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IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #450: Negative Overload, Arnold and X Reps

IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #450:
Negative Overload, Arnold and X Reps


Negative Overload, Arnold and X Reps

First, a quick thank-you: We want to express our appreciation to all of those who ordered the new X-centric Mass Workout e-book the first weekend it was released, making it our fastest-selling e-book ever. For those who didn’t order that first weekend, you can still get it at a discount for a limited time at We’re glad to hear that so many trainees are getting X-ceptional gains with the workouts and techniques it contains.

Q: I’m using the Fat-to-Muscle Workout, and the negative-accentuated technique [one second up/six seconds down] has given me a lot of new muscle. Also, I’ve noticed that the excess muscle trauma has helped me lose fat too. I’m amazed. Now, however, I feel like my mass gains have slowed down. I think it’s because I’ve adapted to the negative-accentuated sets. How can I intensify them? Or should I switch to a different technique for a while?

A: Don’t drop the NA technique unless your goals have changed for your physique. If you’re still trying to lose fat as you build muscle, a set with one second up and six seconds down on every rep for every large bodypart will help you get there faster…

If you’ve adapted to it, as you suggest, you can make a standard NA set more intense. Use a heavier weight–so you can only get about five NA reps on your own, then have your partner give you two to three forced reps. He or she should help you move the positive rep at the same speed–about one second so you do NOT lose tension on the target muscle–then you lower by yourself in six seconds. There’s more on that as well as other negative-style methods in the new X-centric Mass Workout e-book.

Q: I heard someone at my gym say that Arnold used X Reps. Is that true? I thought you guys came up with the concept a few years ago, so how could Arnold have used it?

A: Arnold used X Reps and many of the concepts we discuss in our X-Rep e-books. We know that because we work alongside John Balik, publisher of IRON MAN and Arnold’s former training partner and nutritionist. We talk to John a lot about Arnold’s past training (and we’re even getting him to do an e-book on it for

Arnold had a tremendous instinct for building mass in the gym, and partials were one of those that he relied on to shock his muscles. Here’s a quote from the book 3 More Reps that shows Arnold’s X-Rep application on curls–he called them burns:

“After [a series of full-range reps] you’ll find it impossible to do a complete repetition. But that does not mean the biceps muscle is completely exhausted. You’ll find with some effort that you are still able to get a few half repetitions…and when you can no longer do the half movements, you’ll find you can do a couple of quarter repetitions.” (Photo by John Balik)

No doubt about it, Arnold is prescribing end-of-set X-Rep partials–he just didn’t call them that. He also had a number of other X-Rep-style applications that we discuss in The X-traordinary X-Rep Workout e-book–Chapter 3: Arnold and X Reps. For example, he often did his flyes in X-Rep-Only style–doing just the bottom half of the stroke for the entire set to keep tension on his pecs and emphasize stretch overload…

Remember, that was way before the animal study that got a 300 percent increase in muscle mass with one month of stretch-overload workouts; Arnold just knew instinctively that emphasizing continuous tension and stretch packed on new mass fast!…

We also talk about his instinctive use of full-range Positions-of-Flexion training. For example, he was one of the only bodybuilders who used the incline one-arm lateral raise, which is the best exercise for medial- and posterior-head stretch in the delts. That in combination with presses and standard laterals is POF delt training.

And as we mention in 3D Muscle Building, the official POF e-manual, one of his favorite biceps routines was standing dumbbell curls, incline curls and concentration curls. Again, that’s basic POF protocol–midrange, stretch and contracted. As we often say, when Arnold was in his prime he was way ahead of his time–follow his lead and you’ll grow like a weed.

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

—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

You can subscribe to this e-zine free at


1) X-Rep Mass Workout Offer: Our 2 BIG best-selling X-Rep e-books–The new X-traordinary X-Rep Workout and Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building. You save $20. For more info, click here.

2) Triple-Shred Discount Fat-Loss Offer: Get our rip-up-for-summer fat-to-muscle e-books, X-treme Lean, X-traordinary Abs and The Fat-to-Muscle Workout. You save up to $35. For more info, click here.


X-SHOP: Find our original X-Rep e-book, as well as X Updates and Positions-of-Flexion mass-training guides…

X-WORKOUTS: Find specialized e-workout programs, including Power-Density, 10×10 and Eric Broser’s Power/Rep Range/Shock….

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.

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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