IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #644:
Scrawny-to-Brawny Mass Workout: Get the Bodybuilder Look
TRY THIS AT YOUR NEXT WORKOUT
Scrawny-to-Brawny Mass Workout: Get the Bodybuilder Look
Q: Out of all of your workout programs, which one is best for hardgainers? I train heavy to failure, but I don't look like a bodybuilder at all.
A: That's a great question, but a lot depends on your training experience, age, recovery capacity, stress levels etc. Let's start by assuming you're an average intermediate hardgainer…
Keep in mind that hardgainers tend to overproduce the muscle-eating stress hormone cortisol, so they should limit heavy work most of the time; also, hardgainers tend to respond better to muscle-endurance sarcoplasmic-expansion work as opposed to heavy-weight myofibrillar training--when it comes to building size...
That makes sense, as hardgainers' muscles are more endurance oriented. If they develop the sarcoplasm, the energy fluid in the muscles, they will get fuller, rounder muscles and attain the look of a bodybuilder faster. If, on the other hand, they train heavy with low reps only, they get stronger and build the myofibrils, which don't contribute all that much to their size potential--and there's the cortisol problem…
Nevertheless, they should strive to build both "sides" of the muscle to achieve their biggest size, so the best hardgainer program would have to be one with SOME heavy pyramid sets PLUS moderate-weight 4X.
A good place to start would be the Basic Power-Density Mass Workout in the Power-Density e-book. That has you do a basic exercise with a pyramid (9, 7); then you do a 4X sequence: Pick a weight with which you can get 15 reps, but you only do 10; rest 35 seconds, then do it again--and so on, going all out on your fourth set. That moderate-weight, high-fatigue method expands the sarcoplasm and also builds some myofibrillar size…
Basic Power-Density Triceps
(pyramid), 2 x 9, 7
(4x), 4 x 10
It's flexible. For example, instead of doing one exercise with both styles, you could divide it into two moves…
Close-grip bench presses (pyramid), 2 x 9, 7
Decline extensions (4X), 4 x 10
Decline extensions (pyramid), 2 x 9, 7
Pushdowns (4X), 4 x 10
You would eventually graduate to the full-range Positions-of-Flexion Power-Density Mass Workout in that e-book, which includes pyramids, 4X AND drop sets, another great method for hardgainers--two or three back-to-back sets with weight reductions does great things for both "sides" of the muscle fibers.
If you're older and have put away heavy training, go ALL 4X with 3-way Positions of Flexion on every bodypart--or even a bit more volume for lagging muscles. It's all about sufficiently stressing both "sides" of the muscle fibers, getting enough recovery to grow and NOT triggering too much cortisol, which eats away your muscle gains. That's how you get the bodybuilder look…
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
2) The X-traordinary X-Rep Workout--the latest update to our original X e-book
3) The X-centric Mass Workout--the negative-accentuated training manual
4) The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout--total body transformation training
5) X-traordinary Muscle-Building Workouts--10 complete mass programs
6) X-traordinary Arms--includes the 3D HIT workout system with big-arms routines
7) 3D Muscle Building--the original Positions-of-Flexion mass-training manual
8) X-treme Lean—Fat-Burning and Nutrition Guide (with training too)
12) Eric Broser's FD/FS Mass-Shock Workout
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X-WORKOUTS: Find specialized e-workout programs, including Power-Density, 10x10 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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