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Tension-Overload Training

7307-train3You know those times when you walk into the gym and just aren’t feeling it? Don’t turn around and walk out; instead, pick one solid exercise for each muscle group you’re supposed to train, and go for tension overload—high-end hypertrophy sets. My two favorite methods are X-centric 4X and 10x10.

X-centric 4X: Take your 15-rep-max weight. Lift in one second and lower in six—on every rep. Do seven. Rest 40 seconds, then do seven more—and so on for four sets. Do as many X-centric reps as you can on the last set. Each of those sets will hammer the myofibrils, the actin and myosin strands, plus the long tension time of 50 seconds per set can initiate expansion of the sarcoplasmic fluid in the muscles.

10x10: Grab a weight that you can use for around 20 reps, but do only 10. Rest for 30 seconds, then do 10 more—and so on for 10 sets. Talk about a unique growth stimulus! And the pump and burn are outrageous.

Either of these sequences takes less than 10 minutes—and you get some excellent change to gain.

—Steve Holman


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