IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #671:
How to Get a 4-Way Fat-Burning Effect
TRY THIS AT YOUR NEXT WORKOUT
How to Get a 4-Way Fat-Burning Effect
Q: A friend told me that your F4X or 4X helps burn off body fat while it builds muscle. How is that? So to get abs I don't have to do any cardio?
A: To clarify, F4X is the same as 4X. Steve and his wife Becky put together a muscle-building, fat-loss program for those over 35, calling it the F4X System to separate it from the more hardcore 4X--but they are basically the same method. That entire training and eating program is called Old School, New Body. (If you know anyone who could benefit, please steer them to IM Publisher John Balik's OSNB review for more info.)
As for your question, yes 4X training will help you burn off body fat as you pack on muscle mass (we'll tell you how in a moment). In fact, our latest 4X intensity uptick is Pre-Ex 3X, which includes pre-exhaustion supersets. That's an isolation exercise followed immediately by a compound move.
Pre-Ex can pack on muscle mass quickly. Mike Mentzer used a version of it that we discuss, tweak and update in the Pre-Ex 3X e-book. He used Pre-Ex almost exclusively during his competitive days, and he reaped some major mass rewards with it…
Pre-Ex builds mass fast because it condenses your workload--more work in less time--AND it pushes the target muscle further into the growth zone by eliminating the weak link. What does that mean?
For example, on bench presses it's your smaller triceps that crap out first before your bigger, stronger pectoral muscles. So even if you go to failure, your chest isn't really getting past the GROWTH THRESHOLD because your tri's die first. There's still a lot left in your chest...
BUT if you isolate your pecs first with cable crossovers, you pre-fatigue them, making your chest weaker temporarily. Now when you go to bench presses, your fresh triceps will help push your chest further into the growth zone. Other pre-ex combos include lateral raises with upright rows (or presses), stiff-arm pulldowns (or machine pullovers) with pulldowns, leg extensions with squats.
Another reason Pre-Ex builds so much mass is that it trains the force-generating myofibrils AND, due to back-to-back exercises, there's a very high emphasis on expanding the sarcoplasmic energy fluid, which houses ATP (from creatine), glycogen (from carbs) and the mitochondria (fat-burning cell powerhouses--more on that below). Let's just say the pump is through the roof, which signifies a sarcoplasmic-size boost…
Okay, as for the fierce 4X fat-burning effect, here's the explanation right out of the new Pre-Ex 3X e-book:
1) GH release. With only about 35 seconds between sets, you quickly turn up muscle burn, which triggers growth hormone release. GH is a potent fat melter and also amplifies the effects of other anabolic hormones like testosterone, which can burn fat as well, especially around your middle.
2) Mitochondrial building. Another reason 4X-style training, and especially Pre-Ex 3X, burns more fat is that the short rests between sets help fortify the mitochondria in the muscle fibers’ sarcoplasm. The mitochondria are the energy factories of the cells, where fat is burned. Build the mitochondria, and you can turn your body into a fierce fat-burning machine. [Note: The condensed workload of Pre-Ex 3X magnifies this effect.]
3) Oxygen debt. It takes oxygen to maximize fat burning, and 4X will have you sucking some air—more so on the compound moves for the larger muscle groups like quads and back. And Pre-Ex 3X will amplify that hard breathing with two exercises back to back. Vince Gironda used to pare down his trainees’ rests to 20 seconds or less to maximize the fat burning and muscle fatigue. While you may be able to do that on standard 4X, it's not recommended on Pre-Ex 3X supersets. Stick with 40 seconds between superset sequences.
4) Afterburn. If you use our recommended cadence on most sets—one second on the positive and three seconds on the negative—you will get some myofibrillar microtears by emphasizing the negative stroke. The myofibrils are the force-generating actin and myosin strands in muscle fibers. Lowering a challenging weight slowly will create trauma in those strands. When your body repairs those microtears over the following days, it uses energy, a lot of which comes from bodyfat.
So with 4X-style training, and especially with Pre-Ex 3X--which is the next level--you can build loads of muscle and burn off a lot of ugly fat. Do you also need cardio? That depends on how fast or slow your metabolism is. Many find the 4X-style workouts give them enough cardio stimulation and fat burning, but a few sessions of cardio after your workouts or on off days can speed the ripping process.
Prepare for major muscle and rippedness.
Note: The new Pre-Ex 3X e-book is at the low-intro price of only $17.99 for a few more days, then it goes to its $27 retail price. Get your copy today and save almost $10 at X-Workouts.com. It contains 3 complete programs along with how to integrate Rest/Pause 4X and Drop Set 4X--plus you get the Ultimate Mass-Building Split.
--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 LeanFat-Burning and Nutrition Guide (with training too)
12) Eric Broser's FD/FS Mass-Shock Workout
Latest release: The Pre-Ex 3X Mass WorkoutPlus 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
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