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The Pre-Ex 3X Size Assault: Big Arms Now

www.ironmanmagazine.comQ: I am loving Pre-Ex 3X. Tried it on chest and back, and the muscle pumped like crazy. I want to follow all the workouts, but you give two different arm routines for Wednesday, one pre-ex and the other straight sets in standard Positions-of-Flexion order [midrange, stretch and contracted]. Which should I use? Which is better?

A: You missed one; there’s actually a third delts-and-arms workout that is Modified Pre-Ex. That’s doing a contracted-position isolation exercise first for a 4X sequence; which provides direct work and some prefatigue. Then you do the big, midrange move and the stretch exercise, both for straight-set 3X or 4X sequences as well.

Which is best? None of them and all of them. In other words, they all work—but each is different, and you should switch often. To pack on extreme muscle size, you should use the change-to-gain strategy.

I recommend using one of those three arm programs for a week or two, and then switching to another for a few weeks, and so on.

For example, after using straight-set Modified Pre-Ex for a couple of weeks, try increasing the density. That’s a Vince Gironda mass tactic that basically means you should do more work in less time. A great way to accomplish that is with supersets, preex included.

Even though there are no weak-link muscles when you train arms, Pre-Ex 3X still condenses your workload compared to straight sets. For example, here’s an interesting superset routine for triceps:


Pre-Ex 3X Superset

Contracted: V-bar pushdowns 3 x 10

Midrange: Close-grip bench presses 3 x 10

Stretch superset

Stretch: Cable pushouts 3 x 10

Stretch: Dumbbell pullovers 3 x 8

That’s a variation of the triceps workout in the e-book The Pre-Ex 3X Mass Workout—but I’ve added stretch supersets instead of two straight 3X sequences at the end. See, it’s all about changing things up often. How about biceps?


Pre-Ex 3X Superset

Contracted: Spider curls 3 x 10

Midrange: Dumbbell curls 3 x 8


Stretch superset

Stretch: Incline curls 3 x 10


Reverse curls 3 x 10


If you’ve been using straight sets for a few weeks, moving to this superset assault will blow up your arms big time.

As you know, however, nothing keeps on working forever—in fact Gironda said a muscle adapts completely after only three workouts. So after you do two or three weeks of the superset routine, go back to Modified Pre-Ex—straight-set 3X and 4X sequences, leading off with the contracted-position exercise. The idea is to frequently stir the mix for new mass upticks.

Editor’s note: Steve Holman is the author of many bodybuilding best-sellers and the creator of Positions-of-Flexion muscle training. For information on the POF DVD and Size Surge programs, see the ad sections in this issue. Also visit  and
for info on X-Rep, 4X and 3D POF methods and e-books.  IM

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