I recently received a thank-you from Aron Noble, a New Zealand bodybuilder and high school teacher. He’s been using full-range Positions of Flexion mass training for a long time and more recently began using it with 4X sequences (I’ll review that method in a moment). He’s also been teaching those methods to his students….
“Your methods are not only effective but ideal for [them], as the goal is not always to load the bar up with a maximum poundages…. One of my students was recently selected for New Zealand rep honors where he competed in the Asia Pacific Bodybuilding Championships—and he won first in the teenage division.”
Aron also has noticed something more—a bonus: “With the short rest periods between 4X sets, I don’t have to do any cardio! And I’m lean all year round, winning shows. (I won the last five shows I entered.)”
Arnold discovered that same thing with his fast-paced contest training (more on that in a moment). And I see that leanness effect too. In fact, my wife recently commented that she loves that I am “keeping my abs” through the winter. The interesting thing is, I’m not really trying to. I eat a lot of dark chocolate and drink wine almost every night and on the weekends I splurge more than usual. I should be getting a lot fatter, but I’m convinced the 4X method of training is preventing much of that. How? First you need to understand what 4X is….
For those unfamiliar, 4X is taking a weight with which you can get 15 reps, but you only do 10; rest 35 seconds, then do it again—and so on until you complete four sets. On the last set you go all out, and if you get 10, you can add weight to that exercise at your next workout.
The short rests create fatigue-product pooling in the muscles, and that ignites a fierce searing effect. Studies show that muscle burn is directly related to growth hormone release—and GH is a power-packed fat torcher. It’s also anabolic and a big key to anti-aging.
The 4X method’s short rests also stress the mitochondria in muscle cells. Those are the energy powerhouses where—this is important—fat is burned for fuel. The mitochondria are in the sarcoplasm of the muscle fibers, which is why it’s often referred to as the “energy fluid.” And if you expand that energy fluid, you get bigger, fuller muscles as well as flip on the lean-machine switch.
So maybe the bodybuilders of yesteryear were doing it right after all when they increased reps and decreased rests to get leaner for contests. John Balik, IRON MAN Publisher, trained with Arnold back in the “Pumping Iron” days, and John said Arnold never did cardio. It was his contest-prep diet and weight training—with short rests, various rep ranges and lots of sets—that got him ripped (he gained muscle and lost fat that way without much catabolism from mind-numbing aerobic activity).
So even if you train heavy, you should include some short-rest, high-fatigue work like 4X to keep blasting off body fat. And, of course, it will pack your muscles with more size as well via sarcoplasmic expansion. In other words, try some 4X for lean-machine, mass-building success. Hustle to burn fat and build muscle.
Stay tuned, train smart and be Built for Life.
Note: For information on high-fatigue fat burning and muscle building using the 4X method, see The 4X Mass Workout. Also see The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout for programs using heavy training mixed with two other high-fatigue methods, X-centric (negative-accentuated) and high-rep sets.