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E-zine #21: Heavy POF/Light Preexhaustion

One of the latest methods being experimented with in the IRONMAN Training and Research Center (ITRC) is Heavy POF/Light Preexhaustion.


One of the latest methods being experimented with in the IRONMAN Training and Research Center (ITRC) is Heavy POF/Light Preexhaustion. We’ve been quite happy with our results, so why not share the wealth?

Many people train so that they get a full 7 days of recovery before hitting a specific bodypart again. We’ve found that to be too much, and have actually found that it’s possible to fully recover and regress within that length of time. Training hard too often, however, can lead to overtraining. What’s a trainee to do? Well, by using some creative structuring to your routine, you can actually hit a bodypart more often, without risking the horror of the overtraining blues.

You can either follow along with the routines listed each month in ‘Train, Eat, Grow,’ or just experiment with this method on your own. The idea is to hit each body part with low reps on the heavy, POF-based straight set day, and then to hit it next time with lighter preexhaustion work, but still use POF to ensure that you hit the muscle from all angles. By using preexhaustion, you prefatigue the muscle group you’re about to work on, thereby forcing yourself to use less weight while also causing a horrific, yet wonderful, pump.

Below is a two-week sample of how you can put this method to the test:


Chest (heavy), midback (light), calves (heavy), abs (light)
Quads (heavy), hams (light), forearms (light)
Wednesday: Off
Delts (heavy), lats (light), triceps (heavy), biceps (light)
Midback (heavy), chest (light), Abs (heavy), calves (light)
Saturday and Sunday: Off


Hams (heavy), quads (light), forearms (heavy)
Lats (heavy), delts (light), triceps (light), biceps (heavy)
Wednesday: Off
Chest (heavy), midback (light), calves (heavy), abs (light)
FridayQuads (heavy), hams (light), forearms (light)
Saturday and Sunday: Off

Here’s an idea of how to perform the sets:

Midrange 2-3 x 6-9
Stretch 1-2 x 6-9
Contracted 1-2 x 6-9

Preexhaust Superset
Contracted 2 x 10-12
Midrange 2 x 10-12
Midrange 1 x 10-12
Contracted 1 x 10-12
(or do 1-2 contracted sets of 10-12 reps with no superset)

Incorporate into your current routine, or start from scratch and use them as an outline to start an all-new routine. You get plenty of work, so that no bodyparts are neglected, yet it’s very unlikely that you’ll dip into the overtraining abyss.

To follow the ITRC training program in ‘Train, Eat, Grow,’ get a copy of the latest issue of IRONMAN. For more on POF training go to


With summer approaching at a rapid pace, most people are looking to find ways to get ripped quick. It’s a well-known fact that patience, sound nutrition and plenty of hard work are the key ingredients to a summer-worthy physique, but there are things you can do to speed along the process.

Manipulating calories is the most convenient and cost-effecient way to do this. Sticking with IRONMAN’s 6X nutrition plan is a must, but within that plan, there’s room to play. Changing your calories on a regular basis is a great way to keep the metabolism up, while still providing your body with all the nutrients it craves and allowing the fat-burning supplements you may be using to be more effective (we’ll cover some supplemental suggestions in the next newsletter).

If you’re already following the 6X nutrition plan and feel you may be sputtering out on your fat burning efforts, try this:

Figure out your average daily caloric intake for a given week. As an example, let’s just say it’s 2,000 calories. By changing this around, you can still get the same daily average while kicking your metabolism up a bit. You can do this by going back and forth with your calories a bit. One day you can drop it to 1,800 and then bump it up to 2,200 calories the next day. Continue this every other day for a couple of weeks and see how it works for you. It’s a great way to prevent a diet plateau and to fight off the pain of boredom.

If you’re lazy when it comes to figuring out calories and just happen to be on a low carb diet you can still use a variation of this method. Stick to your normal diet, and on a couple of days out of the week (a Wednesday and Sunday, or every third day) simply increase your carb intake. If it’s pretty low you can probably double it without any problems. This will help keep the muscle full and fed with all those energy-providing carbohydrates that they’re looking for as well as kicking up your metabolism a bit and keeping you from going insane from a monotonous diet.

Also, anyone who’s interested in promoting an anabolic effect in muscle should read Jerry Brainum’s ‘6X Meal Effects’ article here:

This Special Report was submitted by Jonathan Lawson
The IRONMAN 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.

In the LATEST Issue of IRONMAN…

This month we give you more sex’or at least we tell you how to get your libido in tip-top shape. (you’ll have to snag the babes on your own.) We show you which testosterone boosters work, how training can affect sex drive, which bodyparts get the most looks’and how to work yours so they get more than just passing glances. We may even reveal some real female aphrodisiacs (no, a big bank account isn’t one’or is it??). We’ll also have a home-grown all-dumbbell quad-and -hamstring program that’ll pump up your legs to the size of tree trunks. And let's not forget our complete coverage of the Ms. and Fitness International competitions. (Lots of hot pics here, gang.) The July IRONMAN is on newsstands June 4.

All Content (c) Copyright 2002 IRONMAN Magazine
All Rights Reserved

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