IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #405:
3 Simple Changes to Get You Growing
TRY THIS AT YOUR NEXT WORKOUT
3 Simple Changes to Get You Growing
You know our mantra: You can trigger bigger gains with one small change. But let’s multiply that for even more mass. We’ve got three that can get you growing immediately…
1) Frequency of training. Many trainees hit each muscle once a week. But what if instead of hitting a bodypart with, say, eight sets once a week, you train it with only two to four sets three times a week?
Of course, that requires stacking more bodyparts into each workout. However, that overall systemic synergy from training many muscles at one session can trigger bigger testosterone surges, as well as growth hormone output.
A good example is the first phase of the Size Surge program. Here’s the innovative Phase 1 split that you use during the first few weeks–no doubt a big change from what you’re using now:
Monday: Quads, hamstrings, chest, back, delts, calves
Wednesday: Deadlifts, calves, biceps, triceps, forearms, abs
Friday: Quads, hamstrings, soleus, chest, back, delts
While it looks as if your arms get trained only once a week, they actually get hit three times a week–on Wednesday with direct arm exercises AND on Monday and Friday with chest, back and delt work. You can bet that frequency and variety will get your arms surging with new size!
Okay, look at the split again. Quads get it three times a week as well–some type of squat on Monday and Friday and deads on Wednesday. Talk about a metabolic mass momentum. While you don’t do a lot of sets for each exercise–usually two–you work a lot of total muscle tissue every time you train…
Multiple muscle engagement at every workout is why this first phase of Size Surge is so radically effective–it’s a serious Anabolic Primer program. You’ll feel it happening. (Phase 2 is a different split with full-range muscle training that includes stretch overload that kicks in another round of growth–remember the animal study that produced a 300 percent mass gain with only one month of stretch overload!)
2) Rep speed. Another small change that can produce almost instant mass gains is slowing down the negative stroke on some or all of your reps. A recent study showed that the optimal rep tempo for muscle growth is about one second up and three seconds down. [Int J Sports Med. 30(3):200-204; 2009]
There are two reasons that one-up-three-down cadence does great things for mass gains: 1) The slow negative produces more muscle damage, and 2) the somewhat fast start to the positive innervates more muscle fibers right at the turnaround, near the bottom of the stroke–like the bottom of a squat…
The bottom is the key semi-stretch spot where the target muscles can generate the most force and fiber activation. So a controlled explosion–NOT a bounce–will get more muscle mass into the action on each rep. Move slow to grow on the way down and get a semi-fast blast on the turnaround for the most muscle activation on every rep. [For more on that study and optimal size-building rep tempo, see The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout e-book.]
3) Concentrated warmup. Studies show that a muscle saturated with blood can produce much more force than one that’s not so “warm.” In fact, a study published in the Journal of Strength Conditioning Research (15:362-366) reported that there was an INSTANT 20 percent increase in strength with an influx of blood prior to a heavy work set.
On big exercises, like squats and presses, say you do two warmup sets, as suggested in the Anabolic Primer phase of the Size Surge program. Do your first for at least 10 reps, 3 seconds up and 3 seconds down. On your second warmup set, add weight and do 8 reps at your normal cadence–one to two seconds up and about three seconds down. Oh, and don’t lock out–keep tension on the target muscle for extra blood flow after…
There you have it: Training-frequency variation, slower negatives and bloodbath warmups can do great things to give you new muscle gains immediately. Prepare to grow!
Till next time, train hard–and smart–for BIG results.
Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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.
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.
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
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