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High-End Hypertrophy: A New Way to Grow for Most

Now that I’m over 50, I’m always on the lookout for methods that can build more mass without turning me into an orthopedic nightmare. And thanks to Mr. America Doug Brignole, I’ve got a new one to add to my arsenal: high-end hypertrophic-tension sets.

I call it TORQ—tension overload repetition quantity. That’s a fancy name for a method that incorporates higher reps with the 4X mass method. Before I get into how you can try my version, you need to understand optimal time under tension. Here’s a quote from strength and muscle-building expert Jim Stoppani, Ph.D. (from his book Encyclopedia of Muscle and Strength):

“The best TUT range for strength is about four to 20 seconds per set and about 40 to 60 seconds per set for muscle growth.”

Some researchers extend the growth, or hypertrophic, tension time to 90 seconds. But the thing to realize is that most bodybuilders rarely hit the LOW-end 40-second mark. Look around the gym; the majority of sets last around 20 seconds, which is the TUT for strength, not size. (Could that be why mass gains are so slow for most? Hmm.)

So getting into the UPPER hypertrophic tension time, 60 to 90 seconds, has a lot of potential for triggering loads of new growth, primarily in the sarcoplasm. That so-called energy fluid in the muscle blows up best with longer time under tension.

So if you’re ready for some new size stimulation, here’s an example of how you might use it on the last exercise of a Positions-of-Flexion 4X triceps workout….

Midrange: Close-grip bench presses (4X), 4 x 10

Stretch: Overhead extensions (4X), 4 x 10

Contracted: Pushdowns (TORQ), 3 x 30, 20, 15

That’s an ideal triceps mass program for anyone, but especially older bodybuilders who don’t want to stress their joints and connective tissue with ultra-heavy weights.

For those not familiar with standard 4X, you pick a weight with which you can get 15 reps, but you only do 10; rest 35 seconds, then do it again—and so on for four sets. On the last set you go all out, to failure, and if you get 10 (or 12 in some cases), you add weight at your next workout.

Simple density for muscle immensity—and you train the force-generating myofibril strands in the muscle as well as initiating sarcoplasmic expansion. It hurts, but it works.

Now speaking of pain, here’s how you use the TORQ method, which is designated on the last exercise, pushdowns.

First, pick a weight with which you can get 30 reps—and do 30. Go to failure or very close—and try to keep the painful screams to a minimum. Rest 45 seconds.

For set 2 try to crank out 20 reps; once again, go to failure or very close. (Luckily your pain sensors will be in shock from the first 30-rep set, so this one won’t hurt quite as much.) Rest 45 seconds.

For set 3 try to drive out at least 15 reps—go all out.

Now you’ve successfully pushed the target muscle through the high-end growth-threshold tension time. If you keep your rep speed at two to three seconds per rep, you will hit 60 to 90 seconds on the first 30-rep set. And you’ll still reach 60 seconds, or close, on the second set as well.

By the way, Brignole starts with 50 reps, adds weight and progresses downward in reps from there. He says he’s gaining more muscle at a record pace with higher reps–two to four pounds per month so far. He weighs more now in muscular shape than he ever has. {I interview him on that in the March issue of IRON MAN—very interesting stuff.]

So there are various ways to use it and hit the high-end TUT, as explained in the updated 4X Mass Workout e-book.

More in future blogs. Till then, stay tuned, train smart and be Built for Life.

The Updated 4X Mass Workout 2.0 is $15 (regular price is $24). We’ve reloaded this best-selling muscle-building e-book with the new Tension Overload Repetition Quantity method. TORQ is quick high-rep 3X sequences that trigger ultimate mass. How? TORQ pushes the growth threshold into the high-end of hypertrophic tension time (60 to 90 seconds)–something most bodybuilders never get. Plus, you get the new 9-week phase-training Itinerary that has you hitting a different 4X and TORQ workout every 2 weeks. For more on the newly updated 4X Mass Workout 2.0 (ONLY $15), Go HERE  <==


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