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Double Duty Mass Moves

7204-cmass1Q: In Positions-of-Flexion mass training you classify the one-arm cable lateral as a stretch-position exercise for the medial-delt head. But isn’t it really a stretch- and contracted-position exercise? There is resistance all the way through the stroke, all the way from contraction, at the top, to full stretch.

A: One-arm cable laterals can be classified as both stretch and contracted, but they’re more of a stretch-position move because of the angle of pull. The resistance is more targeted at the bottom than at the top—plus, most people roll their shoulder back at the top to involve the trap. For better activation at both ends of the stroke do cable laterals on your knees so the cable pulls across your body more than downward. Or if the cable is adjustable, set it so the pulley is right below your hip.

Nevertheless, if you don’t have a problem with shoulder development, your full-range POF medial-delt routine might be as follows:



Presses or dumbbell upright rows (pyramid) 3 x 9, 7, 5

Stretch and Contracted

One-arm cable laterals (4X) 4 x 12

To give the target muscles more emphasis, simply add lateral raises, a more direct contracted-position exercise, at the end—using the 4X mass method for a sarcoplasmic-size blast. The 4X method, for the uninitiated, involves taking a weight with which you can get 15 reps but only doing 10 (or 12 in some cases). Rest 35 seconds, then do it again. Continue for four sets, and on the last go all out to failure.



Presses or dumbbell  upright rows (pyramid) 3 x 9, 7, 5

Stretch and Contracted

One-arm cable laterals, (4X) 4 x 12


Lateral raises, (4X) 4 x 12


Note that you can reduce the 4X sequences to 3X if that’s too much volume—or if you want to go a bit heavier. Obviously, you can use more weight on a 3X sequence because it’s one less set.

Incidentally, the two-for-one exercises in Positions-of-Flexion mass training include cable flyes (stretch and contracted for pecs), dumbbell shrugs (stretch and contracted for upper traps) and machine pullovers (stretch and contracted for lats).

Interestingly, I didn’t realize until recently that V-handle cable rows train both the midback’s stretch position and the lats’ contracted position. Based on that, a POF back routine can be reduced to this:


Lat and midback midrange


Lat stretch


Lat contracted, midback 


V-handle cable rows

Midback contracted

Bent-arm bent-over laterals

The sets and reps are up to you, but I like doing 3X and 4X sequences all the way through.

Editor’s note: Steve Holman is the author of many bodybuilding best-sellers and the creator of Positions-of-Flexion muscle training. For information on the POF DVD and Size Surge programs, see the ad sections in this issue. Also visit  and for info on X-Rep, 4X and 3D POF methods and e-books.  IM


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