IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #724:
Muscle Size and Cuts: Go Slow to Grow and Burn Fat
TRY THIS AT YOUR NEXT WORKOUT
Muscle Size and Cuts: Go Slow to Grow and Burn Fat
Q: I got your Quick-Start Muscle-Building Guide because I haven’t lifted in a few years. Fantastic info and it’s already working for me. On some exercises you suggest lifting in 3 seconds and lower in 3 to help improve nerve force for strength. I see in some of your training blogs that you sometimes lift in 1 second and lower in 6. Should I try that? I think you said it helps burn fat, and I would love to see my abs sooner rather than later.
A: Lifting in 1 second and lowering in 6 is what we call X-centric, or Negative-Accentuated, training. It is a great FAT BURNER as well as MUSCLE BUILDER, but you shouldn’t use it just yet (more on why in a moment).
X-centric sets have a two-way muscle-building effect…
1) The slow lowering, or negatives, create microtears in the myofibrils, the force-generating strands in muscle fibers. Your body repairs those strands bigger and better than before to prevent further damage…
So by fixing those fiber fissures, your body remodels muscle tissue to GROW.
2) Another way those X-centric sets help you pack on size is by pumping up the sarcoplasm. That’s the energy fluid in the muscle that contains ATP (from creatine), glycogen (from carbs) and the mitochondria (the cell’s powerhouse where fat is burned)…
By doing around 7 reps with a 1-up-6-down cadence, you get 50 seconds of tension time. That long time under tension is something most trainees never get, and it’s key in stressing the sarcoplasm to expand. (If you aren’t getting longer tension times, you’re leaving a lot of mass on the table.)
So you GROW with myofibrillar remodeling (micro-trauma repair) and sarcoplasmic expansion (long tension time).
As for fat burning, X-cenric sets help you torch blubber along 3 different pathways…
1) The myofibrillar repair process takes energy over a period of days–and a lot of that energy comes directly from body fat. That’s right, your metabolism is jacked while your body fixes the fissures, so you burn fat 24/7.
2) By stressing the sarcoplasm with a longer 50-second tension times, you fortify the mitochondria in muscle cells. By supercharging those fat-burning powerhouses, you drop blubber faster and more efficiently.
3) The long tension time produces more muscle burn, which triggers GROWTH HORMONE release; GH is a potent fat burner, and it enhances ALL of the above.
So if X-centric sets are so great and help you build muscle and burn fat along so many different pathways, why shouldn’t you use it? Because you’re a beginner. X-centric sets will produce way too much soreness in beginners. In fact, you may not be able to get out of bed (it can be that bad for some newbies.)
Once you’ve been training for four to six months, you can try it on ONE SET per muscle. That’s how we have The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout set up. It’s a mix of heavier training (pyramids), X-centric sets and higher-rep sets on isolation exercises for even more muscle burn and growth hormone release.
Till next time, train hard–and smart–for BIG results.
–Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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1) The 4X Mass Workout–fast, simplified supersaturation training for X-treme size
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8) X-treme Lean—Fat-Burning and Nutrition Guide (with training too)
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
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