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IRON MAN Ezine: Issue #271: Lazy Man’s Way to More Muscle

IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #271:
Lazy Man’s Way to More Muscle


* Try This at Your Next Workout


Lazy Man’s Way to More Muscle

Q: I’ve got a tip for you guys: Get off your butts and get in the gym more often, and you’ll get bigger. You’re only working out four days a week. I train six days a week, two hours per workout, and I compete in bodybuilding shows.

A: Hey, are you calling us lazy? Hmm, maybe we are. Everyone is to a degree, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing if you channel it to produce progress. Laziness has been the catalyst for innovation throughout history—like cars and jets. Those things get you to your destination faster and more efficiently…

We’ve found that X Reps and 3D Positions of Flexion are efficient mass-building methods—they help get us to our muscular destination without wasting time. At the moment, we train four days a week on our lunch break and have attained bodybuilder-esque physiques without having to camp out in the gym every day of the week…

Could we be bigger and better with longer more frequent workouts, as you suggest? Maybe, maybe not. Research points to both styles of training, volume and intensity, as effective muscle builders; however, we have obligations that force us to search out the most efficient muscle-building methods in the gym…

Yes, we want to be as muscular as possible, but we must have time for our families, jobs and outside interests. We also feel an obligation to help those in our situation train as efficiently and effectively as possible so they can attain a bodybuilder-type physique without living in the gym. Extremely long, drawn-out workouts are simply not attractive or are not possible for most people. We’re here to help those trainees make big gains without excessive time drains.

As for competition, we’re no longer interested in competing in bodybuilding shows (we’ve done that). If that’s where you’re at, great; keep at it. A contest gives you a definite goal to shoot for. And if you like training six days a week, two hours at a pop, that’s great too. As we’ve explained in our e-books, you can make good gains with long less-intense workouts (volume); however, we’ve discovered that you don’t have to train that way to build a competitive physique.

If you get bored spending so much time in the gym, or you run into a time crunch—which you probably will as you grow up and take on more responsibility, like a family—may we suggest that you incorporate at least a few training phases that are made up of shorter, more intense workouts. Or perhaps a volume/intensity program that has you do a volume routine for a bodypart at one workout and a shorter, intensity routine at the next. You may be pleasantly surprised at how switching every so often to a more efficient and intense workout protocol can provide a new muscle-building stimulus and net you bigger gains.

[Note: If you’re interested, the X-traordinary Muscle-Building Workouts e-book contains the Volume/Intensity-Fusion routine and other efficient printable programs based on 3D POF you can try as listed or customize.]

Q: I’ve been reading about 3D Positions of Flexion, and it makes total sense. Most of the three-way hits for each muscle are straightforward, but I’m confused about midback. Is a row classified as the big midrange exercise? With a barbell row, the arms squeeze the shoulder blades at the top, which is the contracted position. Is a barbell row both a midrange and contracted exercise?

A: You need to look at the lats and midback together to understand the three positions of flexion for each. For lats you use pulldowns or chins as the big midrange exercise. Then you follow with pullovers for stretch and stiff-arm pulldowns for contracted.

For the midback, there’s no need for a midrange exercise—you get that on the pulldowns or chins for lats. Those exercises pull the arms down and back, which affects the lats as well as the midback…

To stretch the midback, the best exercise is one-arm dumbbell rows, moving the dumbbell over and past the centerline of the torso at the bottom of the stroke. That’s the complete stretch position for the midback muscles. Also, as you row the dumbbell to the top, you want to keep your arm angled slightly away from your torso to keep the midback muscles engaged. If you pull with the arm close to the torso, you activate the lats more than the midback.

For the midback’s contracted position, use bent-arm bent-over laterals—it’s a combination row/lateral raise, arms bent at slightly greater than 90 degrees. You could use bent-over rows instead because, as you observed, the arms retract the scapulae at the top for a complete contraction. Let’s summarize…

3D POF lat routine: pulldowns (midrange), pullovers (stretch) and stiff-arm pulldowns (contracted)

3D POF midback routine: midrange position trained with lat work, one-arm dumbbell rows (stretch) and bent-arm bent-over laterals or rows (contracted); upper traps—dumbbell shrugs (stretch and contracted)

Notice that the upper traps are a separate animal. To fully develop the upper traps, you should do dumbbell shrugs, which train the stretch and contracted positions. Most trainees get plenty of upper-trap midrange work during their delt routine and from other back exercises, so shrugs should be sufficient…

3D POF is a logical way to train without wasting time or effort. You get max force with midrange work, stretch overload with stretch-position exercises and occlusion and continuous tension with contracted-position movements. You also work the full range of motion of each muscle, which improves flexibility and activates more complete development with fewer sets. In other words, you stimulate maximum muscle growth from a number of different pathways. It works.

Till next time, train hard.

—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

Feedback: “I can’t thank you guys enough for discovering the X-Rep technique. It works, big time! In the 10 weeks I’ve been X-ing I’ve gone from 252 to 267 pounds. I’m training all muscles with Midrange, Contracted and Stretch positions [as outlined in 3D Muscle Building].” —Mark Cara, London, U.K.

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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