To Top

IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #350 Arnold’s Combo-to-Grow Mass Workouts

Subject: IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #350: Arnold’s Combo-to-Grow Mass Workouts–Plus, Supplement Science

* Try This at Your Next Workout
* Special Offer


Arnold’s Combo-to-Grow Mass Workouts–Plus, Supplement Science

Q: You mentioned how using a couple of heavy all-out sets followed by 4×10 in 10×10 style builds muscle with max force as well as tension and occlusion. Does that mean the combo method is better than straight-up 10×10? Should I use that [heavy-plus-4×10 method] instead of 10×10 on the Ultimate Exercises in program 1 in The Ultimate 10×10 Mass Workout e-book?

A: Before we answer, let’s clarify the combo method. First you do two progressively heavier warmup sets; then you attack two heavy sets to exhaustion, eight to 10 reps each, with 2 1/2 minutes between sets. That allows you to generate maximum force–standard heavy training. After that you reduce to a lighter poundage, one you could do for about 15 reps, and you do four sets of 10 reps with 30 seconds of rest between sets…

So you get max force production on the first heavy sets; then you follow up with tension/occlusion emphasis on the 4×10 sequence. It’s similar to how Arnold used to train his big exercises, pyramiding up over a few sets, with the last two being heavy all-out efforts; then he would reduce the weight for two lighter burnout sets. And it works…

It’s a double-barreled mass-building effect targeted at the important compound, or midrange, exercise. You’ll feel it working–in a different way than 10×10. Is it better than 10×10? Not necessarily…

As we reported, when we moved to more of a pure 10×10 routine for the big exercises, we each gained eight pounds of muscle after about six weeks. One reason for that anabolic convergence is the shift in hypertrophic stress. New exposure to 10×10, with less heavy stress, allowed our bodies to supercompensate from the previous all-heavy max-force training we were doing (straight-set Positions of Flexion).

When we moved to the 10×10 method, we shifted to more of an endurance-component focus. That’s due to the short rests and lighter weights. Sure, the last sets feel extremely heavy, but they aren’t. It’s due to fatigue. Therefore 10×10 requires less force output–but that can be a good thing…

Shifting muscle-building emphasis can ignite a significant size surge, as we experienced. We suggest using pure 10×10 routines, like the first program in The Ultimate 10×10 Mass Workout, for about four weeks. On that progam you train four days per week, hitting each bodypart once every four to six days. You do the Ultimate Exercise in 10×10 style for each bodypart, nothing else. That means your workouts only take 30 to 40 minute.

After that four-week pure-10×10 phase, go back to standard heavy training with 3-way Positions of Flexion infused with X Reps–for example, Phase 2 of Jonathan’s 20-Pounds-of-Muscle-In-10-Weeks program outlined in 3D Muscle Building. (That e-book contains info on POF, X Reps and other key mass methods with many workouts.) You can use the heavy-plus-4×10 method on the big midrange, or compound, exercise for some or all bodyparts. Here’s a POF example for triceps…

Midrange: Close-grip bench presses, 2 x 8-10
Midrange: Close-grip bench presses (10×10 style), 4 x 10
Stretch: Overhead extensions, 2 x 8-10
Contracted: Pushdowns, 1 x 10-15

Remember, with POF you get new max-force emphasis, but you also get unique mass-building stimulation from stretch overload with exercises like dumbbell flyes for pecs, overhead extensions for triceps, etc. One animal study produced a 300 percent muscle mass increase from only using stretch overload for one month, so you can see it’s a very powerful get-bigger trigger.

Shifting mass-building emphasis regularly is one of the best ways to ignite significant muscle size surges. Try 10×10 for four weeks, then shift to heavy-plus-4×10 POF. It’s variation for new mass stimulation that will get you growing.

Q: I follow your training blog, and you always seem to be up on the latest supplement research. Where does all of that nutrition info come from? Do you spend a lot of time looking up studies?

A: If you’ve been around bodybuilding for a while, you know the name Jerry Brainum. He’s our go-to nutrition-science guru who has his thumb on—no, make that both hands wrapped around—the latest research. One of the best things about Jerry is his down-to-earth ability to translate ivory tower science-speak into understandable English so that just about anyone can grasp the findings, apply them and achieve great results.

But the thing we like most about Brainum is that he has no agenda—that is, he’s not beholding to any supplement company, so he tells the whole truth and nothing but the truth based on the latest scientific studies. That type of brutal honesty and integrity is hard to find these days and a true breath of fresh air. It’s the reason we highly recommend his new e-book, Natural Anabolics, Jerry’s straight-shooting look at exactly what builds muscle and burns fat from the vast array of available supplements…

Jerry cuts through all the B.S. You’ll find lots of the things we’ve recommended that have produced results for us thanks to Jerry’s insight–like forskolin, an herb extract that proved itself in one study to burn fat and boost testosterone significantly. Talk about real fat-to-muscle power!

Brainum discusses the key supplements, and after each one he provides a clear-cut applications-and-recommendations section. There he gives you his suggestions on how best to use the nutrient for optimal results…

At the end of the e-book he lays out his Natural Anabolics Supplement Schedule, a template that’s a one-day snapshot with times and amounts for every item he’s discussed. It’s the perfect way to wrap up all of his findings into a printable format you can use to get huge.

Also, in every chapter he’s taken the time to highlight the key points in bold type so that those who want to speed read through the chapters can do so with ease and still grasp the most relevant info.

In a nutshell Natural Anabolics is a complete understandable how-to supplement guide on the stuff that really works–from an expert you can trust. We give it four out of four stars!

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

Note: For more on Jerry Brainum’s new Natural Anabolics–Nutrients, Supplements and Compounds That Can Accelerate Muscle Growth Without Drugs, visit

—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

Latest e-book release:

•Eric Broser’s Power/Rep Range/Shock Workout gives you all the everything you need to apply his max-mass system for incredible new gains–including all 12 printable workouts and a big Q&A section.

The Ultimate 10×10 Mass Workout contains a four-days-per-week, one-ultimate-exercise-per-bodypart program and also a heavy/light version, with heavy POF alternated with a one-exercise 10×10 routine. More details.

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.

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.

For any questions or comments regarding the IRON MAN Magazine Online Newsletter, please email [email protected]. To unsubscribe, please see the instructions at the bottom of this email.

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.


Help us build the IRON MAN Research Team — Tell a friend! If you know someone who would benefit from Supplement Updates, Diet Tips and Freebies, forward them this e-zine or tell them to visit us at and click on FREE Training Newsletter.

*We DO NOT sell any subscriber e-mail addresses.

*If someone has signed you up for this free newsletter without your permission, or you have changed your mind and don’t want to receive it after all, you can click on the link at the bottom of this e-mail to unsubscribe.

Visit the Home Gym Warehouse online store for the latest books, videos and equipment specials at

All Content (c) Copyright 2009 IRON MAN Magazine
All Rights Reserved

Instantized Creatine- Gains In Bulk

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in E-zine

  • Ezine 918: Pain-to-gain

    Subject: IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #918: Pain-to-gain exercise change (build more muscle size) Q: I’m a big fan of Position-of-Flexion mass training....

    Steve Holman and Jonathan LawsonDecember 19, 2014
  • Ezine #905: Rhythm Method for More Muscle Hypertrophy

    I've been doing mostly compound exercises with X-centric on the first set, two standard sets, and speed on the last one....

    Steve Holman and Jonathan LawsonNovember 13, 2014
  • Ezine #902: Heavy/Light, X-centric Sets and Muscle Hypertrophy

    I really like X-centric sets . Great muscle feel and pump. I'm getting ready...

    Steve Holman and Jonathan LawsonOctober 20, 2014
  • Ezine #897: Speed Muscle Growth

    Q: I tried DP 4X on my big midrange exercise with a speed drop set after the last one. Wow, what...

    Iron Man MagazineOctober 3, 2014
  • Ezine #879: No-Cardio Fat Loss

    Q: I read that you guys got super ripped without doing any cardio. I also saw that Arnold did no cardio...

    Steve Holman and Jonathan LawsonSeptember 3, 2014
  • Slight Volume Uptick to Get Big Quick

    I have found that your change-to-gain method works. I have put on five pounds in the past month, but I know...

    Steve Holman and Jonathan LawsonAugust 29, 2014
  • Best Muscle-Growth Method for You

    Q: I just started using the 4X methods. Great stuff. Loving the pumps, but I'm wondering if 4X is better for...

    Iron Man MagazineAugust 15, 2014
  • Light the Iso-TORQ Fuse to Get Huge

    When I use regular TORQ (30-20-15) on isolation exercises like leg extensions, can I add weight each set?

    Steve Holman and Jonathan LawsonAugust 11, 2014
  • One Intra-Set Change to Jack Up Muscle Gains

    Q: I love 4X because it's 10 reps per set. I get the "hypertrophic tension time" of more than 40 seconds...

    Steve Holman and Jonathan LawsonJuly 31, 2014