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How to Feel Muscle Growth

IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #668:
How to Feel Muscle Growth


How to Feel Muscle Growth

Q: You said that doing heavier stretch exercises [like overhead extensions for triceps] is a good way to shock new mass while I’m on the 4X Mass Workout. Do you think switching the contracted exercise to the second move and doing it heavy is also good for mass? I really feel those exercises best. I would still do the midrange first and stretch last with 4X.

A: One reason 3-way Positions of Flexion builds mass so well is because you can engage most of the muscle fibers with an efficient full-range sequence. That’s because each exercise has a different angle of pull, and according to Steven J. Fleck, Ph.D., and William J. Kraemer, Ph.D….

"[Muscle fiber] recruitment order in the quadriceps [for example] for the performance of a knee extensions is different from that of a squat. Variation in the recruitment order provides evidence that to completely develop a particular muscle it must be [trained] with several different movements or exercises."

With the 3 unique exercises in Positions of Flexion, you train the target muscle through its complete range of motion. For example, for triceps you do close-grip bench presses for midrange, overhead extensions for stretch and pushdowns for contracted…

That’s the standard order, but altering that order can also trigger new gains–as can mixing 4X with heavy work (examples coming up)…

We recommended heavier sets on stretch-position exercises due to the animal study that produced a 300 percent muscle-mass gain in only one month of stretch-overload "workouts." But moderate-weight, high-fatigue, growth-threshold 4X will also produce CUMULATIVE overload and fatigue in the stretch position. Is that better? No, just different with unique size-building effects in the specific fibers that exercise activates…

Same is true of contracted-position moves and their unique fiber activation and "recruitment order." In the 4X companion e-book, The X-centric Mass Workout, we outline a mixed program consisting of heavy sets, X-centric sets (negative-accentuated: one second to lift and six seconds to lower) and 4X sequences for an array of size-building stimulation. The lower-middle chest routine is…

Midrange: Bench presses or wide-grip dips (pyramid), 3 x 9, 7, 7NA
Stretch: Flat-bench flyes (heavy), 1-2 x 8
Contracted: Cable crossovers (4X), 4 x 10

To change it for a heavier overload and feel on the contracted-position exercise, do this…

Midrange: Bench presses or wide-grip dips (pyramid), 3 x 9, 7, 7NA
Contracted: Cable crossovers (heavy), 1-2 x 8
Stretch: Flat-bench flyes (4X), 4 x 10

You won’t get a lot of burn on the lower-rep, heavier crossovers, but you’ll feel a deep ache that signifies new muscle-fiber activation–and future growth.

And yes, you can do the midrange exercise as a 4X sequence instead of a pyramid. That’s a good option if you’re NOT interested in going heavy on the compound moves. You didn’t mention your age, but older guys usually aren’t–too much injury potential. Either way–both can get you loads of new growth.

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

NOTE: The 4X Mass Workout contains a complete Positions-of-Flexion program with midrange, stretch and contracted exercises designated with M, S and C so you can identify them. POF programs are also included in the 4X companion e-books, The X-centric Mass Workout and The Power-Density Mass Workout, also available at

–Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

LIMITED-TIME $19.99 BEST-SELLERS: We’re offering each of these at their lowest price ever to get you big and ripped by spring. Click on the title you’re interested in for more info…

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

Latest release: The Pre-Ex 3X Mass Workout—Plus Drop-Set 4X, Rest/Pause 4X and the Perfect Mass-Building Split. Merges the pre-exhaustion muscle-size method with 4X style mass training. 3 complete programs, including modified Pre-Ex 3X, no supersets required. Also, how Mike Mentzer used pre-ex and how you can alter it to get massive gains without anabolic steroids or overtraining–just BIG gaining.

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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