Q: Big P/RR/S fan here. It keeps things fun and interesting in the gym. I want to achieve an X-frame—like a smaller Toney Freeman or Troy Alves. Can you give me some X-frame-building supersets for Shock week?
A: Thanks for the compliments—and good choices of physiques to emulate. For a good X-frame here’s what you need:
• Wide, bowling-ball shoulders
• Wide, V-tapered lats
• Tight, compact waistline
• Quads that flare on the sides due to a very developed vastus lateralis
Achieving a truly dramatic X-frame is largely based on genetic gifts—you need to be born with wide clavicles, a fairly narrow hip structure and the correct types of muscle origins, or insertions, or your chances of developing a physique similar to Freeman’s or Alves’ will be about as good as mine for beating Kobe Bryant in a game of one-on-one. Still, you should do everything in your power to create the best X-frame that you possibly can. Here are some super-X supersets for Shock week:
• Target: Lateral deltoid
Seated laterals with shoulder-width-grip barbell upright rows
Standing laterals with seated dumbbell press—elbows back, even with torso
Behind-the-back cable laterals with single-arm dumbbell upright rows—raise elbow up and out to the side
• Target: lats and teres major
Stiff-arm pulldowns with close-, undergrip pulldowns
Dumbbell pullovers with cable rows
Machine pullovers with close, undergrip barbell bent-over rows
• Target: Outer thigh—vastus lateralis
Feet-inward leg extensions with narrow-stance hack, barbell or Smith-machine squats
Feet-inward leg extensions with narrow-stance leg presses
Foot-inward single-leg extensions with single-leg presses—with foot and hips turned slightly inward
Note: You can do any of the above supersets in reverse order.
• Target: Waistline and abdominals
No training techniques can overcome wide-waisted genetics. If you’re not blessed with a narrow hip structure, there’s not much you can do—but here are some things that can help keep your midsection as small and tight as your genetics will allow:
1) Do not ever let your bodyfat or bodyweight get too far out of hand.
2) Wear a weightlifting belt on exercises on which you “push out” your abs—squats, deadlifts, bent-over rows.
3) Do not eat very large meals regularly—eat smaller meals frequently.
4) Do not train your obliques directly—no weighted side bends.
5) Do no fewer than 15 reps on any weighted ab movement.
6) Regularly practice abdominal vacuums, which will train the transverse abdominis—the muscle that acts as a “corset,” keeping your tummy pulled in tight.
Now go and build your X-treme X-frame.
Editor’s note: Eric Broser’s new DVD, “Power/Rep Range/Shock Max-Mass Training System,” is available at Home-Gym.com. His e-books, Power/Rep Range/Shock Workout and The FD/FS Mass-Shock Workout, which include complete printable workout templates and Q&A sections, are available at X-Workouts.com.