To Top

Rebooting Your Mass-Building Machinery

I recently got an e-mail from a 40-plus-year-old competitive bodybuilder that got me excited--and not in a good way. His physique is very Zane-like, obviously an ectomorph who has a hard time packing on mass--but with very good lines. Here's what he said:

"[After this last contest] I am re-evaluating a lot of things, including my workouts and the longevity of my joints...."

I had to write him back and address his apparent frustration. It sounded to me like he was ready to throw in the towel--but I know from experience that his joint concerns are not necessary...

If you've been reading my blogs, you know that when I got close to 50 years old, I was thinking the exact same thing. I thought I was going to have to quit lifting weights, or at least go to circuit training with the pink dumbbells.

But after some research, talking to various people who had trained with top competitors of yesteryear, as well as "revisiting" in my mind my talks with Vince Gironda when he used to visit the IRON MAN offices, I came up with the 4X mass method.

I told the frustrated competitor that Mr. America winner Doug Brignole, now over 50, began using a version of 4X and was amazed at being able to pack on muscle quickly using only moderate weights. He recently made a comeback to competition thanks to that moderate-weight, high-muscle fatigue, growth-threshold style.

For the uninitiated, here's the gist of it: For any exercise you take a weight with which you can get 15 reps, but you only do 10; rest 35 seconds, then do 10 more. Continue for four sets. On the fourth, you go all out--to failure. If you get 10, add a bit of weight to the exercise at your next workout.

That standard 4X method is based on Gironda's density training--condensing the workload (doing more work in less time). NO heavy weights required. I've been using it for about two years now, and my joints feel fantastic, and I'm leaner and more muscular than I've been since my 20s. Not kidding!

I hate to see anyone give up on bodybuilding because they can no longer use heavy weights. Smashing your joints to dust is simply not necessary for muscle size. Unfortunately, it took me 20 years to finally figure that out--and I hope others, including this frustrated competitor, give 4X a go for more muscle growth--no joint obliteration necessary!

Stay tuned, train smart and be Built for Life.

Note: The 4X Mass Workout is available at It’s a joint-friendly, growth-hormone-spurring method designed to trigger major muscle growth, fat loss and health.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Blog Post

  • Why Your Big Toe Is Your Key To Great Calves!

    If you're looking to really build your calves, this one little piece of advice will help tremendously. Yet you rarely, if...

    Nick NilssonApril 6, 2016
  • Create Big-Ass Shoulders With Mike Rashid

    His motto “Train Your Mind as Hard as You Train Your Body,” may test your muscles and your mind.

    Iron Man MagazineMarch 21, 2016
  • The Workout and Happiness

    Happy New Year—a perennial cliché!  Can anything or anybody make you happy? To paraphrase a well-known line from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar,...

    John BalikFebruary 11, 2015
  • New Year Resolutions

    January first, the birth of a new year.  Time to reflect on the old and plan for the new! Historically, January...

    John BalikJanuary 15, 2015
  • Do You Know Squat ?

    Have you heard any of the following recommendations? “Don’t let your knees go over your toes when you squat, because it’s...

    Doug BrignoleDecember 30, 2014
  • Another Rewarding Olympia Weekend

    A couple of weeks ago I was at the Mr. Olympia competition, the 50th rendition of that iconic event. What started...

    John BalikDecember 15, 2014
  • Muscle Beach Breakfast Club

    I have been a part of Muscle Beach Venice since competing there in the mid ’60s. Much has changed in the...

    John BalikNovember 15, 2014
  • The Science Behind My 2 Week Body Transformation into a Mythological Minotaur

    Sometimes getting in shape can mean perfect timing.  In order to make a 2 week body transformation, science can play a...

    curtis.fisherNovember 14, 2014
  • Bodybuilding: Art or Mass Appeal

    With increasing frequency, we’re hearing a segment of the bodybuilding fan base speaking out against the trend toward ever more massive...

    Doug BrignoleNovember 13, 2014