Q: I’m using a Positions-of-Flexion program from 3D Muscle Building. I read a lot about the pros’ training, and I’m not sure that three exercises per muscle, as you recommend in POF, is enough. Can you help me understand why that’s sufficient for building the most mass?
A: First, realize that all pro bodybuilders use anabolic steroids, which heighten recovery and growth significantly. That means they can tolerate a lot more volume at each workout. On top of that, the pros have genetics for building muscle and recovering from work far superior to what us normal mortals possess.
One of the top IFBB pros, Victor Martinez, said that in a recent column when answering a question about volume from a drug-free bodybuilder: “It’s not the number of exercises you do but how you execute and combine them that’s important. The basics work best. You really shouldn’t need more than three exercises [per -bodypart]. Doing six or eight different exercises is only going to get you overtrained. Obviously, it’s even more likely to happen if you’re a drug-free lifter.”
Now, your choice of exercises shouldn’t be random. As Martinez said, it’s how you execute and combine exercises that counts, not the number of them you do—and that’s precisely why Positions-of-Flexion mass training evolved. It’s a logical way to choose three exercises for each muscle so that you train it through its full range of contractibility. The easiest body-part to illustrate the concept with is triceps.
Midrange. To train the middle range, you use close-grip bench presses. Your arms are perpendicular to your torso. [Note: If you use a split that has you training triceps after chest, do lying extensions instead of close-grip bench presses, as the presses will be redundant.]
Stretch. To elongate the triceps fully, use overhead extensions. Stretching the target muscle against resistance is highly anabolic—one animal study showed a 300 percent increase in muscle mass after only one month of progressive-resistance stretch workouts. Yes, 300 percent!
Contracted. This is the position at which the target muscle flexes against resistance—and the best contracted-position exercises have continuous tension, which blocks blood flow to the muscle during the set. That triggers expansion of the sarcoplasm, which is the energy fluid in the muscle fibers.
Those three exercises train the triceps at three different points along the muscle’s arc of flexion—arms overhead, arms perpendicular to the torso and arms down next to the torso. That ensures complete development and triggers exceptional fiber activation. In other words, POF gives you a triple dose of muscle growth for every bodypart.
Editor’s note: Steve Holman is the author of many bodybuilding best-sellers and the creator of Positions-of-Flexion muscle training. For information on the POF DVD and Size Surge programs, visit www.Home-Gym.com Also visit www.X-Rep.com and X-Workouts.com for info on X-Rep, 4X and 3D POF methods and e-books. IM