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IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #403: Your Arms Look Huge: Back-Attack Size Effects

IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #403:
Your Arms Look Huge: Back-Attack Size Effects


Your Arms Look Huge: Back-Attack Size Effects

Q: You have V-handle pulldowns as the Ultimate Exercise for lats [in the Basic X-traordinary X-Rep Workout]. I do those for the power pyramid then wide-grip pulldowns for a density drop set. But I feel the wide-grips in my lats more. Can I reverse the order and do the wide pulldowns for the pyramid, then the V-handle pulldowns for a density drop set?

A: Absolutely. Your question is very similar to one we had for chest in a previous e-zine. In that case we suggested switching the order at every workout to emphasize a different line of force. You could do that with lats also (and it will help your arms look huge too, as you’ll see in a moment)…

Lat Workout 1
V-handle pulldowns (pyramid), 3 x 9, 7, 5
Wide-grip pulldowns (drop set), 1 x 10(6)

Lat Workout 2
Wide-grip pulldowns (pyramid), 3 x 9, 7, 5
V-handle pulldowns (drop set), 1 x 10(6)

For even more variation, when you do Workout 1 with V-handle pulldowns first, try V-handle chins instead. Pulling your bodyweight through space is different and better at directly targeting your lats because you can’t cheat as you can on V-handle pulldowns.

On chins you don’t have to add weight in a pyramid. You can simply do as many reps as you can on each of the three sets [as you’ll see in the next Q&A below]. Your reps should drop on each so you get a varied rep range.

As for making your arms bigger, building your lats will push your triceps out when your upper arms are down at your sides. That will make them look fuller and much larger. [That’s another reason to get your lats huge!]

So try alternating lat routines. The frequent change should ignite bigger gains–and also help your arms look insane!

Q: I’m using the three-phase [Winter-Workout Mass Plan] you outlined in a recent e-zine, starting with the Basic X-traordinary X-Rep Workout for two weeks, then the Basic Power-Density Mass Workout for two weeks. Those start with a 3-set pyramid for each muscle. My problem is that on some exercises my reps drop too much, even with small weight increases. Like on barbell curls I only add 2 1/2-pound plates, but my reps drop from 9 to 5, and I get only 2 or 3 on the last set. What should I do?

A: Some bodyparts blow out quickly due to low neuromuscular efficiency, or nerve force, and/or fewer fast-twitch fibers. Of course, the exercise you mention, curls, is a more isolated move for a small muscle–biceps–which can add to the problem. It’s much easier to pyramid on compound, or multi-joint, exercises–but even those can present problems to the genetically challenged.

There are two solutions. Try using the same weight on all of your sets. Your reps may go 9, 7, 5–so you get the exact pyramid rep-range array without any weight additions…

If your reps still drop off too much, you can always use a reverse pyramid. That means take a heavy weight on your first set that allows you nine reps. For your second set, reduce the weight enough so your reps stay up near 7 or 8. Reduce the weight again for your third set so you get 5 or 6…

As long as you’re training all-out on each of those sets AND getting a varied rep range, your muscle size will be on the rise!

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

—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

Winter-Workout Special: You can get all 3 of our latest best-selling e-books–The X-traordinary X-Rep Workout, The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout and The Ultimate 10×10 Mass Workout–at a limited-time discount price. Those contain all the workouts in our Winter-Workout Mass Plan, which is 1) Basic X-traordinary X-Rep Workout for two weeks, 2) the Basic Power-Density Mass Workout for two weeks, 3) a downshift week (stopping all work sets before failure), 4) the Heavy/Light 10×10 Mass Workout for 4 weeks. Click the covers below for more info.

NEW: The new X-traordinary X-Rep Workout e-guide merges all the top X-Rep techniques and info with the latest muscle-building research into two new power-packed X-Rep workouts–the basic X program only takes about 35 minutes. It also includes a look at Arnold’s X-training tactics as well a how current Mr. Olympia contenders use them to pack on extreme muscle mass. For more info and chapter listings visit

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.

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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