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IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #469: More Muscle Now: Less Training, Big Gaining

IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #469:
More Muscle Now: Less Training, Big Gaining


More Muscle Now: Less Training, Big Gaining

Q: I was reading a Q&A with Dante [the creator of DC training], and he said he likes short bodypart workouts and hitting the muscle more frequently, like two or three times a week. Some of your workouts are like that, but many have six to 10 sets per muscle [to cover full-range Positions of Flexion], and train a bodypart once every five days. Which is better, shorter more frequent hits or more sets with longer recovery time between hits? I know most of the pros train with a lot of volume and hit each muscle only once a week.

A: True, but most of the pros have loads of pharmaceutical help year round. Not that you can’t learn a thing or two from them, but you can pretty much ditch their workouts as something you can follow successfully set for set–unless you’re on the same stuff they are. We aren’t…

So if you’re not on drugs and can’t do 20 sets a bodypart, here are 3 drug-free options to grow…

1) 6-12 sets for each muscle every five to seven days (like our Power-Density Mass Workout)

2) 3-5 sets for each muscle every two to three days (more frequent workouts as Dante suggests, like Phase 1 of Size Surge Workout)

3) 10 sets in a direct workout, then 3-4 sets in an indirect workout a few days later (our current favorite from the X-centric Mass Workout–a detailed outline is coming up.)

Which is best? We say this a lot, but isn’t one that’s best–they’re all just different. And different is good because change can trigger bigger gains! In other words, using a program with, say, only a few sets per bodypart and hitting each muscle three times a week, #2, will get you great gains for a month or so. Then, to trigger a new mass jolt, you move to hitting each muscle only once or twice a week but with MORE volume…

We know that’s a sound size-building strategy because that’s precisely how Jonathan packed on 20 pounds of muscle in 10 weeks with the Size Surge program (true, he was regaining some muscle, as we explain in the SS e-book, but he built new muscle as well)…

The first six weeks, with the Phase 1 Size Surge workouts, he trained each bodypart three times a week, either directly or indirectly, with only a few sets. He worked out for about 1 1/2 hours on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (it’s a great basic mass-building program with key anabolic-accelerator exercises at each workout)…

After a little more than a month on that, Jonathan switched gears. He moved to an every-other-day Positions-of-Flexion program. That had him training each bodypart once every four or five days with around six sets—more volume but more recovery days between full-range bodypart hits…

Number 3 above, the direct/indirect approach, is one we’ve had a lot of success with lately. It’s based on the fact that when you directly attack one bodypart, you can incorporate at least one exercise that indirectly works another.

For example, when you work chest directly, you train triceps indirectly during all the pressing exercises. Then a few days later you train triceps and include close-grip bench presses–as in the Positions-of-Flexion sequence above–which trains the chest indirectly. Here’s the direct/indirect split from the X-centric Mass Workout e-book:

Week 1
Monday: Chest (indirect triceps), back (indirect biceps and delts), abs
Tuesday: Legs
Wednesday: Delts (indirect midback), triceps (indirect chest), biceps (indirect lats)
Thursday: Off
Friday: Chest (indirect triceps), back (indirect biceps and delts) + deadlifts (for indirect leg work), abs
Weekend: Off

Week 2
Monday: Delts (indirect midback), triceps (indirect chest), biceps (indirect lats)
Tuesday: Legs
Wednesday: Chest (indirect triceps), back (indirect biceps and delts), abs
Thursday: Off
Friday: Delts (indirect midback), triceps (indirect chest), biceps (indirect lats)
Weekend: Off

Week 3
Repeat Week 1

Week 4
Repeat Week 2

With the above split and the correct exercise selection, you’re training each upper-body muscle three times a week either directly or indirectly and your legs get hit once or twice a week–twice if it’s a Friday deadlift week (Week 1). And no bodypart gets trained two days in a row. That’s important. PLUS, you get VOLUME VARIATION…

For example, when you train chest directly, you use about 10 sets; then when you get indirect chest work with triceps a few days later, pecs only get three to four sets with close-grip bench presses. It’s really an ingenious way to train for ultimate mass gains.

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

—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

You can subscribe to this e-zine free at


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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Our August issue has a familiar Austrian theme–as in blockbuster photos of the Oak in his prime. We’ve come across more rare shots of Arnold that we have to share, just in time to celebrate his birthday. We’ll also have an interview with legendary drug-free bodybuilder Bob Gallucci. He was considered very Arnold-esque in his heyday, and he tells how he did it sans anabolics. Then Jerry Brainum delves into fasting. Is it good for you? Will it help you drop that last bit of bodyfat? J.B. has all the answers. Find your August IRON MAN on newsstands Now! See the Table of Contents here for a full preview.




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