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IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #308 Arnold vs Mentzer

IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #308: Arnold vs. Mentzer—No-Cardio Fat-to-Muscle Training

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Q: First, your new e-book [The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout] is fantastic. I learned so much reading it, which I did at one sitting. Great info and easy-to-understand-and-follow workout, just what I need to kick off my new training year. In the first chapter you tell the story about Arnold getting ripped and vascular without cardio. Didn’t Mike Mentzer do the same thing, but with a lot fewer sets? It’s interesting that their training styles were so different, yet they both got very lean without much, if any, cardio. Do you think a lot of it could be genetics, and us average Joes need more cardio?

A: While genetics could have something to do with it, it might not have as big an impact as you might think. The key to both Arnold’s and Mentzer’s hard, ripped conditions without cardio has more to do with exactly what we talk about in our new e-book: muscle microtrauma.

Arnold trained six days a week when he was preparing for a contest, and he used a lot of sets. Volume training will inflict a lot of muscle damage if heavy weights are used and there’s even the slightest emphasis on the negative stroke of each set. Arnold was pretty good at controlling heavy weights, so you can be sure that he piled up the muscle trauma with all of those sets at every workout, so he was burning fat 24/7…

Mentzer, on the other hand, preferred shorter, high-intensity workouts. He would do most of his sets to failure, then add forced reps and negatives. That produced tremendous muscle damage in a few sets. Negatives are especially traumatic, as the latest research indicates. (As we discuss in the new e-book, pure-negative sets with heavy weights have been shown to lengthen the repair process to many weeks in some trainees, which is why we prefer negative-accentuated sets or end-of-set negatives like Mentzer.)

We now know muscle trauma causes significant fat burning during the muscle-repair process. Like Arnold, Mike was no doubt burning fat continuously as his body fortified and expanded his musculature. Mentzer simply created that muscle damage somewhat more efficiently via extended-set training–and he was rewarded with a fat-to-muscle transition without cardio…

The program we outline in The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout is between Arnold’s and Mentzer’s—it’s fairly intense, with some negative-accentuated sets along with growth-hormone-inducing sets—GH is a key fat-to-muscle catalyst; however, we suggest slightly more volume than Mentzer recommended, but not the 20 sets per bodypart that Arnold used.

We’ve experimented with the techniques and a workout similar to the one in The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout, and we’re staying leaner and more vascular this winter than we have in any of our past off-season phases—with almost no cardio and a loose “holiday” diet. And we’re still getting stronger with size surges along the way. We’re as excited about these new findings as we were when we first started using X Reps.

The science behind the new workout is somewhat ground-breaking and very sound. You can kick-start the fat-to-muscle process by adding a set of negative-accentuated reps–six-second lowering–to most of your bodypart workouts. You’ll feel it–and the soreness you get the next day will tell you you’re burning fat as you repair and build more muscle.

Till next time, train hard.

—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

Latest e-book releases:

The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout is based on the latest metabolic research so you can get bigger and leaner fast without long, mind-numbing cardio–you’ll burn fat and build muscle 24/7 with customized mass-building weight workouts.

X-Rep Update #1 contains the newest X-Rep mass-building techniques—like Flex X, StatC, StatS and X-Only—incorporated into a complete, printable X-Rep Workout. Plus, an inside look at Mr. Olympia’s workout, from an X-Rep perspective, with photos.

Click on the e-books for more information:

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.

NEW: Jet-black X-Rep T-shirt. Looks sharp when you wear it out and about; or hack the sleeves off for hardcore workouts.

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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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