IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #511:
On Your Mark, Add Sets, GROW
TRY THIS AT YOUR NEXT WORKOUT
On Your Mark, Add Sets, GROW
Q: I’m testing your 4X variations [Shock-centric, 4X Pyramid, etc. from the last e-zine]. Great stuff! Isn’t another way to get more mass simply by increasing the volume to 5X or more on any exercise?
A: Yes, volume increases, as in tacking on sets to 4X so you’re doing 5X or 6X, can boost mass gains–to a point. It’s a lot like tanning: To get darker, you can increase exposure time. The problem is diminishing returns…
In other words, if you add too many sets, you can begin to regress from overtraining (like sunburn if you over-tan). And the overblown excess stress doesn’t just affect the muscles but your nervous system as well. So adding sets can be tricky…
Also, if you do 6×10 or more sets on an exercise, your work weight must be lighter. That means you’re moving away from power and closer to pure-density training (like 10×10). A standard 4X sequence is heavy enough and quick enough–5 minutes per exercise–to give you a good balance of both power and density. It’s moderately heavy weight with short breaks at a fast pace…
Remember, for a standard 4X sequence you take a weight with which you can get 13 to 15 reps, but you only do 10; rest for 30 seconds and do 10 more and so on until you complete four sets. If you get 10 reps on your last set, add a small amount of weight to that exercise at your next workout. 4X is a quick-hit power-density mix..
In The X-traordinary 4X Mass Workout e-book we explain that 10×10 is almost pure density training–not much power required due to using a light weight and the extreme fatigue buildup. But it’s excellent for a four-week density-shock mass phase, just as pure-power programs are. After 4 weeks, go back to a power-density mix. That will get you maximum growth in the key 2As, the dual-component mass fibers with both power and endurance capacities. That’s the dominant fiber type in the biggest bodybuilders…
Keep in mind that the more sets you add to a 4X sequence, the more the emphasis moves toward density and away from power. If you’re training with a total-4X program, you may not want to stray too far below or too far above four sets. A few 3X and 5X sequences can be good for variation, but stick to 4X most of the time. For the important change-to-gain anabolic switch, try rotating in the tactics we described in the previous e-zine, like…
Shock-centric: Every set of a 4X sequence in negative-accentuated style–one second positive, six-second negative; 7 reps per set.
4X Pyramid: Add weight on each set of a 4X sequence, so reps go 10, 9, 8, 6.
Rotate those into your program in place of standard 4X every so often. Oh, and one we forgot to mention–that we’re getting excellent results with–is…
4X + NA: Do a standard 4X sequence, but for your LAST set reduce the weight and do it in negative-accentuated style–one-second positive, six-second negative. Your reps should look like 10, 10, 9, 7NA.
That’s a great way to finish with a longer tension time–about 50 seconds if you do 7 NA reps–and extra fat-to-muscle microtrauma. Negative-accentuated sets will ignite more fat burning to get abs churning and turning heads by spring…
[For more on NA training as well as power-density workouts, see The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout or The X-centric Mass Workout, both at special low prices for a limited time. Click on the title for more info.]
Till next time, train hard–and smart–for BIG results.
Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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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
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