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IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #577: Fast Shredded Mass With Moderate-Weight Workouts?

IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #577:
Fast Shredded Mass With Moderate-Weight Workouts?

Fast Shredded Mass With Moderate-Weight Workouts?

Q: I’m dieting using your X-treme Lean principles, and my bodyfat is down to the lowest it’s ever been. I can actually see abs. I’d guess my bodyfat is under 10 percent, but I feel like I’ve stalled. I’m training as heavy as possible, 6-8 reps, which is what the pro bodybuilders say to do to keep from losing muscle while dieting, but I feel like I’m shrinking muscle-wise. I really feel drained. What should I do?

A: Training heavy in a ripping phase is good–up to a point–but it can also cause huge spikes in cortisol, which can shrink muscle size. Dieting itself causes increases in that muscle-eating hormone too, so you’re compounding the problem. How do you solve it…

A good place to go for a solution is the bodybuilders of yesteryear–a better reference because they were NOT mega-dosing on anabolic steroids. Those drugs allow a bodybuilder to keep building muscle on low calories and ultra-heavy training. Most of those legendary bodybuilders lightened up their training and reduced their rests between sets when calories were low. One of the most famous proponent of that style of training was Vince Gironda:

In fact, moderate weights and shorts rests worked a little too well: Vince actually lost contests because he was TOO RIPPED. Being inside-out shredded wasn’t in vogue back then, but he liked being different and having a physique with shock value. (Imagine looking like Vince out by the pool. Wow!)…

He was totally drug-free, by the way, and his training was very similar to 4X and 10×10. Here’s the 4X drill: Take a weight with which you can get 15 reps, but you only do 10; rest 30 seconds, then do 10 more–and so on until you complete four sets. If you get 10 reps on the last all-out set, add weight to that exercise at your next workout. (For 10×10, you start with a weight with which you can get 20 reps.)

In our opinion, 4X is a solid, safe way to train most of the time, but especially in the late stages of a ripping phase. Why? You use MODERATE poundages, which means less cortisol release. Your cortisol is no doubt already higher due to low calories. If you blast your muscles with bone-crushing poundages, you will accelerate cortisol spikes and muscle catabolism–and you’re not taking in enough calories to rebuild size. Plus, you’re more susceptible to injury. Not good.

Also keep in mind that the short rests between sets with either 4X or 10×10 produce more muscle burn–and that lactic acid pooling has been shown to increase release of growth hormone. GH is a potent muscle builder as well as FAT BURNER. When dieting you should do everything possible to jack up GH–and minimize cortisol, which smothers GH like a wet blanket on a camp fire.

The best part is that 4X sequences are excellent at packing size on BOTH the myofibrils, the force-generating actin and myosin strands, and in the sarcoplasm, the energy fluid, in muscle fibers. So don’t think you’ll be missing something by using only moderate weights as you close in on 5 percent bodyfat and etched muscularity…

If you’re worried that moderate poundages won’t build maximum muscle, here’s a quote from Phil Wagner, M.D., SPARTA Performance Science, on the type of training verified to build ULTIMATE MUSCLE SIZE…

“The American College of Sports Medicine suggest that moderate intensity loads be used for muscle hypertrophy, and it suggests that training focus on high volume of exercise. High-volume training uses moderate (medium-high intensity) loads for a large number of repetitions and sets, with a small amount of rest between sets and exercises…30 to 60 seconds to acutely increase the release of growth hormone prompting greater muscle hypertrophy (growth).”

Keep in mind that if you’re on a low-calorie diet, you need to reduce volume somewhat to compensate–4X on a few exercise per bodypart is about right. For example, Positions of Flexion mass training prescribes three different exercises to insure full-range stimulation of the target muscle. A POF lat workout would be midrange, stretch and contracted moves…

Also, if you’re drug-free you need some carbs to preserve muscle, a key fact we discuss in X-treme Lean (which also contains our meal-by-meal diets). Keep in mind that the sarcoplasm, or energy fluid in muscle fibers, is packed with glycogen, which is stored carbs; an ultra-low-carb diet depletes that fluid volume, so your muscles shrink. Vince Gironda cycled his carbs, similar to our zig-zag diet template in X-treme Lean.

Bottom line: If you want to take your muscularity to the next level–sliced and diced with plenty of size–move from ultra-heavy workouts to 4X or something similar–moderate poundages with shorter rests between sets. Negative-accentuated, or X-centric, sets will accelerate the process too–one-second positives and six-second negatives. That added moderate-weight work produces myofibrillar trauma similar to heavy poundages.

All of that will minimize muscle-eating cortisol and maximize fat-burning, muscle-building GH, creating a bigger, shredded you at a furious pace.

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

Note: The X-treme Lean e-book is only $9.99 for a limited time. It contains diet, training and supplement tips for getting ripped. The 4X Mass Workout and The X-centric Mass Workout are only $19.99. All of those contain complete Positions-of-Flexion programs.

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

–Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

LIMITED-TIME $19.99 BEST-SELLERS: We’re offering each of these at their lowest price ever to get you big and ripped by spring. Click on the title you’re interested in for more info…

1) The 4X Mass Workout–fast, simplified supersaturation training for X-treme size

2) The X-traordinary X-Rep Workout–the latest update to our original X e-book

3) The X-centric Mass Workout–the negative-accentuated training manual

4) The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout–total body transformation training

5) X-traordinary Muscle-Building Workouts–10 complete mass programs

6) X-traordinary Arms–includes the 3D HIT workout system with big-arms routines

7) 3D Muscle Building–the original Positions-of-Flexion mass-training manual

8) X-treme Lean—Fat-Burning and Nutrition Guide (with training too)

9) The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

10) The X-traordinary Size Surge Workout

11) The Ultimate 10×10 Mass Workout


Latest release: The 4X Mass Workout—Fast Simplified Supersaturation Training for X-treme Muscle Size. It’s how many pro bodybuilders get big AND ripped as fast as possible for contests and photo shoots. You can use it for a blast of new mass in only a few weeks–and the workouts are quick. Guaranteed or your money back. Limited-time discount offer 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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All Content (c) Copyright 2011 IRON MAN Magazine

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