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IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #618: Drop Sets and the Growth Threshold Mass Bomb

IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #618:
Drop Sets and the Growth Threshold Mass Bomb


Drop Sets and the Growth Threshold Mass Bomb

Q: I’m using 4X and growing faster than I ever have. I know it’s because I’ve neglected sarcoplasmic growth somewhat, but I did used to do drop sets. Wouldn’t those do good things for both the sarcoplasm and myofibrils, similar to what 4X does?

A: Drop sets are one of the most effective mass-building methods around for that very reason. You take a weight and hit failure around rep eight, reduce the poundage and crank out another set to failure—four to six more. You can even reduce the weight again for a third, a.k.a. a double drop.

In fact, our before and after photos from our X-Rep X-periment, at, reflect sarcoplasmic growth from drop sets, as that was the key method for hypertrophying that growth layer in that phase of our training. For example, here’s our exact chest routine from our X-Rep transformation program listed in The Ultimate Mass Workout (X-Rep Mass-Detail Workout, pages 77-79):

Smith machine incline presses, 2 x 7-9
High-low cable flyes, 1 x 7-9
Wide-grip dips (drop set), 2 x 7(6)
Cable flyes (double drop), 1 x 7(6)(5)

So the first two exercises emphasize myofibrillar growth, while the drop and double drop on the last two exercises do more for sarcoplasmic expansion.

We also have drop sets in many of the programs in X-traordinary Muscle-Building Workouts, like the Time-Bomb Training Program. On that one we use a drop set as the last set of each exercise. For example, for biceps its:

Barbell curls, 2 x 9-12, 7(5)

So the third set is a drop–seven reps, reduce the weight and crank out four to five. And for the Volume/Intensity Fusion Program in XMBW, it’s heavy straight sets with a Positions-of-Flexion-style volume routine at one workout; then drop sets and double drops on intensity day. So lats would be…

Pulldowns, 2-3 x 10, 8, 7
Stiff-arm pulldowns, 2 x 10, 8
Rope rows, 2 x 10, 8
Dumbbell pullovers, 1 x 10

Chins or pulldowns (drop), 1 x 8(6)
Stiff-arm pulldowns (double drop), 1 x 8(6)(5)
Dumbbell pullovers, 1 x 8-10

Drop sets are fantastic, and you can even use them with 4X. We like a drop on the last set of the sequence…

For the uninitiated, 4X is picking a weight with which you can get 15, but you only do 10; rest 35 seconds, then do it again–and so on for four sets. On set four you go all out to failure. That set four is when you can reduce the weight and continue with a drop set.

Mr. America Doug Brignole is even using drop sets and double drops on almost all sets of many of his 4X sequences. For example:

Set 1: 20 reps
Set 2: add weight, do 10 reps with a drop–10(8)
Set 3: add weight, then do double drop 10(8)(8)
Set 4: add weight, double drop 5(5)(10)

Doug doesn’t take any of his sets to failure–says he just chases the pump–and he is very excited about 4X: "In just one month of using the 4X method, I’ve been amazed at my rate of growth…. I’m surprised to be growing muscle again–fast." Doug is in his 50s and is retired from competition, but at the rate he’s growing again, he may stage a comeback with new mass.

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

Note: You can get all of the e-books mentioned in this e-zine individually at new discount prices. Just click on the highlighted title for more info. Also, see the latest end-of-year Super Discount Offer on 4X, 3D and Size Surge HERE. Ends January 2, 2012

–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 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

12) Eric Broser’s FD/FS Mass-Shock Workout

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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.


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