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Pre-Ex 3X Supersets: Getting More Veiny Size

ironmanmagazine.comQ: I use Pre-Ex 3X supersets when I can. Removing the weak-link muscle makes so much sense as a way to target the compound exercise more and work it harder. The look of my physique has completely changed since adding these, with new vascularity. I recently saw a mention of doing the second exercise in the superset in “speed” style. How does that work? I’d love more veins and size.

A: Yes, for many muscle groups preexhaustion makes a lot of sense. For example, isolating your chest with cable flyes first and then immediately moving to dumbbell bench presses helps even out the strength of the now prefatigued pecs with your fresh triceps.

On the other hand, if you do the dumbbell bench presses first, it’s the smaller triceps that get the brunt of the work before the larger chest muscles get optimal growth stimulation.

So doing the cable flyes or crossovers first isolates and prefatigues the pecs so the bench presses can push them further into the growth zone.

As you mentioned, we’ve recently been experimenting with doing the second exercise, the compound move, in speed style. We call it  “X-celeration.” Research suggests that moving faster, at about 1.5 seconds per rep, can activate more growth fibers. We find that to be true, as there is more stress at the semistretch point on the stroke—for example, near the bottom of a bench press—and the postworkout ache is amazing.

You can begin your bodypart workouts with preex, such as crossovers with dumbbell presses, stiff-arm pulldowns with pulldowns, leg extensions with leg presses, and so on—three rounds of each in Pre-Ex 3X style, doing the second exercise with X-celeration.

Or you can do your standard routine and end with one or two rounds of Pre-Ex X-celeration. That’s an awesome mass finisher that will supersize your pump and create new vascularity, guaranteed.

For example, after we hit chest with a complete Position-of-Flexion routine, we often do a round or two of low-incline flyes supersetted with low-incline presses, the presses in speed style—using the same dumbbells on both exercises. The speed set creates a growth ache and pump you won’t believe. In other words, it’s X-celeration for new vascular mass creation.

—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson


Editor’s note: The Pre-Ex 3X Mass Workout is available for download at

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