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What’s the difference between 1 1/4s and DXO?

Q: I have your e-book with all the X-hybrid techniques [Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building]. I’m having some excellent workouts integrating one or two every time I train. My question is about Double-X Overload. As you describe it, I do a quarter rep down near the stretch position after each full rep. In your training blog, though, you say that you’re doing 1 1/4s. What’s the difference? Isn’t DXO the same as 1 1/4s?

A: The simple answer is that DXO stresses the stretch or semistretch point—when the muscle is elongated. For example, near the bottom of a press, flye or stiff-legged deadlift.

The 1 1/4 technique has you doing the quarter rep at the contracted position to force a squeezing flex, such as at the top of a leg extension or concentration curl.

So DXO provides more stretch overload, which is a big key to getting more muscle growth. I refer to it often, citing the animal study that produced a 300 percent muscle mass gain after one month of stretch-overload-only “workouts.” Amazing! (Med Sci Sports Exerc. 25:1333-45; 1993)

Doing 1 1/4s, with the quarter reps at the flex point blocks blood flow, an effect known as occlusion, which has been shown in recent Japanese studies to do incredible things for muscle growth as well—even with light weights.

So both tactics are excellent, but DXO is best on stretch-position exercises, the second move in most Positions-of-Flexion bodypart programs—like incline curls for biceps, stiff-legged deadlifts for hamstrings, overhead extensions for triceps and sissy squats for quads.

The 1 1/4 technique is best on contracted-position exercises, the last move in most Positions-of-Flexion bodypart routines—like pushdowns for triceps, leg curls for hamstrings and stiff-arm pulldowns for lats.

To get the point across, here’s a great POF lat routine that uses our 4X method on the midrange exercise, then DXO and 1 1/4s on the two moves that follow:


Midrange: Wide-grip

pulldowns (10×10 style) 4 x 10

Stretch: Pullovers (DXO) 2 x 8

Contracted: Stiff-arm

pulldowns (1 1/4) 2 x 8


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 videos and Size Surge programs, visit for information on X-Rep and 3D POF methods and e-books.  IM





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