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Summer of Mass: 18 Pounds of Muscle

When my daughter’s 18-year-old boyfriend came to me for a mass-building workout, I was tempted just to give him one of the already existing X-Rep programs. Jordon had graduated high school and desperately wanted to pack on some size over the summer so he could be “big and awesome” by the time he moved up to his new campus in September.

Jordon had me flashing back 20 years to when I put Jonathan Lawson, at that time around 20 years old, on the very first Size Surge program. Jonathan was the beta-test subject for that, and he gained 20 pounds of muscle in 10 weeks–the first two pics below. That amazing gain set the stage for Jonathan to become a very good natural bodybuilder, the last pic, with some of the best arms in the business…


But Jonathan was regaining some of that mass. He’d been bigger before–but had given up on his bodybuilding dreams when he couldn’t seem to add any more muscle. So he went on a lame, uninspired training program and shrunk. But the Size Surge program cracked the code and pushed him to new levels of mass fast….

Jordon, on the other hand, was pretty much a beginner. Yes, he’d been a football player and lifted, but that was strength training. The coaches wanted him strong–and fat–to open holes for running backs. When he played he weighed a very plump, glazed 200 pounds, no visible muscle whatsoever. He hated that look; he wanted to be a bodybuilder…

I knew I could just throw Size Surge his way and hope for the best, but then I thought, Hmm, Jordon would be a perfect guinea pig for my new mass tactics, like Downward-Progression 4X and TORQ–tension-overload repetition quantity, an offshoot of Mr. America Doug Brignole’s high-end hypertrophy method.

So it was back to the workout drawing board. I used what I had been experimenting with and getting good gains–growth-threshold methods like 4X and TORQ–and peppered in some Power Pyramids, heavier, progressive-weight training since he was young and could handle it. I wanted to see what would happen with an early intermediate trainee if he used these methods correctly.

I was more than pleased–shocked, actually. It seemed like every time I saw Jordon over the summer, he got bigger. Amazing. Midway through the summer, I switched his split and redid his workouts so that he was no longer using mega-heavy training. It was all Downward-Progression 4X and TORQ, higher-rep, longer-tension-time sets. And he got even bigger–and stronger–without ultra-heavy training.

By the end of the summer, he had gained 18 pounds of muscle and was a tad leaner too. He was excited. He looked and felt big and could even see some abs peeking through. He didn’t think that was possible considering he had eaten big throughout the summer. And get this: He even went on a vacation, to Hawaii for a week. But it fell perfectly, midway through the summer, so I could break up his program into two phases. The change-to-gain switch worked like magic. Like I said, he got bigger and stronger.


He tested his strength before he left for college. Hard to believe, but he set personal records at the end of the summer. He benched 315 x 3 and squatted 385 x 5. Not bad for an 18-year-old beginning bodybuilder…

When I saw his before and after pictures and tallied his results, I knew I had to document it. I hadn’t planned on an e-book, but his spectacular gains would motivate others and show what can be done with sensible, drug-free bodybuilding methods–just like Jonathan’s Size Surge program did 20 years earlier.

The result is The Ultimate Super-Size Crash Course. Jordon’s two-phase program is there as well as an alternate Phase 1 with Progressive-Speed 4X for those who don’t want to use Power Pyramids. The PS 4X version is perfect for older bodybuilders. Jordon’s Phase 2 is all moderate-weight, growth-threshold training, so any bodybuilder of any age can use that one.

Jordon is at college now, but I still communicate with him. He’s still training hard and bound and determined to get 20-inch arms. Ah, I remember those days–consumed with lifting and packing on muscle. Welcome to the wonderful addiction of pumping iron. It will benefit you for the rest of your life. Thanks for the motivation–and trip down memory lane.

Note: To get a copy of The Ultimate Super-Size Crash Course, go to


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