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IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #547: Crashing the Growth Threshold: Your Key to Ultimate Mass

IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #547:
Crashing the Growth Threshold: Your Key to Ultimate Mass


Crashing the Growth Threshold: Your Key to Ultimate Mass

Q: You’ve mentioned the "growth threshold" a few times. What is that? What does it mean and how do I use it to get bigger?

A: "Growth threshold" is a term we borrowed from champion pro bodybuilder Lee Labrada, pictured above. Here’s Lee’s explanation, from our 4X Mass Workout e-book:

“The growth threshold is the point at which the level of fatigue in the muscle is high enough that a growth response is elicited. Your goal during a workout should be to fatigue the target muscles you are training more and more with each succeeding set. In other words, you want the muscles to progressively get more and more tired out, until you reach a point where the muscles are functionally ‘worn out.’ Signals are sent to the brain that set up the compensation, or growth, process during the postworkout period, so that in future workouts you can handle it.”

Because you use the same weight on every set of a 4X sequence, and the first two sets are fairly easy, you gradually approach the growth threshold. The short 30-to-40-second rests between sets insure that fatigue accumulates to a size-triggering climax at set 4.

For those not familiar with 4X, you take a weight with which you can get 15 reps, but you only do 10 deliberate reps; rest 30 to 40 seconds, then do 10 more. Rest 30 to 40 seconds again, then do 10 more. Rest 30 to 40 seconds one last time, then go to failure. If you get 10 on that fourth set, add weight to that exercise at your next workout…

As Labrada says, “I do not let my muscles regain all of their strength before starting the next set. After all, my goal is to fatigue my muscles more and more with each succeeding set until they hit the growth threshold.”

And that’s what 4X sequences are all about—reaching the critical growth threshold without overtaxing the body’s recovery systems so you continue to ignite new, dramatic muscle growth at every workout. 4X training will give you size increases in both the myofibrils, the actin-myosin strands that produce force, and the sarcoplasmic endurance fluid in the muscle fibers.

And if you use a 4X sequence on the full-range 3-way Positions-of-Flexion programs for each muscle–midrange, stretch and contracted, you reach the growth threshold for each and get a triple dose of muscle growth.

Note: If you’ve been training with standard myofibrillar-dominant heavy sets–tension times of 20 seconds and rests of 2 minutes or more–you may want to up your sarcoplasmic mass with a few weeks of PURE density training. Give 10×10 a spin. You take a weight with which you can get 20 reps, but you only do 10. Rest 30 seconds, then do 10 more–and so on until you complete 10 sets. The last few rounds will be brutal, but the pump and sarcoplasmic size you ignite will be unreal. Use it on only one exercise per bodypart–10 minutes for each–for two weeks and watch the amazing changes in your physique.

Q: First I want to thank you for lowering the the price of the X-treme Lean e-book to $9.99. What a bargain for so much great information. I may have never ordered it if you hadn’t given such a sweet deal. I’m already starting to see lines in my abs after applying many of your suggestions for only a few weeks. One question: You call for at least one so-called cheat day a week. Do I have to eat junk food on those days?

A: Despite the term "cheat" day, no, you don’t have to eat junk food. In fact, for those who have trouble controlling the amount of junk they eat once they get a taste, it’s best to steer clear. Those addictive-personality types will binge and undo a lot of the fat-loss progress they may have already achieved.

Then there are those whose systems don’t cope well with junk food. If even a small amount of junk makes you feel blah and sluggish, don’t eat it. Sure, the feeling may be only psychological, but the mind can do strange things and cause you to sabotage progress.

Okay, back to cheat day: It’s all about increasing your carbs and calories for that one day to keep your metabolism from slowing down. You can up your carbs with fruit, pasta and/or a recovery-drink shake. Many of those powders have 60 grams of carbs and 40 grams of protein per serving. If your carbs are down to 150 grams a day, cheat day should push you over 200 grams–up to 250.

We’re glad you’re seeing fast results so far. That’s the reason we offered such a "sweet deal" on X-treme Lean—so you’ll be proud to show your physique at the pool, lake or beach.

Alert: Only a couple of more days to get X-treme Lean for $9.99. We’re practically giving it away, so get your copy today.

Till next time, train hard–and smart–for BIG results.

–Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

NEW YEAR WORKOUTS–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 Lean—Fat-Burning and Nutrition Guide (with training too)

9) The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

10) The X-traordinary Size Surge Workout

11) The Ultimate 10×10 Mass Workout

Latest release: The 4X Mass Workout—Fast 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, 10×10 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

The ITRC Training Newsletter is not intended as training advice for everyone. You must consult your physician before beginning any diet or training program. You may forward this email to as many friends as you want, but do not photocopy or reprint this report in any format without the written permission of the copyright holder.

Our May issue has a distinct over-40 flavor, starting with a talk with wild man Andy Haman. Yes, he’s older, with a family, but that doesn’t stop his pursuit of muscle-building nirvana—with spiked hair, hiked passion and mucho mass. We’ll also have arm-blasting advice from Greg Smyers, a before-and-after-contest winner who’s gone on to masters bodybuilding success; excerpt 2 from The Ultimate Mass Workout; and Jerry Brainum’s scientific look at the amazing body-building, health-promoting benefits of the pomegranate. Find the May IRON MAN on newsstands now! See the Table of Contents here for a full preview.


Help us build the IRON MAN Research Team — Tell a friend! If you know someone who would benefit from Supplement Updates, Diet Tips and Freebies, forward them this e-zine or tell them to visit us at and click on FREE Training Newsletter.

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All Content (c) Copyright 2011 IRON MAN Magazine
All Rights Reserved

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