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IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #364: Specialize for Muscle Size With Power-Density

IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #364:
Specialize for Muscle Size With Power-Density


* Try This at Your Next Workout




Specialize for Muscle Size With Power-Density

Q: I’m making my best gains ever with the Basic Power-Density Mass Workout. I’m already up six pounds in four weeks, and I see new muscle somewhere every workout, training about 40 minutes a session. My question is about my lagging bodypart, shoulders. Can I add sets to the listed workout, or how should I force my shoulders to grow like my other bodyparts?

A: Most of the bodypart routines in the Basic Power-Density Mass Workout consist of only one Ultimate Exercise per muscle group. That makes for quick, simple workouts: First you pyramid the weight over three sets for max force, or Power; then you reduce the weight and attack tension, or Density with a 10×10-style sequence, but using only four sets…

For shoulders, however, you use two exercises, one for Power, dumbbell presses, and one for Density, dumbbell upright rows. You pyramid on dumbbell presses–add weight so your reps go 9, 7, 5. That’s for the Power component of your key 2A fast-twitch fibers.

For Density you move to dumbbell upright rows for 4×10 in 10×10 style…

Take a weight you can get 15 reps with, but only do 10; rest 30 seconds and do 10 more, and so on until you complete 4 sets. The last set should be tough. In fact, if you get 10 on the fourth set, you need to go up. You should only get eight or nine on the last set.

Now, to specialize for more size, try pre-exhaustion instead of 4×10 for a new twist on Density. Yes, we know studies show that pre-ex, or supersetting an isolation exercise with a compound move for the same target muscle, is not a good max force (Power) generator–but that’s not what you’re going to use it for here…

That study, which used leg extensions supersetted with leg presses, looked at pre-exhaution through the max-force, or Power, end of the telescope. Muscular force was greater when leg presses were performed solo as opposed to doing them immediately after leg extensions; however from the Density, or endurance, end of the telescope pre-ex is very close to the top of the list…

It builds muscle more through the endurance-specific pathways, as it jams a lot of work into a short period of time. Plus, that work involves a big compound exercise in a fatigued state, so it’s almost like pushing the target muscle past failure. You get considerable fiber activation, along with a growth hormone surge, capillary bed expansion (which can lead to more vascularity, by the way) and mitochondria development.

So after your Power pyramid on dumbbell presses, you’ve covered the force component. Now use a pre-ex superset of lateral raises and dumbbell upright rows. By isolating the medial head with laterals, you prefatigue them…

Then you immediately move to dumbbell upright rows, which bring your arms into the action to force the side head to continue working to capacity. You’ll feel the burn and get a big pump, the two hallmarks of a well-executed Density tactic.

Two or three of those pre-ex rounds, with a two-minute rest between superset cycles, will give you an amazing pump and a new shoulder size surge. You can try substituting pre-ex for the 4×10 sequence on any bodypart in The Basic Power-Density Mass Workout.

In fact, we’ve found that the muscles adapt to a specific Density tactic quickly, so rotating from 4×10 to pre-ex to double-drop sets to high-rep burnout sets every so often is a good strategy to keep muscle growth coming at a furious pace. In other words, rotate methods for Density to trigger new muscle immensity.


—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

Latest e-book release:

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout includes the latest eye-opening data on the key muscle fibers that have the most potential for growth (it’s rewriting physiology textbooks) and the best mass-building rep tempo. See how one legendary Austrian bodybuilder used Power-Density to build dominant, dramatic muscle mass, his combo-to-grow methods included. You also get four complete, printable workouts–one that takes only about 30 minutes per session–plus X Reps, POF and more. More details.

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

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. More details.

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.


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