IRON MAN E-Zine: Issue #561:
Skin-Stretching Pumps: Train Fast for New Mass
TRY THIS AT YOUR NEXT WORKOUT
Skin-Stretching Pumps: Train Fast for New Mass
Q: I’ve been using your 4X method for a couple of weeks, but I don’t seem to be getting a big pump. I do 4 sets of 10 reps with about 40 seconds between sets. I use the same weight on all sets and take the fourth set to failure. Is it important to get a massive pump?
A: Getting a pump is critical for bodybuilders because it signifies that you have stressed the muscle enough from an endurance standpoint to force the expansion of the sarcoplasm, the energy fluid in muscle fibers. That’s very important for developing ULTIMATE muscle size.
Remember, most trainees are average, NOT myofibrillar dominant–that is, they don’t have a propensity for superhuman strength. That could be from fewer fast-twitch fibers and/or low neuromuscular efficiency–the nerve-to-muscle connections. So the majority need more sarcoplasmic stimulation to achieve a full-muscle bodybuilder look. That’s especially true of slender types–to fill out and round out their muscles–like former Mr. Olympia Frank Zane…
If you need to tweak the 4X method to trigger a bigger pump, try 4×12 instead of 4×10 on most of your exercises. Yes, you’ll have to reduce your poundages somewhat, but if you’re after maximum strength, you should consider powerlifting and a different training style (lower reps and longer rests for myofibrillar stress, which increases force generation)…
Danny Padilla, one of the great bodybuilders of the ’80s, liked 5×12 on every exercises–just like 4X only with five sets of 12 reps each. Did it work? You be the judge…
We talk more about Padilla in The 4X Mass Workout e-book, but here’s an interesting quote from one of his training partners from back in the day…
“Danny would NOT pyramid the weight he used on his exercises. He would use the same weight on all his sets and do 5 sets of 12 reps. That meant the first two sets were not-to-failure sets, but by set three he was close, and sets four and five were a fight to get the 12 reps if at all. Once he could get 12 reps on all five sets, he would increase the weight at the next workout. He often equated the sets to knocking off the soldiers [fast-twitch fibers] one by one with each rep of each set.”
You can also add X-Rep partials to the end of the last set to extend tension time AND activate more fibers–that is, at full-range failure, move the resistance to the spot at which the target muscle is semi-stretched, like near the bottom of an incline press, and fire out eight-inch partial reps…
Here’s another variation than can drive more blood to the target muscle: When you do a 4X sequence, really do a 3X–in other words, go to failure on the third set. Then reduce the weight, rest 30 seconds and do a negative-accentuated, or X-centric, set on your fourth. With that lighter weight you do one second on each positive rep and six seconds on each negative. Pick a weight that allows at least 7 NA reps so you get about 50 seconds of tension time.
So on incline presses you would lower to your chest in six seconds, then fire back to the top in one second. Caution: The slow lowering will cause myofibrillar trauma and get you sore…
In your question you didn’t say how many exercises you’re doing for each bodypart. One big compound move with 4X may not be enough to trigger a massive pump. In almost all cases, except special one-exercise routines like 10×10, we suggest 3-way, full-range Positions of Flexion for each target muscle…
POF is training each bodypart through its midrange, stretch and contracted positions. For example, for delts you’d do dumbbell upright rows (M), incline one-arm laterals (S) and standing laterals (C).
Notice that the last exercise in POF is a continuous-tension contracted-position exercise–like laterals above. Those produce occlusion, or blood-flow blockage, during the set, so 4X with short rests should have blood rushing in at the end for insane engorgement.
The above tips should get your target muscles pumped beyond belief–to pack new beef on your physique.
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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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
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8) X-treme LeanFat-Burning and Nutrition Guide (with training too)
9) The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout
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11) The Ultimate 10×10 Mass Workout
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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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