To Top

IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #463: Look Like a Bodybuilder: Power Plus Max Muscle

IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #463:
Look Like a Bodybuilder: Power Plus Max Muscle


Look Like a Bodybuilder: Power Plus Max Muscle

Q: I’m a powerlifter, but I want to move to bodybuilding. I’m not sure how. I’ve got some muscle, but I sure don’t look like a bodybuilder. What should I do? I’m thinking I just need more isolated exercises for each muscle, like pushdowns for triceps. If I keep pushing heavy weights on all those [exercises], I’ll look more like a bodybuilder, right? Do any of your e-books address my problem?

A: You gave a clue to one of the big reasons so many trainees make slow-to-no muscle gains: They are brainwashed into believing that heavy training exclusively is what builds mass. Not true…

In The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout we discuss the research that shows that the dominate fiber type in the biggest, freakiest bodybuilders is fast-twitch type 2A. Those are dual-capacity fibers–they have both power and endurance components. Therefore you must somehow affect the low-rep power side as well as the higher-rep, longer-tension-time constituents.

For example, in the Power-Density Mass workouts in that e-book, we use heavy power-pyramid training followed by the 4×10 method for density in the basic program, and then we add in rep-tempo variation and drop sets for a more extensive Positions-of-Flexion mass routine…

Analyzing those Power-Density mass routines can help you design your own bodybuilding-transition program. Just keep in mind that you need both power and density, or endurance. Even Mr. Olympias Jay Cutler and Ronnie Coleman keep many of their work sets above 10 reps–some in the 15-to-20 range…

Of course, you’ll also need to get leaner to see more muscle detail. That will automatically make you look bigger and more like a bodybuilder (yes, getting leaner will make you look bigger!). Notice how Jonathan’s back changed in these photos as he got leaner and added muscle density…

You may want to read our X-treme Lean e-book, which has meal-by-meal diets, training info and supplement recommendations. The diet basics include gradually reducing carbs–but not too low–ramping up activity and cheating (you must use cheat days to keep the starvation mechanism at bay–or you burn muscle for energy).

Once you start seeing abs, you’ll definitely have a bodybuilder mind-set–and physique–and you’ll be getting lots of gals raising their eyebrows when you peel off your shirt with confidence.

Q: I’ve been using Jonathan’s Size Surge Workout, and I gained a half-inch on my arms in four weeks. I want to gain even more in phase 2. Any suggestions to make that most effective for me?

A: You got excellent results in Phase 1, which is a 3-days-per-week program with lots of big, basic moves on an innovative split. The Wednesday deadlift-arms-abs workout is a good metabolic-momentum driver midweek, a nice complement to the more extensive Monday and Friday workouts on which you train quads, hams, chest, back and delts.

Notice that you get indirect arm work on Monday and Friday with chest, back and delt work and only one direct arm workout a week. That strategy has put some new size on your guns.

Phase 2 is full-range Positions of Flexion for each bodypart on a two-way split. You train every other day, and each workout is pretty extensive…

At Workout 1 you train quads, hams, calves, chest and triceps. At Workout 2 you train back, delts, biceps and abs. You rest the day after each session. While it’s true that Jonathan made excellent gains using that protocol–20 pounds of muscle with Phase 1 followed by that Phase 2 for 10 weeks. However, Jonathan has good recovery ability and better-than-average genetics for bodybuilding…

You may or may not have good recovery ability. That’s why we suggest that when you get to Phase 2, try it as is and see how you feel. If you can tell that each workout is too much for you, use the alternate 3-way split on pages 55-57 in the Size Surge e-book.

Workout 1: Chest, triceps
Workout 2: Legs, abs
Workout 3: Back, delts, biceps

Follow the sequence of workouts over Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. That will give you more recovery time as well as much shorter workouts. In fact, you may be tempted to add a lot of sets. You can add a set or two here and there–like for lagging bodyparts–but don’t get carried away. Each workout should last no longer than an hour.

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) 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.

2) 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.


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.

Help us build the IRON MAN Research Team — Tell a friend! If you know someone who would benefit from Supplement Updates, Diet Tips and Freebies, forward them this e-zine or tell them to visit us at and click on FREE Training Newsletter.

*We DO NOT sell any subscriber e-mail addresses.

Visit the Home Gym Warehouse online store for the latest books, videos and equipment specials at

All Content (c) Copyright 2010 IRON MAN Magazine
All Rights Reserved

Instantized Creatine- Gains In Bulk

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in E-zine

  • Ezine 918: Pain-to-gain

    Subject: IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #918: Pain-to-gain exercise change (build more muscle size) Q: I’m a big fan of Position-of-Flexion mass training....

    Steve Holman and Jonathan LawsonDecember 19, 2014
  • Ezine #905: Rhythm Method for More Muscle Hypertrophy

    I've been doing mostly compound exercises with X-centric on the first set, two standard sets, and speed on the last one....

    Steve Holman and Jonathan LawsonNovember 13, 2014
  • Ezine #902: Heavy/Light, X-centric Sets and Muscle Hypertrophy

    I really like X-centric sets . Great muscle feel and pump. I'm getting ready...

    Steve Holman and Jonathan LawsonOctober 20, 2014
  • Ezine #897: Speed Muscle Growth

    Q: I tried DP 4X on my big midrange exercise with a speed drop set after the last one. Wow, what...

    Iron Man MagazineOctober 3, 2014
  • Ezine #879: No-Cardio Fat Loss

    Q: I read that you guys got super ripped without doing any cardio. I also saw that Arnold did no cardio...

    Steve Holman and Jonathan LawsonSeptember 3, 2014
  • Slight Volume Uptick to Get Big Quick

    I have found that your change-to-gain method works. I have put on five pounds in the past month, but I know...

    Steve Holman and Jonathan LawsonAugust 29, 2014
  • Best Muscle-Growth Method for You

    Q: I just started using the 4X methods. Great stuff. Loving the pumps, but I'm wondering if 4X is better for...

    Iron Man MagazineAugust 15, 2014
  • Light the Iso-TORQ Fuse to Get Huge

    When I use regular TORQ (30-20-15) on isolation exercises like leg extensions, can I add weight each set?

    Steve Holman and Jonathan LawsonAugust 11, 2014
  • One Intra-Set Change to Jack Up Muscle Gains

    Q: I love 4X because it's 10 reps per set. I get the "hypertrophic tension time" of more than 40 seconds...

    Steve Holman and Jonathan LawsonJuly 31, 2014