGE. This is the ideal POSTWORKOUT RELOAD after your 4X workout so you get more muscle size and fullness. To get yours, go to Special RecoverX-CreaSol Offer.
--Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
LIMITED-TIME $19.99 BEST-SELLERS: We're offering each of these at their lowest price ever to get you big and ripped by spring. Click on the title you're interested in for more info...
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
Latest release: The 4X Mass WorkoutFast Simplified Supersaturation Training for X-treme Muscle Size. It’s how many pro bodybuilders get big AND ripped as fast as possible for contests and photo shoots. You can use it for a blast of new mass in only a few weeks--and the workouts are quick. Guaranteed or your money back. Limited-time discount offer HERE.
X-SHOP: Find our original X-Rep e-book, as well as X Updates and Positions-of-Flexion mass-training guides...
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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