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IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #471: Explosive Reps: Mass-Building X Factor and Before and Afters

IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #471:
Explosive Reps: Mass-Building X Factor and Before and Afters


Explosive Reps: Mass-Building X Factor and Before and Afters

Q: I just saw an interview with a top pro bodybuilder, and he said one of the keys to building mass is to explode at the bottom of every rep and attempt to move the positive rep as fast as possible. Is that a good idea? I’m afraid of getting injured.

A: The big pros are the genetic elite with superhuman muscle-fiber density, as well as ironclad tendons and ligaments. And don’t forget that many use growth hormone, which fortifies cartilage, tendons and ligaments even more (that’s why many athletes use it—to quickly rehab soft-tissue injuries and prevent others from occurring in the gym and on the field.)

That being said, the pro bodybuilder you mention does make a good mass-building a point. The myotatic reflex is a phenomenon that gets more muscle fibers into the action. When you explode with a weight out of the turnaround, it elicits an emergency response from the nervous system, and more fibers are called into action. And the more fibers you activate, the more size you stimulate.

But, yes, it is a dangerous way to train. So is it a necessary evil in the attainment of extreme mass? NO!

Those of us who are drug free and without the luxury of super genetics should use a controlled explosion at the turnaround on each rep. In the X-traordinary X-Rep Workout e-book we discuss a study that showed a one-second-up, three-seconds-down cadence as a superior mass-building tempo. You should use that on most sets…

Slowing the negative to three seconds not only stimulates more muscle via fast-twitch fiber tension and eccentric emphasis, but also better guards against an injury-provoking jerk at the turnaround. You get that safer, controlled explosion when you shift from the positive to the negative stroke.

Nevertheless, we do believe that the turnaround is the key spot for fiber activation and you should be emphasize it. That’s one reason we developed END-OF-SET X-Rep partials. Here’s a quote from the X-traordinary X-Rep Workout e-book—Chapter 1: You Gotta Try This…How the Pros Pack On Mass—that hammers that point home:

“[X Reps] extend a set at the sweet spot of all the key growth exercises. You get extreme anabolic overload at the end of a strict set, no jerking or heaving necessary. You keep your reps strict and safe, and when you can’t get another full rep, you use short X-Rep partials to extend the set and overload the fast-twitch fibers at the precise sweet spot—anabolic overload right where the muscle needs it most.”

Q: I heard about X Reps from a guy at my gym. He suggested I get one of your X-Rep e-books, but there are a lot of them. Which one should I start with?

A: For a good overview of X Reps as well as key X-hybrid techniques, get our latest X e-book, The X-traordinary X-Rep Workout. It’s our most recent, written a few years after our first X-Rep e-book, The Ultimate Mass Workout, so we’ve put all the critical highlights of what we’ve learned into that newest one…

It contains a good summary of X-Reps, how to use them, new applications and the key X-hybrid techniques for specific exercises. Complete X-Rep workouts are includes as well, with Positions of Flexion.

If you want to understand the inner-workings and evolution of X Reps, as well as see our five-week transformation workouts we used in the beginning, get that first one, The Ultimate Mass Workout. While we were still at the first stages of understanding and applying the end-of-set partial-rep concept, that’s the e-book that started it all.

Here are our before and afters taken five weeks apart that VERY FIRST X-Rep phase—yes, we had tans and were under studio lights in the afters, but they still show shocking results for only five weeks–no steroids, no trick photography (we used the X-Rep Mass-Detail Workout on pages 78-80 of The Ultimate Mass Workout)…

Keep in mind that in the before pics we were trying to look our best–unlike other before and afters where the befores are taken to make the subjects look as horribly out of shape as possible. Our befores are our real progress shots that we take along the way to monitor our muscularity. In other words, we were trying to look GOOD not pooching out our stomachs ad slumping under bad lighting. We think that proves that X Reps can help you get huge!

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

—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

You can subscribe to this e-zine free at


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.

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