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B E Y O N D
by Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building was written to help you get closer to your physical potential with sensible bodybuilding strategies. Weight training is a demanding activity, however, so it is highly recommended that you consult your physician and have a physical examination prior to beginning a weighttraining program. Proceed with the suggested diets, exercises and routines at your own risk.
Photography by Michael Neveux
Cover models: Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson Copyright © 2005 by IRON MAN Magazine and Homebody Productions All rights reserved.
The material in this document may not be reproduced in whole or in part in any manner or form without prior written consent from the publisher. Homebody Productions P.O. Box 2800, Ventura, CA 93002 www.X-Rep.com www.BeyondX-Rep.com www.X-tremeLean.com www.X-traordinaryAbs.com
Introduction......................................................................4 Chapter 1—X-hilirating Muscle-Building Observations.................................................................5 Chapter 2—X-treme Pumps and Pain to Gain.............11 Chapter 3—Hormone Surges and Fiber Slicing..........17 Chapter 4—Cut the Volume, Cover the Angles...........21 Chapter 5—Time-Bomb Training..................................25 Chapter 6—Stage Sets and Double-X Overload.........31 Chapter 7—X/Pause and X-centric Training................37 Chapter 8—Iso X and the X Fade..................................45 Chapter 9—Our X-citing Results and Findings...........49 Chapter 10—Split-Positions X-Rep Training................59 Chapter 11—X Q&A........................................................77 Bonus Chapter A—Analyzing Mr. Olympia’s Workouts—From an X-Rep Perspective...................93 Bonus Chapter B—The Inner Workings of Steroids: Mimicking Their Anabolic Power Without Drugs...103
allowing you to trigger new hypertrophic stimulation like never before—so much so that many trainees said that X Reps are the last word on building massive muscles. nothing works forever. 4 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . but as any seasoned bodybuilder knows. The best of the best of those X-Rep hybrid techniques helped us pack on nearly 10 more pounds of new muscle to our already developed physiques (which is even more amazing when you consider that Steve is now 46 years old!). Trainees have reported incredible gains in size and s t rength in only a few workouts due to finally being able to overcome the nervous system roadblock during any set to failure ( i t ’s usually the nervous system that craps out first.Introduction The Ultimate Mass Workout e-book showcased our gains with X Reps and explained that mass-building technique in detail. it has the power to transform a physique in as few as 35 days. But are they? Our latest research and experiments (or should we say Xperiments?) confirm the power of X Reps. and Jonathan L. Consider yourself in the fast lane to X-treme muscle. Our results with X Reps showed that. It essentially kick -start ed the X -Rep muscle-bu ilding phenomenon—and the gains of muscle-building enthusiasts all over the world. Power partials at the sweet spot along an exercise’s stroke at the end of a set to exhaustion obliterate that roadblock. not the muscle). Are you ready? Let’s put the pedal to the metal! —Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson Steve H. These techniques can do the same for you—take your mass to the next level at a rate that will astound you. if used correctly. You have to find ways to jack up the intensity if you want X-traordinary growth.: Bigger IRON MAN Training & and better in ’05 thanks to new Research Center X-Rep hybrid techniques. So after more analysis and research we created new ways to X-ponentially increase the intensity of the X-Rep technique.
CHAPTER 1 X-hilirating Muscle-Building Observations Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 5 .
On shru g s. You’ve no doubt heard a mass monster at your gym or in a magazine article go on and on about strict form. Due to our drug-free status we had to be more discerning and keep an eye toward science (we even a n a l y zed how steroids work in order to get many of those effects naturally. on some of his exercises the weight is so heavy. First. so they have to know a thing or two about getting extreme development— just don’t ask them because they’ll say something like. And that’s when our gains began to skyrocket.It all started when we began analyzing the way the biggest bodybuilders train for mass. 6 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . Ronnie Coleman. for e x a m p l e. “Do six to 10 reps on a lot of exercises. most of his reps look more like a re j e c t e d Olympic lift. but when you see him train. t h e re’s ve ry abbre v i a t e d m ovement.” No wonder the failure rate in bodybuilding is outrageous. he loads up an o u t rageous poundage. We watched them train. but Watch Ronnie Coleman train and you’ll see that he does most of his exercise in an explosive. s t raps onto the bar and pulls for all he’s worth. read up on training research and then applied what we saw to our own workouts—well. It’s much more than that! T h a t’s why we decided to observe rather than ask. as you’ll see in an upcoming chapter). is the perfect example. partial style. More on that later. Olympia and one of the biggest and strongest bodybuilders of all time. analyzed their techniques. These men are huge. let’s look at a few things we discovered when we opened our eyes—like all the cheating that goes on (and we’re not talking about steroids). In fact. Mr. blasting the weight through the key semistretched position and only moving it halfway or two-thirds of the way up through the stroke. sort of.
(We’ll have a complete exerc i s e . growth-jolting overload. the more growth you’ll stimulate. ( We’re getting to the cheating part. The key max-force point. where you move from the negative stroke to the positive. As we explained in UMW. but a lot of them are—especially on the big. much more. Say what? Most scientists say that one of the big keys to muscle growth is force.) To be fair. Lots of potential for maximum overload. not all of his sets and reps are partial ra n g e and/or explosive. the force can more than double. and you can increase the poundage m o re easily over time. or force.) But there’s more to it than just adding more weight to the bar on the big exercises. That’s one reason compound. compound exercises like presses—and for good re a s o n : Cheating is one way to trigger extraordinary muscle growth. The problem: Many scientists say that the pecs can’t quite exert maximum force at the very bottom of the movement—there’s too much stretch. And where do m ost of the big bodybuilders cheat or explode? Near the turnaround—bottom of a squat or press. is just below the middle of the stroke but not all Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 7 . It looks like arm-stretching torture f rom the Middle Ages. That’s pro g re s s i ve overload. It’s a wicked hypertrophic shockwave!) Think about it. Why? Because that’s where the most force occurs. That means the muscle must be elongated to exert maximum force but not to the extreme. exercises produce more mass gains than isolation m ovements do—you use more weight when a number of muscles work together. (Force-plate studies show that as a trainee recoils and then explodes near the bottom of a press to re verse the direction of the bar. hang on.his shoulders barely rise. many re s e a rchers believe that the real growth trigger on certain exercises is near the turnaround. there. or multijoint. for example—which provides a wicked. then. The more force you can get a muscle to generate.byexercise analysis of his training toward the end of this e-book. At the bottom of an incline press your pecs have to put the brakes on and then reverse the direction of the bar.
the force can e ve ry rep. And that’s why his traps are gigantic! (He actually uses a hitch at the bottom. exploding max-force point is with end-of-set Xupward from there. you can si gnificantly i n c rease the anabolic power of any set. Though he only works the stretched and s e m i s t retched points and slightly above. It’s at a semistretched point. Watch them do more than double. if you can overload the position that’s just above the stretch but not quite to the midpoint. never getting it near the contracted position. and you’ll tremendous stress overload on the muscle right at the key semistretched see them re verse the bar point. he only works the bottom part of the stroke. (Some Rep partials or one of the new Xe ven bounce it off their hybrid techniques. as many people believe). that’s a dangerous b e f o re touching their practice. T h e re f o re. A better way to overload that upper p ecs. but we’ll have more on that Double-X Overload technique later). he does it with extreme overload. However. stretch position (and not at the completely c o n t racted p osition.the way down at the bottom. T h a t’s exactly what Force-plate studies show that when a trainee recoils and explodes near the many of the biggest bottom of a press to reverse the bodybuilders do on almost direction of the bar. That’s a incline presses. What about Ronnie Coleman and the shrug example above? By using a weight that’s too heavy for full movements. That makes the exercise much more effective — although it also makes it more dangerous. they hit the semistretched position with more overload. 8 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . chests to get the bar to the more advantageous max-force point.) By stopping a little short and exploding.
and you’ll see a lot of that. That’s the X spot. where the arms are not quite bent at 90 degrees—just below the halfway point of the stroke (see the photo above). or X position. in UMW. Arnold’s Olympia workouts contain a number of examples. and the biggest bodybuilders seem to instinctively know where that key point is and then exploit it for gigantic leaps in mass.) It’s precisely what gives them excessive hypertrophic overload at the sweet spot of key exercises. lean forw a rd slightly and then explode the weight up to his shoulders. It shifts the muscle machinery into overdrive! As you know if you’ve been to our Web site or read our other Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 9 . just below where his elbows are bent at 90 degrees. He’d take a heavy weight. There’s ve ry little resistance anywhere else during the entire curl.) They do a lot of their reps with a slightly shorter range of motion and explode out of the t u rn a round with heavy weight.One of Arnold’s favorite biceps exercises was cheat curls. (Watch Co l e m a n’s tra i n i n g videos. One of his favorite biceps exercises was barbell cheat curls. Notice how it overloads his biceps right at the max-force point. (We explained and identified the key exercise for each bodypart and its sweet spot. Eve ry exercise has its own sweet spot. Could that have been at least part of the reason for Arnold’s giant biceps and incredible peaks? Possibly. Where does the most f o rce occur on a set like that? The semistretched position.
The best way is with X-Rep partials at the end of a strict set or Stage Sets.. which is the between-reps hitch method we saw Ronnie Coleman using on shrugs at the semistretched point and that big Jay Cutler uses on almost every exercise in his mass-building program. later in this e-book. and/or Double-X Overload. That’s the wrong s t ra t e g y. as well as have more discussion on those two pro bodybuilders’ training techniques. You need to overload that sweet spot. especially on the big. even with pharmaceutical help a lot of pros have been seriously injured doing that. from pec and biceps tears to vertebrae blowouts to shattered shoulders).b o o k s. despite what the pros do (re m e m b e r. 10 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building .e . Muscle-building lesson 1: The semistretched point of an exercise’s stroke is key. which are a series of e x a g g e rated X Reps right off the bat that encompass the semistretched position. We’ll review X Reps and analyze all the other X-Rep hybrid techniques.. if you want to maximize your mass gains. compound exerc i s e s. So here’s what you should learn from this discussion. we don’t advocate jerking and heaving giant weights—especially if you don’t use things like grow t h hormone to fortify ligaments and tendons.
CHAPTER 2 X-treme Pumps and Pain to Gain Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 11 .
which can have a spectacular impact on muscle size and strength. Results: Those who had their blood flow impaired prior to exercise showed a 20 percent strength increase over the subjects who didn’t use the blood pressure cuff. techniques. and one study. Scientists have suggested that the bodypart bloodbath that occurs post occlusion can produce everything from upgraded release of heat shock proteins to alterations in muscle calcium metabolism (calcium contributes to contraction) to greater 12 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . but when he used occlusion. It’s called occlusion. an I RON MAN c o n t r ibutor and muscle-science re s e a rc h e r.. Why does blocking blood flow produce such spectacular increases in muscle size and strength? Part of it may be due to the incredible rush of blood to the bodypart once blood flow resumes (ah-ha. got a 7 percent increase in quadriceps cross-sectional area in four months with standard t raining. Thoburn reported that Takashi Abe. applied it to subjects’ forearms by placing a blood pressure cuff on their upper arms for two minutes. there are exercises that they ra rely cheat on—usually isolation movements that create continuous tension. The cuff was then removed. h as been c o r responding with Japanese scientists who have been experimenting with Kaatsu. That’s about an 800 percent increase in gains when blood flow was impeded. What’s so special about continuous-tension exercises? They block blood flow to the target muscle. Wow! You can see why the biggest bodybuilders include continuous-tension sets in their routines—they force blood out of the muscle and create those mass-and-strength-increasing occlusion effects. like leg e x t e n s i o n s. or occlusion.Do the biggest bodybuilders always explode on their reps? No. so maybe getting a pump does matter!). Ph. Yes. better results in about one-eighth the time—two weeks as opposed to 16 weeks.D. and the subjects did wrist curls. 20 percent! What about muscle size? Rob Thoburn. he got an 8 perc e n t increase in cross-sectional area—in only two weeks! That’s right. which was reported on in the Journal of Strength Conditioning Research (15:362-366).
super pain tolerance and focus can only get you so much extra stimulation on any given set. See. who do a lot of continuous-tension move m e n t s. Most of us mere mortals can’t stand the pain and terminate the set way before we get a hefty dose of growth stimulation from occlusion. Interesting— and exc i t i n g — e s p e c i a l l y when you do the math: Let’s see. It’s a simple case of t e rminating sets too soon—when you can’t get any more complete reps—and that severely limits occlusion effects. or nerve-to-muscle connections. So they can keep the muscle firing as m o re occlusion occurs. as well as pain tolerance. The big bodybuilders like Jay Cu t l e r. have exc e p t i o n a l neuromuscular efficiency. Their muscles crap Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 13 .) It hurts like a mother when occlusion is occurring. as the muscle gasps and sputters from lack of blood and ox y g e n . a conservative 8 p e rcent increase in quad s i ze times 12 months— Holy cow! That’ll doublesize your thighs in a year! But hold on. increases every two weeks or even eve ry two months? Answe r: pain tolerance and/or nervous system failure. Why are n’t yo u continuous-tension movements can create bigger gains in size and getting 8 percent size strength—if you can stand the pain. The champs just keep pushing through the pain barrier—but even they stop their sets too soon.recruitment of fast-twitch muscle fibers. part of the reason is that right when the most occlusion is occurring—near the end of a continuous-tension set—you stop. You use leg extensions in your quad Blocking blood flow to a muscle with ro u t i n e. He was onto something. (Legendary trainer Vince Gi ro n d a always said that what separates the champs from the wannabes is mental focus and pain tolera n c e. Yep.
Remember the scene in “Pumping Iron” when he was training at that cave-like gym in New York with his dad screaming at him (“Come on. Ronnie Coleman uses that partial technique on almost all of his exercises. doing only the bottom two thirds of each rep—it’s a supercharged occlusion workout. Louie! Ah-nold’s nothin’!”)? He 14 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . if you have weak nerve force in your pecs. you may d i ve rt tension to your front delts near the top of dumbbell f l ye s. That technique was an Arnold favorite and contributed greatly to his unreal pec size. which is why they do so many sets. That allows blood to move into your pecs. (By the way.r e c r u i t m e n t o rde r—but i s all that e x t ra volume re a l l y n e c e s s a r y? Not if yo u train a little smarter.Stopping short on dumbbell flyes gives the pecs continuous tension and more occlusion. Here’s something else to consider: If you can’t keep enough tension on the target muscle during a set for full occlusion to occur. out early—at least sooner than they’d like— partially due to nervous system failure. For example.) The biggest bodybuilders often use exercises or parts of e x e rcises that keep max tension on the target muscle throughout the set to get occlusion. Each additional set gets them a tad more stimulation—a shift in f i b e r. Lou Ferrigno did it on incline presses. If that’s the case. it may be wise to follow Arnold’s lead and do only the bottom half or two-thirds of the stroke. you’ll minimize the anabolic effects even further. as we explain later in this e-book. dera i l i n g occlusion. even squats.
I get to use much heavier poundages. Doing them this way takes the traps completely out of it. On most isolation. but momentum can remove a lot of the tension halfway through. they almost always use relatively slow reps to keep tension on the mu sc le. howe ve r.rep lateral ra i s e s. they may also do lighter sets using partials for more occlusion (warmup sets and back-off sets count). it’s all side delts moving the weight. which really look like seated dumbbell upright rows. which maximize s occlusion—although they may not realize that’s why they do it. since I’m not raising the dumbbells up to peak contraction. How did he build them? Check out this quote from his Q&A column in the June ’05 Muscular Development: “Pa rt i a l . as well as lack of neuromuscular efficiency. like leg extensions. So while a number of pros use explosive movements on compound exercises like presses. Another example from the current crop of champs is Victor Martinez. exercises. Pl u s. As mentioned above. Something else to keep in mind: Rep acceleration.was only doing the bottom two-thirds of the presses. Martinez is using X Reps from the get-go. though. can take tension off the target muscle. And his delts are X-tremely massive! Ronnie Coleman does the same maneuver on the Na u t i l u s lateral-raise machine—semistretched-point partials. or contracted-position. an explosive rep can create an overload at the fully stretched or the import a n t s e m i s t retche d point (near the bottom of a press). They do know the importance of the pump. He goes superheavy and does partials at the semistre t c h e d position on every rep. and after a Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 15 . and Jay Cutler does only the bottom part of his seated laterals. The difference between my version and standard dumbbell lateral raises is that I move the weight only through the first quarter of the movement. an IFBB pro with spectacular delts. achieving occlusion and hitting that important max-force-generation point—the sweet spot—on every every partial rep.” In other words.
who do a lot of continuous-tension movements. similar to what the scientists did with the blood pressure cuff. or nerve-to-muscle connections. while most bodybuilders use occlusion to finish off a bodypart—to augment the pump created by multijoint action—a number of champs have l e a rned that getting some occlusion in the target muscle b e f o re a big exercise can increase strength. which produces si gnificant occlusion. or blood-flow impairment. Incidentally. Note: Some isolation exercises require partial-range reps to occlude the muscle properly.) 16 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . Is he using occlusion to jack up his size and strength? We say absolutely! (We’ll have more on using occlusion as part of a quick. (That was an Arnold favorite. He X-Reps too. which in turn stimulates another level of muscle growth. For example. continuous-tension set. precise warmup sequence to enhance muscle growth in the Q&A section of this e-book. have exceptional neuromuscular efficiency. as you’ll see. Those preliminary continuous-tension sets of 20 to 30 reps each squeeze blood out of the muscle and then cause a flood right after.The biggest bodybuilders like Jay Cutler. blood rushes to the targ e t bodypart like a flood surge after a dam collapse. Ronnie Coleman usually does a number of high-rep leg extension sets before he moves into his squats. you should also strive for continuous tension to block blood flow. as well as pain tolerance. T h a t’s one reason to use isolation exercises after your big compound move—for more concentrated continuous tension. see the photo on page 14.) Muscle-building lesson 2: While it’s important to overload the semistretched position on every exercise. such as dumbbell flyes on which you should do only the bottom two-thirds of the stroke of each rep to maintain continuous tension.
CHAPTER 3 Hormone Surges and Fiber Slicing Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 17 .
if you can max out GH and testosterone at the same time. which relieves target-muscle tension—but there are ways to get more muscle burn on compound exerc i s e s. they get a testosterone release with compound movements and a GH surge with burn-igniting continuoustension exerc i s e s. yo u 18 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . from a hormonal standpoint—and from an occlusion standpoint as well if you lock out on all sets. rows. Or it may be the occlusion effect —or both.) Those are the reasons the biggest bodybuilders construct their workouts around the core exercises—like squats. as well as in their training. or team work. presses and so on. as ve rified by a study published in the Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology (22:244-255.Which exercises create the most mass? Any big bodybuilder will tell you it’s the compound. Compound movements re q u i re muscle synergy. (We described the best ones for each bodypart in The Ultimate Mass Workout ebook. movements. they also rely on continuous-tension isolation exercises for occlusion. (Okay.) Whether they realize it or not. They also blast up testosterone output if you work them hard. The body’s muscular structures are designed to work together to p roduce maximum forc e. or multijoint.) So. to make them much more potent. The burn is directly linked to growth h o rmone re l e a s e. you create a supergrowth environment. like testostero n e.range compound exercises or isolation moves that keep the pressure on. so they’re more natural—more ergonomic—and allow greater overload. As we discussed in the last chapter. a connection that may have something to do with higher blood lactic acid levels. If you add X Reps to the end. Does that mean a program of compound-only exercises is inferior to one that includes isolation moves? Possibly. which is what the big men do. whether it’s part i a l . pump and muscle burn. Why is GH important? Because it synerg i zes with other anabolic horm o n e s. 1997). (It also helps burn bodyfat at a greater rate. but that’s beside the point. which are partially responsible for muscle burn. many of them do it with syringes too.
that’s familiar. had to say about that study Tom Platz’s freaky quad development may have at least partially been caused by hyperplasia. How did he get the mindnumbing development that made people go into Looney Tunes shock? One reason: He was notorious for taking his sets past failure with power partials. usually near the stretch position of certain quad exercises. Mr. Natural Olympia. even by today’s freaky standards. but so did his attention to detail and tremendous effort with stretch. Stretch-position overload has been linked to that phenomenon in animals. Yes. one study done by Antonio and Go n yea in 1994 showe d that fiber splitting can occur fro m s t retch overload—and more fibers would equ al more mass potential. turnaround position and pulse. or fiber splitting. Inhuman! With one leg flex he could make onlookers’ eyes widen to the size of pancakes and their jaws hit the floor.) Platz also used that technique on leg extensions. And all the pain paid off big—the man’s legs grew to phenomenal proportions! Sure.automatically get some occlusion and a severe muscle burn. genetics had something to do with it.and semistretched-position overload—and his emphasis on stretch may have triggered muscle cells to replicate. on hack squats he’d crank out reps till failure. You may or may not recognize the name Tom Platz. His quads looked like giant striated water balloons hanging off his hips. Leg curls too. it’s possible that a lot of his extreme eye-popping size may have had something to do with muscle fiber division. or hyperplasia. feeling his quads stretch and burn for what seemed like an eternity (end-of-set partials. and then he would move down near the bottom. Here’s what John Hansen. He’s known for having the most spectacular leg development ever. at both the top and bottom positions. For example. Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 19 . How’s that? Well.
or fiber splitting.” Wow! We mentioned earlier how Arnold overloaded his pecs in the stretch position with partial flyes. Ph. After 28 stretch days.D. His pecs were certainly among the most massive ever. Two days of rest preceded an increase in weight. the study recorded the greatest gains in muscle mass ever in an animal or human model of tension-induced overload—a 334 percent increase in muscle mass with a 90 percent increase in fiber number. you also need stretched-position exercises to ramp up anabolic hormones and perhaps trigger hyperplasia.and fiber splitting in his book Natural Bodybuilding: “Most of the research on hyperplasia has used animals— such as birds. it created a severe rapid-fire pec stretch.) 20 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building .. Jose Antonio. The overload scheme started with a weight that was 10 percent of the bird’s weight and increased it by 5 percent up to 35 percent. rats and cats—as subjects. It’s another layer of growth production that can get you bigger much faster! (We’ll identify stretch-position e x e rcises for each bodypart later in this e-book and the Double-X Overload tactic that can supercharge their massbuilding power. but perhaps even more important. the bigger your muscles can get! Muscle-building lesson 3: While semistretched overload is important. They may have created some fiber splitting—and the more fibers you have. Could that be why they excelled at building i n c redible muscle mass at a time when steroid use was minimal? It may be at least part of the reason. Platz and Arnold are examples of legendary bodybuilders who intelligently emphasized stretch overload at almost every w o rkout. p e rf o rmed a study on a bird in which he used weights to p ro g re s s i vely overload one wing and stretch the anteri o r latissimus dorsi muscle. That gave him occlusion via continuous tension. He would only pull the dumbbells up about halfway out of the stretch position and then lower back down for another rep—like exaggerated X Reps. Could he have been triggering hyperplasia in his pecs with extreme stretch overload? Hmm.
CHAPTER 4 Cut the Volume. Cover the Angles Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 21 .
Less if your neuromuscular efficiency sucks. As we’ve said. Yo u r nervous system. That way you leapfrog nervous system fatigue and keep the key fasttwitch fibers firing right at the important max-force point.t h reshold motor units. A better way is to do only one or two work sets with X Reps tacked onto the end at nervous system exhaustion. if they’re lucky. That’s why scientists say that any set to failure hits only 30 percent of the fast-twitch f i b e r s. as they fatigue. Once those start to give out. Researchers believe it’s a protective mechanism.to medium. the important high-threshold motor units finally fire. But talk about inefficient: They have to do all those pre l i m i n a ry reps to activate the motor-unit domino effect just to get at a few more fast-twitch fibers. Why is that necessar y—or perc e i ved as necessar y? Most do it instinctively. short-circuited by fatigue. but it’s because of what muscle physiologists call the size principle of muscle fiber recruitment.to high-thre s h o l d — yo u r nervous system craps out before you blast enough of the fasttwitch fibers to trigger significant growth.Most of the champs tend to train with lots of sets. Then. the first few reps fire the low . getting only slig htly more growth stimulation via fiber recruitment with each set of the same exercise. There’s a glitch. With each additional set they get a slightly different recruitment pattern and get a few more fast-twitch fibers involved. So what do most bodybuilders do to get around it? They do set after set to failure or close to it. stops you short every time. Once you get near the end of the domino effect—low. with that strategy you make each set three to five 22 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . Then they do it again and again and again. but here’s a quick review: When you do a set to failure. We explained it thoroughly in The Ultimate Mass Workout e-book. though. you don’t get to the fastest-growing fasttwitch fibers till the last few reps of any set to failure. That explains why experienced bodybuilders always say the last few reps are the most important—without the painful finale you barely scratch the surface of fast-twitch recruitment. In other words. the medium-threshold motor units kick in.
times more effective as standard positive-failure sets. So two sets on any exercise gets the job done. But what about training a muscle from different angles, which the pros do a lot of? Using different exercises can attack different fibers, and the more fibers you can get growing at once, the bigger you’ll get. What we’re saying is that you do need multiangular training once you’re more advanced in order to stimulate more of the muscle (but probably not as much as you think; more on that in a moment). Ok a y, you probably want some scientific c o r ro b o ration. He re’s a quote from Designing Re s i s t a n c e Training Pro g ra m s by Steven J. Fleck, Ph.D., and William J. Kraemer, Ph.D., two of the most respected researchers in the strength-training field: “If the body position is changed, the order of recruitment can also change (Gri m by and Ha n n e rz 1977). The order of recruitment can also change for multifunctional muscles from one movement or exercise to another. Recruitment order in the quadriceps for the performance of a knee extension is different f rom that for a squat. The va riation in re c ruitment ord e r provides some evidence to support the belief held by many strength coaches that to completely develop a particular muscle it must be exe rcised with seve ral different movements or exercises.” Does that mean you have to do every exercise known to man for every bodypart in order to max out growth? No, you see each muscle has three distinct positions, or arcs, of flexion from which you should train it to maximize fiber recruitment— m i d ra n g e, contracted and stretched. Those familiar with Steve’s work over the past decade and a half recognize that as Positions of Flexion. A midrange movement is usually a big multijoint exercise that triggers the most fiber activation. Examples include squats for quads and decline presses for lower chest. Co n t racted-position movements are usually isolation exercises that provide continuous-tension occlusion effects. Examples include leg extensions for quads and cable
Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 23
crossovers for chest. Stretch-position movements fully elongate the target muscle against resistance, which can trigger anabolic hormones and possibly muscle-fiber spitting. Examples include sissy, or limbo, squats for quads and dumbbell flyes for chest. Muscle-building lesson 4: You must train a muscle from three distinct angles—midrange, contracted and stretched—in o rder to maximize fiber activation. Eve ry exercise for each bodypart falls into one of those categories—and if you add X Reps and X-hybrid techniques, which we’ll explain later, correctly, you only need one to two sets in each position to maximize size stimulation very, very quickly!
Positions-of-Flexion Biceps Program
Midrange Barbell curls with a slight cheat train the midrange position, concentration curls work the biceps in their contracted position, with occlusion, and incline curls (below) work the biceps’ stretch position, which can trigger fiber splitting and anabolic hormone release. Stretch
24 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building
CHAPTER 5 Time-Bomb Training
Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 25
After about a three-minute rest. Your partner should prov i d e enough help to keep your rep cadence intact for a smooth finish on your final rep. or close to it if you’re doing partials. Now comes the money set. your nervous system fails. Inhale as you lower to a count of two to a point to where your hamstrings touch your calves—upper legs past parallel to the ground—and then quickly reverse the action as you exhale. begin the next rep.Unless you’ve read The Ultimate Mass Workout and/or tried the X-Rep technique correctly. But with X Reps. you lower the weight to the max-force-generation point and continue to fire out partials. Don’t bounce with the weight. no X Reps. He should apply enough pressure to the bar to keep it moving all the way to lockout. Note that we said the bar should keep m oving. Continue with that cadence till you stick. which is more of an extension of the warmup and primes your nervous system with a heavy work weight. The weight should reach lockout in about 1 1/2 to two seconds. At that point your partner should step in so the bar stalls for only a millisecond. Your feet are slightly in front of your hips just wider than shoulder width and toes pointed out slightly. As soon as you hit lockout. instead of stopping. you may not realize just how powerful it is. At the end of a set to failure. when the important growth-oriented high-threshold motor units start to kick in. That so-called forced rep should not—not!—be a s l ow-motion tort u re tactic. That’s when most people stop a set—when they can’t get another full-range rep—and growth stimulation is minimal. That’s how you leapfrog nervous system failure and continue to recruit fast-twitch fibers. First you do one smooth set to positive failure. stop at positive failure. get comfortable under the bar and unhook the safety catches. and your legs are ra ri n’ to go. Otherwise your X Reps could suffer a 26 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . Here’s how you do a standard X-Rep sequence on Smith machine squats: After a warmup your knees are lubed. No forced reps. it’s more of a controlled explosion. you’ve got blood in your quads.
(The other is that X Reps are impossible at the end of a set of freebar squats due to a leverage shift. When your quads are fried and you can no longer pulse. instead of jerking or heaving every rep. hold the weight statically for a few seconds down low. Now s q u e eze the bar hard into your traps. however. stretch in your quads. Think of these as controlled m i n i .) You’ve just done more to stimulate growth in that one set than most people get in three or four of the haphazard variety. squeeze your quads as hard as you can. tr y going a little X Reps can be brutal on the big deeper so you get a bit more exercises and may require partner assistance. innervate your quads to the max and pulse t h rough about an ei ghtinch range with X Re p s. but that’s one reason you do these on a Smith machine.e x p l o s i o n s. yo u may be too high on the s t roke. Yo u should feel your qu ads screaming by about X-Rep number five.s e ve re shortfall—and yo u don’t want to shortchange max-force-point overload! At lockout take a deep breath and lower to a point just below parallel. Think about all the energy you save. thanks to getting the job done with half or a quarter of the volume! It all comes down to overloading the max-force generation point. energy your body can now channel into recovery and growth. wait till the end of the set and Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 27 . If not. Just the way Ronnie Coleman instinctively tries to overload that point on so many of his exercises. You may have to rack it low if your partner can’t help you get back to the top. On an X-Rep set. then—Bam!—rack it.
That’s the growth hormone connection. you occlude the muscle even longer than if you stop at failure. There’s occlusion too. you know that it’s difficult to get a burn on compound exercises. you’ll force longer occlusion times and your gains can skyrocket. or fiber splitting—the jury’s still out—X Reps may be a key player (or splayer. h owe ve r.g e n e ration point attack more fast-twitch fibers with fewer sets and block blood flow for occlusion-growth effects—and where there’s occlusion. I RON MAN Pu blisher John Balik said. even if it’s a f u l l . but if you grit your teeth and continue with X Reps. If you’ve been bodybuilding for any length of time. in this case). as the gains Jonathan Lawson and I made in only one month in ’04 clearly show (see next page). a double-barre l e d anabolic blast.” But now there’s more—X-Rep hybrid techniques that can 28 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . And if you use X-Rep partials at the end of a set of a continuous-tension isolation movement. you get some occlusion at the end of every set you use them on. If you add X Reps to the end of a set. X Reps produce spectacular muscle-building and shredding results. you can trigger muscle burn at will—on just about any exercise. like leg extensions. there’s usually burn. “X Reps are the single most important muscle-building concept to come along in years. So if you don’t have the superior neuromuscular efficiency of a pro bodybuilder. Not anymore. X Reps can help you overcome that limitation. That means you can get t e s t o s t e rone release and a GH surg e.range multijoint exerc i s e. most people are forced to stop their sets too early to reap all the size-and-strength-building benefits of occlusion. And if there is such a thing as hyperplasia. Power partials at the max-forc e .attack that key mass-building sweet spot safely and efficiently. As we mentioned earlier. Getting more fast-twitch-fiber invo l vement and energ y c o n s e rvation is only part of X Re p s’ extra o rd i n a ry powe r. Pa rtials create continuous tension. Because X Reps are part i a l m ovements and create continuous tension.
i. growth. We’ve experimented with a number of new X-Rep-style training methods. Bigger and better in ’05! Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 29 .e. experimenting with new X-Rep hybrid techniques like X/Pause and X First Stage. In ’05 we mixed it up. and you’ll grow like never before. Bigger and better in ’05! 1-month XRep results in ’04. Switch them up often. Experimenting with X Reps gave us amazing gains in only one month in ’04. Results: We both were almost 10 pounds heavier than in ’04—in the same extremely shredded condition! 1-month XRep results in ’04. and we got bigger and better after we honed them and harnessed their power. Muscle-building lesson 5: Change on a regular basis can create faster adapation.take you to the next level. (We discuss them in the next few chapters.) Check out our new results below—no drugs. That’s the reason you need a variety of X-Rep techniques in your mass-building arsenal. providing your muscles with different stress overloads to cope with. no trick photography.
contr act ed and s t re t c h e d —in order to maximize fiber activation. and yo u’ll grow like neve r before. growth. Eve ry exercise for each bodypart falls into one of those categories— and if you add X Reps and X-hybrid techniques. use it on almost every set of every exercise. like Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler. you also need stretched-position exercises to ramp up anabolic hormones and perhaps trigger hyperplasia. you only need one to two sets in each position to maximize size stimulation very quickly! Lesson 5: Change on a regular basis can cre a t e faster adapation. if you want to maximize your mass gains. That’s the reason you need a variety of X-Rep techniques in your mass-building arsenal. or fiber splitting. Many of the biggest bodybuilders in the world. compound exercises. Very exciting!) Lesson 4: You must train a muscle from thre e d istinct angl es—mid ra nge. you should also strive for continuous tension to block blood flow on at least some movements. Examples include leg extensions and leg curls. That’s one reason to use isolation e x e rcises after your big compound move—for more concentrated continuous tension. We’ll have more analysis of their training techniques later in this e-book. i. or blood-flow impairment. especially on the big. providing your muscles with different s t ress overloads to cope with. 30 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building .e. Less on 2 : While it’s important to overload the semistretched position on every exercise. which in turn stimulates another level of muscle growth. Switch them up often.Muscle-Building Lessons Review Lesson 1: The semistretched point of an exercise is key. Lesson 3: While semistretched overload and continuous tension are important. It’s another layer of growth production that can get you bigger much faster! (Remember the bird study that created over a 300 percent increase in muscle mass in only 30 days? Our new Double-X Overload tactic on stretch-position exercises mimics that and can supercharge mass gains. which produces significant occ lu sion. You need to overload that sweet spot.
CHAPTER 6 Stage Sets and Double-X Overload Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 31 .
He re’s how an X-Rep Stage Set works for Sm i t h .m a c h i n e incline presses. You position yourself on the incline bench. but we take it a step further. Unhook the safety catches and then lower the bar to about an inch above your upper chest. we got su dden muscularity and vascularity increases—and now we know why: The technique is essentially a unique type of X overload—an intense out-of-the-blocks blast right at the max-force point. which is what Coleman does. and we mentioned his training in many of the previous chapters. It’s essentially explosive nonlock partials on most exercises. Are Stage Sets better than standard X Reps—those power 32 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . but only to just slightly higher than the midpoint of the stroke. Blast back to the top and squeeze your pecs again. We got rather excited when we noticed his training style on his “Redemption” DVD because it verifies a lot of what we’ve been preaching about with X Reps—and it also answers a common question: What if you do X Reps first—or at least exaggerated X Reps—without preliminary full reps? Answer: It can build big-time mass. squeeze your pecs hard. When you reach that point. In past years. doing low-range partials till you can’t stand the burn. Flex at lockout on every one of those top-end reps. we noticed that every time we i n t roduced Stage Sets to our w ork o u t s. From there you drive it back up. and so on. then lower through about the top one-third of the movement. He essentially does partial reps.We decided to start our X-Rep hybrid discussion with Stage Sets because it’s similar to how Ronnie Coleman trains. You’re essentially doing piston-like exaggerated X Reps right off the bat through the max-force point. First. with help from your partner. contracting them in the lockout position. Now you do the top stage of the stroke. When you can’t do another exaggerated X Rep—you should get about 10 of those lowdown partials—get the bar to lockout. lower back to the semistretched position. from the semistretched point up to only about two thirds of the way through the stro k e. before X Reps. grip slightly wider than your shoulders.
f a i l u re set? No t necessarily.p a rtials you do at the end of a positive . we guarantee semistretched-position overload as it!) well as anabolic occlusion. In other words. (Yo u’ll feel it Stage Sets can provide more working. Do a second work set. it appears the first full reps or near-full reps on a standard set make your end-of-set X Reps a more powe rf u l fast-twitch switch. Stage Sets have their place and when we began mixing them into our program we once again saw better mass gains. but only if yo u’re a d vanced and have good recovery ability). which is due to the size principle of recruitment that we’ve covered in an earlier chapter and in UMW. He re’s the sequence we usually used when we wanted to incorporate this new. As we’ve said. Do a standard positive-failure set (you can add X Reps to the end. Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 33 . (T here’s more on precision warmup sequences in Chapter 11. full reps can prime the muscle for optimal fast-twitch fiber recruitment at the end of the set.) 2) Positive-failure S e t . Basically. it’s a motor-unit cascade that makes X Reps more power packed! Ne ve rt h e l e s s. potent X-Rep mass attack: 1) Warmup Sets. but this time use the Stage technique de scri b e d a b ove — e x a g g e rated X Reps to exhaustion first f o l l owed by top-end reps with concentrated l o c k o u t s. Do two progressively heavier sets—use 50 percent and then 80 percent of your work-set weight to get your nervous system primed to fire the most muscle fibers possible on your first work set. 3) Stage Set.
w ill be impossible on some move m e n t s. we picked up on something even more exciting.[ Note: The Staged technique.rep sets with explosive turnarounds at the semistretched point. We’ve discovered that if you’re fairly advanced and know how to warm up properly—heavy enough to get your nervous system jacked. as described. We’ve mentioned his mass training and how it’s heavily dependent on maxf o rce-point overload. you still do the first stage. but when you hit nervous system exhaustion. but not so heavy that you fatigue the target muscle—you should be able to get the full-blown mass stimulation from X Reps on your very first work set.] We said above that you may want to add X Reps to the first work set—if you’re advanced. With X-aggerated X + X Reps. or semistretched point. We insert this technique in the upcoming routines only on the exercises that work best with it. instead of moving to lockout. a simple exercise tweak that could pack incredible new mass on your physique—and 34 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . That’s more brutal than regular Stage Se t s. and perform X Reps. after watching his “Redemption” DVD. the X spot. Ronnie Coleman. Now back to our friend. moving through the semistretched position with exaggerated X Reps. never getting close to lockout on any exercise—and his mass is incredible! It verifies a lot of what we’ve discovered. you move to the X Spot. That’s a lot of Xes. We said that because the first set is designed to prime your nervous system for your second work set that includes X Reps. such as upright rows. so be pre p a red for some X-cruciating pain. It’s w o rth it though . Yo u’ll see muscular results almost immediately. Well. Then your Stage Set will act as a bonus blockbuster mass builder to really kick your mass-building machinery into gear! X-aggerated X + X Reps. Doesn’t that contradict what we’ve said in the past—that you should do your first work set to positive failure only? Not really. He does a lot of part i a l . but it’s a good description of another version of this hybrid technique.
Also notice that he doesn’t move the bar very far even on his “full” reps (see photos above)—yet his traps are huge. and we’ve n e ver seen such gigantic t ra p s. but he also has a unique way of p e rf o rming his shru g s. you have to realize that Co l e m a n’s traps are absolute ly freaky! On the DVD he’s working out in a s t ring tank top. Double-X Ove rl o a d . Bottom. Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 35 .another X-Rep hybri d technique. Check out the still from his “Redemption” DVD when he was wearing a string tank top (left). but his t raps are arguably his best. to a degree. First. Is it genetics? Maybe. They sit on h is shoulders like tw o-ton boulders! What does he do for them? Only three sets of behind-the-back barbell s h rugs—would you believe 11 reps with 745 pounds?! Now. Coleman’s Double-X Overload tactic on shrugs—a hitch at the bottom of each rep—have helped him develop outrageous traps! It’s basically an X Rep at the semistretched point between every full rep. and he does ve ry few sets compared to his other bodypart hits. that’s not a real unique e x e rc i s e. Amazing! (Coleman’s DVD is available at www. most freaky muscle group.Home-Gym. Top.com).
We’re very excited about these observation. you can add standard X Reps—if you can stand the burn. shrugging with a very limited range. we have to ask. he uses the Double-X Overload technique on almost eve ry exercise! We’re convinced it’s how Cutler has overcome many of his genetic limitations to become one of the best bodybuilders in the world.Xes in the gym we can honestly say that you will almost feel growth happening (is it hyperplasia?). and then pull the weight up for a full rep. and after trying D o u b l e . or fiber splitting. the next time you do leg curls.something he doesn’t do for any other exercise (and after seeing the size of his traps. lower to the bottom semistretched point on the first rep. but when he gets to the bottom semistretched position—this is the important part—he double hitches. Why not?). Could his double-hitch method be triggering muscle-fiber replication as well as max-force-point overload for a double-whammy massmorphing effect? It sure looks that way! Think about it. His traps are incredible. there have been scientific studies correlating stretch overload with hyperplasia. He uses that controlled m a x . How about this: On Jay Cutler’s “Ripped to Shreds” DVD. Continue that sequence on every rep. pull up only about 10 inches. DoubleXing at the bottom turnaround. lower to full stretch again. Give it a go and watch yourself grow! 36 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . For example. At nervous system failure.f o rce-point double blast on eve ry rep of eve ry set of shrugs. he pulls up only a few inches. yet he only does three sets for them. Could it be that his double overload at the semistretched position is creating extreme anabolic reactions in his upper back? Remember. you’ve got to try it on other exercises!). Here’s what he does: When he stands erect with the massive weight suspended at arm’s length behind his legs. Double X Overload obviously works for Ronnie Coleman and has allowed him to build amazing trap mass with very few sets (Ronnie.
CHAPTER 7 X/Pause and X-centric Training Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 37 .
We thought that would overload the X Spot and create some exceptional new gains. add 10 to 20 percent more poundage. It sure looked good on paper. then crank out a heavier X-Rep-only set. taking six-second breaks between max singles. we ran across some of Mike Mike Mentzer used a technique he called rest/pause. rack the weight. 38 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . so we retooled it into X/Pause training. That never did much for our muscle size. It was essentially like doing a second partial low-rep set (sets in the one-to-four-rep range are notorious for building more strength than size for that very reason). Unfortunately. Then. What we did was take a set to nervous system failure. we were derailing the size principle of muscle fiber recruitment and not extending the set with occlusion.Ou r first foray into X-Rep hybrid techniques was X Overload. but that may be because of the tendon and ligament work we were getting on the heavy X-Rep-only set. as luck would have it. Why didn’t it ramp up our mass gains? Then it hit us: By stopping at nervous system failure. We did get some strength out of it. a more severe form of standard X-Rep work. we didn’t get a lot out of it—and we were puzzled.
. Also. rest six seconds and a final heavy single with a reduced poundage and/or with help from a partner. explosive manner. At nervous system exhaustion. That got us thinking. just shy of lockout.. Once again. pulling the bar down about eight inches in a controlled. and that’s exactly what we found when we tried it as outlined by Mentzer.—then Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 39 . After that short pause you take the same weight and blast out an X-only set. Pull the handle down to your chest and then release almost to lockout before pulling it back d own to your chest. another heavy single. that sounds like a strength-building regimen. Count off six seconds—one-thousand one. move to the semistretched point. let the weight stack down. because the rest is so short—six seconds as opposed to a longer rest to change the weight on X Overload—the size principle is still intact and fast-twitch fibers continue to fire efficiently without overbearing tendon and ligament support. His technique was as follows: a heavy single. tacked on X Reps to force the muscle to continue to activate fast-twitch fibers. But we also realized that he made good gains with it (perhaps because of his superior neuromuscular efficiency). etc. rest six seconds. which should occur at around rep nine. Bingo! We saw mass increases almost immediately.Mentzer’s writings on Heavy Duty training and rest/pause. stand up. his reasoning being that the pauses between all-out efforts helped clear the target muscle of lactic acid and other waste products that can short-circuit the nervous system and cause premature failure. parallelgrip pulldowns: Strap on to the pulldown bar and wedge your thighs under the support pads. one-thousand two. and then rested for six seconds. here’s how to do an X/Pause set on close. We think the reason X/Pause works and X Overload doesn’t work so well is because the X Reps tacked onto the first part of the set better deplete the muscle and add more occlusion. and do X-Rep partials. another heavy single with help if necessary. When you can’t do anymore X Reps. rest six seconds. To review. What if you did a regular set to nervous system exhaustion. but don’t release the handle.
you’re t raining harder so you don’t have to train longer. we should re v i e w. to slow down that heavy weight so 40 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . They weren’t getting full contractions. getting as many of those semistretchedposition partials as you can stand. so why in the heck were they growing? Okay. or eccentric. That puzzled us for a long time. or eccentric. but you have to remember that you’re using intensity to supercede volume. After thinking it through.) We’ve discussed negative. Why? Because you can use 20 to 50 percent more weight than a normal positive/negative set and eccentrically overload the muscle. but maybe having to fight. It produces unbearable soreness. The pain is not fun. they automatically created more overload on the negative—the lowering. but to understand the X-centric hybrid technique. They could lift more. We’re all about efficient mass building. willing helpers to lift the weight into position on every rep so you can lower it. and the X/Pause technique does the trick quickly—just don’t abuse it. We mentioned watching the most massive bodybuilders like Ronnie Coleman explode with heavy weights.reposition yourself under the thigh-support bars and crank out an X-Rep-only set. there’s the anabolic steroid connection. their control was minimal. Sure. In other words. (Imagine a guy on each side of the bar as you squat. training at the X-Rep s i t e. doing only the lowering part of the exercise. part of every rep. but it had to be more than that because the way they were training appeared to do little for total-muscle stimulation. we realized that by exploding to get a heavy weight up. almost e ve ry trainee knows that you can lower much more weight than you can raise. was very popular for building strength. That had to be the key.c e n t ric Tr a i n i n g . We don’t think they’d stick around too long. so they had to lower more. a few decades ago negative-only training. but that’s only part of the drawback. It’s severe! X . And speaking of intensity. picking up the weight for you after you slowly sink to the bottom position. For a number of exercises you need a couple of strong. In fact. even a little.
controlled movement—but it may not be the speed that triggers results. After all. The spectacular size and strength increases from heavy negative-only training just don’t happen. The studies comparing heavy negative-only sets to standard positive/negative work don’t show much difference in results. It’s probably the extra overload at the semistretched point on the stroke caused by stopping the fast downward movement at the bottom. heavy negativeonly training should produce outstanding results in size and strength. Then researchers compared regular positive/negative sets to positive-only (concentric) sets—only raising the weight. scientists have often said that the negative part of a rep is the most important. If our thinking was correct. But when negative work is missing. Nope. The mystery continued: From the first studies it looks like negative work is nothing special. Why? It’s not that negative work is more important than positive work. The studies find that negative-only training with heavier weights produces about the same results as regular sets. With positive-only work there is no turnaround. That blew our theory out of the water. it didn’t rip muscles and joints was the key. Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 41 . What happened? Standard positive/negative work won every time. that critical directional shift. it’s just necessary to trigger more growth—at least more than positive-only work—because the most important point in many exercises is near the turnaround.A new study shows that fast lowering of resistance creates more muscle growth than slow. when you shift from n e g a t i ve to positive. gains are near zero.
In other words.35 radians per second) lengthening contra c t i o n s. discussed it in his Anabolic Drive column in the October ’05 issue of IRON MAN: “Twelve 24-year-old subjects performed maximal resistive lengthening isokinetic exercise with both arms for eight weeks. No.When you do positive-only work. Think about it: You’re much stronger during the negative phase of a rep than the positive. because overload at the turnaround point is not missing from heavy negative-only work. in fact. three days per week. for example—but not as much as when you have to reverse the movement of a weight in that position. but the increases were greater in the fast-trained arm. So negative-only sets require you to use much more weight than in a standard set—usually more than your one-rep max. which is why it does little for muscle growth.66 radians per second) lengthening contractions leads to greater h y p e rt rophy (growth) and strength gains than slow (0. you just lift the weight. A recent study ve rifies the importance of turn a ro u n d . The gre a t e r 42 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . negative-only work doesn’t include a turnaround either—you just lower a heavy weight. That semistretched shock is the missing element in positive-only training. “The researchers concluded that training using fast (3. So shouldn’t it produce the same meager results as postive-only work? No. but you do have to slow it down (at least you’d better! That weight is friggin’ heavy!). That means you do overload the turnaround point with a much heavier weight—there is semistretched shock. during which they trained one arm at a fast velocity and the other at a slow velocity. Ph. Jo s e Antonio. Type 1 muscle fiber size increased in both cases. you don’t reverse the movement. You do get a little overload there with positive-only work—when you have to drive from a dead stop out of the bottom of a press.D. But hold on! Heavy. Type 2a and 2x muscle fiber increased in both arms. although the re s e a rchers seem to miss that result. maximum force production doesn’t occur at that key turnaround point in the stroke.
which allowed us to get bigger and stronger in ’05. Here’s how it works on chins: When you hit nervous system exhaustion on chins. While the conclusions may be askew. The reason? Gravity plus momentum. where maximum force generation can occur. The key fiberactivation point on the stroke is near the turn a ro u n d — t h e semistretched point. from the results it appears that training faster stimulated more muscle. it takes more effort to stop the resistance and/or reverse it. (Imagine dropping a heavy weight through the eccentric phase of a leg curl and then stopping it right before your legs are straight—as opposed to lowering it slowly under control. as in the study. We prefer to train safer and still get all the benefits of max-force-point overload that occur with fast training. In other words. the actual weight he has to re verse at the turnaround of a rep can be double or triple the poundage he’s lifting. But is the speed of movement really triggering extra growth or is it max-force overload right at the semistretched position? Realize that when you move fast.to threefold. training fast is much more dangerous than using a slower. When you move fast through the negative phase of the stroke. research indicates that when a trainee standing on force plates moves fast and uses momentum. controlled cadence. How does that cause more muscle growth? Exc e s s i ve overload at the ke y hypert rophic point.” Why do we say the conclusion is askew? Well. move to Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 43 .) Obviously. so you achieve more targetmuscle overload right at the muscle’s sweet spot. As the weight is quickly lowered and then heaved at the turnaround to reverse its direction. the above study along with our other forays into negative training did help us devise X-centric training. we don’t recommend fast ballistic movements. In fact. it takes more effort to reverse or stop the poundage at that max-force point. the force is multiplied two.hypertrophy seen in the fast-trained arm may be related to a greater amount of protein remodeling. instead we use X Reps and the X-hybrid tactics.
lower slowly and then do about three X Reps near the bottom. take your feet off the stool and do a four-second negative. you tie about 20 percent more weight around your waist for those chins. but what an incredible mass-kicking method! We’ve never tried it. pulse with X Reps. 44 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . You may only be able to do one or two of those slow negatives plus Xes.near lockout and do as many X Reps as possible. near the bottom. For example. Lock into it. When you reach the X Spot. Do four or five of those pure negatives plus Xes. but you could do a few X Reps on every rep of a pure-negative set too. When you crap out. climb to the top. use a chair or stool to put your feet on and get back into the top position of the chin.but be careful—you’ve guaranteed to get mighty sore—and your lats may be ripping out of your shirt before you can say wicked V taper.
CHAPTER 8 Iso X and X Fade Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 45 .
Here’s our reasoning: “We know that an important point on the stroke for [stretch. X Reps at the maxcontraction point made some sense. On concentration curls. leg extensions and leg curls. we knew we had to do something to change our Iso-X strategy—using X Reps in the c o n t racted position only—to something that blasted the s e m i s t retched position in addition. the contracted-position movement for biceps. Therefore. a stretch-position exercise for biceps. on incline curls. especially 46 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . like concentration curls. why are n’t we emphasizing it on contracted-position exercises as well?” Despite the explanation from UMW.and contracted-position] exercises is full elongation on stretch-position exercises and full contraction on contracted-position exercises. so X Reps in the fully contracted position may not be ideal—just unique. we felt like something was missing and that our gains could be better. use your free arm to get the dumbbell up into the contracted position and pulse at that key point. once you hit failure. you should do your X Reps close to those points. So X Reps in the contracted position will p rovide another unique muscle-building stimulus. While we made the a rgument that elongation is important for max forc e production on X Reps. even though we’ve said over and over that the semistretched position is the best spot for ultimate muscle fiber recruitment (see. you already get that on midrange and stretch exercises. but doing them at the semistretched point seemed even more beneficial. when you can no longer do full reps. you pulse just a b ove the stretch position. … Re m e m b e r. “For example. we said it again). We kept asking ourselve s.In The Ultimate Mass Workout we made the case for doing X Reps at the top of contracted-position exercises.” That last statement is important and the reason that after using X Reps at the top of contracted-position exercises. “If the semistretched position is so c ricically important for muscle growth. many re s e a rchers believe that the best grow t h stimulus occurs when the muscle is semi-elongated.
as you’ll see when we analyze his training routine toward the end of this e-book. then lower to the stronger semistreched point and do X Reps there..The X Fade has you do X Reps in the top contracted position. for more X Reps. Ah. At nervous system exhaustion the trainee got help to the top. contracted position and pulsed for three to four X Reps. but then we realized that we weren’t getting a heckuva lot of Xes in the last position—and that was the most important spot for fiber activation. Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 47 . the target muscle was spent. So the X Fade become a two-position fade instead of three. after all the tra i n i n g analysis and experimentation we’d been doing. and we just couldn’t do our X Reps near the bottom the justice they deserved.. the semistretched point! By the time we got there. Fi n a l l y. the burn was too intense. then move to the sweet spot. much better with noticeably better muscle-size results. he lowe red to the semistretched position and did X Reps there till the pain was too much. In the beginning we liked that triple-X method. contracted position for X Reps. Here are all the X-hybrid tactics. fire out as many as possible. Ro n n i e Coleman almost neve r m oves to the contra c t e d position on any exercise. improved version: At nervous system exhaustion we get help to the top. That ended the set (usually with horri f i c screaming!). Our new.) That’s how the X Fade was born. (Heck. Then he lowered to the middle of the stoke and pulsed there for another three or four X Re p s. It started out as a three-position X-Rep sequence. the semistretched point near the bottom.
( Note: This technique works best on exercises with bonesupport lockouts. then get the weight back up—to the top of chins. like leg extensions and leg curls. like the bottom two t h i rds of squats. blast out X Reps at the semistretched position and then rack the weight. pull up a few inches. You can use this technique on almost any exercise. Do X Reps there. you may have to lighten the weight. on shrugs you move the bar down to the lowest point. for example— with help.) DOUBLE-X OV E R LOA D. Count to six. Stage Sets don’t work well for exercises that have continuous tension. move the weight back down to the lowest point and then do a full rep. even squats. It’s ideal for stretch-position exercises and may trigger fiber spitting! X / PAU S E . for example. blast out X Reps. Do a normal set to nervous system exhaustion. For example. bench presses. Use a hitch. at the semistretched point between every full rep. however. This is more for continuous-tension isolation exercises (contracted). then get help to the top contracted spot. Do that till you can’t lower through the negative phase with control. Do the two-thirds of the exercise’s stroke that includes the semistretched point first . then take the same weight and grind out more X Reps at the semistretched point till you can’t move the weight. or X Re p. Get the weight back up again and repeat the slow negative plus X Reps. 48 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . then lower to the semistretched point and do X Reps at that key point till the muscle is spent. Do you r normal set to ner vous system exhaustion.X-Rep Hybrid Techniques Cheat Sheet STAGE SETS. at nervous system exhaustion. overhead presses. X FA D E. move to lockout and do the top one third of the stroke to exhaustion. Do a normal set to nervous system exhaustion. You can also do the first stage—that encompasses the X spot—and then at nervous system exhaustion move to the X spot and continue with standard X Reps. X-CENTRIC TRAINING. Lower the we i g h t slowly for about five seconds and at the semistretched point do three or four X-Rep pulses. squats.
CHAPTER 9 Our X-citing Results and Findings Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 49 .
They seem to need more recovery time. when we first began using X Reps.Since our ’04 X-periment. Yo u’ve already read about the X-hybri d techniques that helped take our intensity and muscle mass to the next level in ’05. we’ve made some startling discoveries that increased our gains s i g n i f i c a n t l y. we do lots of cardio. but there’s a minor detail that makes the strategy viable. at least for quads. Fifteen men and 15 women were tested for strength recovery at 48. and it all involves legs. especially if you’re doing cardio—and during our ripping phase in the summer months. 72 and 96 hours after a weight workout consisting of three sets of eight repetitions done with weights equal to 65 percent of one-rep maximum in the bench press and leg press. What?! Haven’t we said that working a bodypart once a week doesn’t work for most people and has never given us results? That’s correct. 50 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . We snapped to the need for more leg recovery time when we saw a new study reviewed by researcher Jerry Brainum that appeared in the August ’05 IRON MAN. We also used a different split that had us working legs only once a week. Here’s an excerpt: “In a study presented at the 2004 meeting of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. X-Rep hybrid techniques helped us take our muscle mass to the next level in ’05. researchers from the Un i versity of Alabama examined just how long it takes to recover from a weight-training workout. but we had to be careful with them. They are powerful and can trigger overtraining if they are abused.
like we said. As for the female study subjects. rear delts. biceps. Du ring our ’05 ripping-phase split our once-a-week leg workout occured on Wednesday. traps. and we add intense X Reps. lower back Thursday: delts. In contrast. 93.7 percent of the male subjects needed 96 hours for full recovery on the leg press. Biceps also got some overlap: We worked them that first day directly and with midback and then they got some indirect work the next day. Monday and Tuesday.7 percent recovered on the bench press after 72 hours. we figured once-a-week leg training should be about right—and we we re correct. lats. abs The major overlap occured with back. triceps. hamstrings. and then repeated the split on Thursday and Friday. We tried to minimize the overlap. and our legs got more shredded and vascular. midback. And Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 51 . Our strength start e d moving up on almost every exercise. we liked this split. lats.7 percent showed full recovery on the leg press at the 96hour mark. and then the following day we worked lats. forearms Friday: chest. midback. we were doing lots of leg-related cardio during our ripping phase.” We do a few more sets than three for our quads at any one leg workout. biceps. traps. Despite the small amount of overlap. while only 46. 66. rear delts.“Analysis showed that 66. abs Wednesday: quads. but unfortunately we still got some. triceps. We trained traps and midback one day.3 percent of the men showed full recovery on the bench p ress after 72 hours. Plus. calves. Here’s how our ’05 rippingphase split looked: Monday: delts. when we worked lats. forearms Tuesday: chest. We split the upper body over two days. All that considered.
): •In ’04 we were doing the first work set to failure. What we failed to consider was that compared to ’04. and pulsed. we would unrack the bar again. we lowered the bar to the max-force point. When we reached central nervous system exhaustion. firing the bar up to about the middle of the stroke on each X Rep.Talk about 52 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . That’s much. we trained our upper body muscles twice a week every week. After doing two progressively heavy warmup sets. We usually got about four to six. like a built-in re c ove ry rotation (see The Ultimate Ma s s Workout for that program). take it down to the X spot and blast out about three more X Reps. and on some of our compound exercises we did the first work set with X Reps at the end. and you see why we believe we may h a ve been ove rt raining to a degree this year (but we still managed to pack on almost 10 pounds of muscle! We’re convinced we could’ve packed on more. After a six-second pause. Here’s how we used X/Pause on Smith machine incline presses. and then adding X Reps to the second work set. then we racked it. and then we did the second work set in Stage style or Double-X Overload. just above the chest. Last year a bodypart would get hit once a week every third week. we loaded the bar with a poundage that we could get about nine reps with.the once-a-week leg training on Wednesdays kept our program in the five-day workweek schedule we must use because we can’t train on weekends (Steve has kids on club soccer teams and Jonathan teaches at car-racing schools). much more intense than ’04! Let’s quickly review those X-hybrid techniques so you can see how much more severe our ’05 program was. we were training our upper-body muscles more frequently. training legs only once a week. paused for six seconds and did more X Reps (the X/Pause technique). In ’05. Add to that the more intense nature of the X-Rep hybrid techniques we were using. •In ’05 we used the more severe X-hybrid techniques.
but by doing the bottom two-thirds of the stroke first. For example. That just doesn’t work as well. albeit with a more exaggerated X-Rep movement. so we used other X-hybrid techniques on those. or X spot. pull up about eight inches. we essentially pre-exhausted our pecs. where there is continuous tension throughout the rep—like rows and pulldowns—in order to use the stage technique. (As we said. Now for the Stage Set. After about a two-to-three-minute rest we reduced the poundage slightly. That’s a weak area. big Jay Cutler uses this technique on almost every exercise. usually with partner a s s i s t a n c e. A Stage Set is a unique way to extend the tension time—you get to attack the semistretched position. lower to the arm s extended position. and it may be a key trigger of hyperplasia. At nervous system exhaustion we pushed the bar to lockout.overload! That six-second rest gives some of the fatigue time to subside. The problem is. so a little part n e r assistance was usually necessary on each of those reps. so we really felt the toprange partials in our chests—believe us! It’s a wicked burn. for e x a m p l e. on exercises that don’t have a lockout position. first in the set. they will still be engaged when you continue the set with more X Reps. or fiber splitting. which encompasses the X spot. lower to full Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 53 . but it’s not long enough to take the stress off the fasttwitch fibers. the Double-X Overload technique—fullrange reps with a hitch at the stretch position. and then we would do the top one-third of the s t roke to lockout. we pull the bar to the chest. He re’s the stage protocol: We would rep out on the bottom two-thirds of the stroke first. You may think the top range is mostly triceps on incline presses. Stage sets work nicely on most compound exercises that have a lockout position—presses and squats for example. necessary for extreme size. you have to do the contracted-position phase first and finish with the third of the stroke that includes the X spot.) To use the Double-X-O technique on cable upright rows. In other words.
The only problem is that you hit the semistretched point at the very end of the set. contracted position. a review is in order. after you do X Reps at the higher position on the stroke. We did our annual photo shoot in mid-June. and did X Reps there. You can even end with standard X Reps—if you can stand the burn. usually with partner help. How effective? Well. you saw our photos in Chapter 5 and at the beginning of this chapter. then we lowered to the semistretched position and finished with X Reps at the sweet spot. then do an X Fade. Heck. c o n c e n t ration curls and pushdow n s. but this time instead of lowering to the X spot. which emphasize semistretched-point overload. but intensity is the name of the game if you’re after X-treme mass! All of the X-hybrid techniques helped make our ’05 ripping phase our most successful ever—despite a bit of overtraining (we think we could’ve done better with a different split. That may sound insane. as you’ll see in the next chapter). Here’s how we used an X Fade on leg press calf raises: We did a straight set to nervous system failure. An X Fade enables you to stress different areas of an exercise’s stroke with the powerful X-Rep technique. We also incorporated the X Fade on almost all of our singlejoint contracted-position exerc i s e s.extension again. That means fatigue may prevent you from getting a lot of overload at the important semistretched point—but that’s precisely why you do X-Fade sets second. After a brief rest—two to three minutes—we did another set to central nervous system exhaustion. the X Fade is tailor-made for those exercises. after a standard XRep set. like leg extensions. and then added X Reps near the stre t c h position. and we often used it on a second set after a standard set done with X Reps in the semistretched position. Once again. we got the weight into the top. As we mentioned in Chapter 8. That hitch at the bottom provides more overload at the key semistretched point on every rep. almost three weeks 54 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . then do another full-range rep. you could even use the Double-X Overload technique on every rep.
earlier than in ’04. which still trains legs once a week but provides the upper-body muscles with more recovery time. as you’ll see in the next chapter (and we want you to come along for the ride to pack on more size). however. We were both about 10 pounds heavier than in ’04 but in the same ripped condition. That’s especially impressive for Steve. however.com n the X-Blog. who was right at 200 pounds the day after the shoot. we’ve simplified the program based on our findings and results and distilled it all into the new streamlined version in the next chapter. we felt as if we may have been overtraining. It’s a testament to our X-Rep strategy and the X-Rep hybrid techniques. You may want to try reducing the sets and/or plugging it into the split in the next chapter. That’s the one we suggest you use. especially if you compare it to our ’04 X-periment program that we listed in The Ultimate Mass Workout. He’s never weighed that much in such shredded condition in his life—and he was just shy of his 46th birthday! Ne ve rt h e l e s s. as we explained above and in previous chapters. If you want to try the pro g ram we used during our ’05 ripping phase. each workout contains only about 25 work sets total.] Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 55 . Considering the intensity of the new X-hyrid techniques. it’s on the next few pages. Keep in mind. we think—make that we know — we can do better. as it’s the program we’ll use in our next mega-mass phase—and we’ll update it at X-Rep. that despite our gains. What are we going to do next? That’s what the next chapter is all about! [ Note: The pro g rams on the next few pages may look somewhat complicated. which helped us get bigger and leaner faster in ’05.
’05 Ripping Phase Routine Monday and Thursday: Delts. 8(6) Smith-machine behind-the-neck presses (X Reps. Forearms Rack upright rows or seated laterals (first set is a drop with X Reps. 10 Forward-lean laterals (X Reps. second is with X/Pause) 2 x 10(6). second set Staged) 2 x 8-10 Superset One-arm cable laterals (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Incline one-arm laterals (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Superset Cable upright rows (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Shrugs or Nautilus shrugs (X Reps or Double-X O) 1 x 8-10 Machine rows (second set with X Reps) 2 x 8-10 Behind-the-neck pulldowns (X Fade) 1 x 8-10 Superset Bent-arm bent-over laterals 1 x 8-10 Bent-over dumbbell rows (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Bent-over laterals or standing uncrossovers (drop set. Biceps. X Reps or X Fade) 1 x 10(6) Superset Reverse wrist curls (X Reps) 1 x 15 Forearm Bar reverse wrist curls or dumbbell reverse wrist curls 1x8 Aftershock superset Wrist curls (X Reps) 1 x 15 Forearm Bar wrist curls or dumbbell wrist curls 1x8 Rockers (drop set every other workout) 1 x 15-20(8) 56 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . Midback. X Reps) 1 x 10(6) Preacher curls (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Cable curls with Biceps Blaster (X Reps) 1 x 8-10 Concentration curls (drop set. X Reps or X Fade) 1 x 8(6) Rope hammer curls (drop set. second set is a drop) 2 x 8-10.
8 1 x 10(6) 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 10(6) 2 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 2 x 10. parallel-grip pulldowns (second set with X Reps) Superset Chins (X-centric) Dumbbell pullovers Superset Pulldowns (X Reps) Rope rows or machine pullovers (X Reps) Decline extensions (second with X Reps in press position) Tri-set Rope or elbows-flared pushdowns (X Reps) Stiff-arm kickbacks Bench dips (X Reps) Tri-set Cable pushouts (X Reps) Stiff-arm kickbacks Bench dips or parallel-bar dips (X-centric) Incline kneeups (X Reps) Superset Incline kneeups Bench V-ups Ab Bench crunches Tri-set Ab Bench crunches (drop set. X Reps) Freestyle twisting crunches Bench V-ups Friday only Seated calf raises (X Reps) Standing calf raises 2 x 10. 8 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x max 1 x 15 1x8 1 x max 1 x 8-10 1 x 8(6) 1 x 15 1 x max 2 x 8-12 1 x 20-25 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 57 . second set Staged) High-low cable flyes (drop set to high cable flyes with X Fade) Superset Decline-bench presses or wide-grip dips (Staged) Flat-bench dumbbell presses (X Reps) Middle cable flyes (drop set to low cable flyes with X Reps) Narrow.’05 Ripping Phase Routine Tuesday and Friday: Chest. Abs (Friday Add Calf Work) Smith-machine incline presses (X/Pause. Lats. Triceps.
Hams. second with X Fade) Superset Hack-machine calf raises (X Reps) Standing calf raises (X Reps) Machine donkey calf raises or leg press calf raises (Double X O) Seated calf raises Low-back machine (X Reps) 3 x 10-12 1 x 10(8) 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 2 x 10. X Reps) Leg extensions (X Fade) One-leg leg extensions (X Fade) Hack squats (feet high and wide) or leg presses (feet high and wide) Leg curls (drop set.’05 Ripping Phase Routine Wednesday: Quads. Gastrocs Smith-machine squats (second or third set with X Reps) Leg extensions (drop set. X Reps) Leg curls (wide with X Fade) One-leg leg curls (X Reps) Hyperextensions (X Reps) Dumbbell stiff-legged deadlifts (Double-X O) Leg press calf raises (X Reps. 8 1 x 10(8) 1 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 1 x max 1 x 10-12 2 x 15-20 2 x 8-12 2 x 8-10 1 x 12-15 2 x 20-25 1 x 10-15 58 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building .
CHAPTER 10 Split-Positions X-Rep Training Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 59 .
not a necessity. especially for Steve. As we explained. almost three weeks earlier than in ’04. but we also try to maintain visual contact with our abs. our annual photo shoot occurred in mid-June. Jonathan dialed it in too. we have to ask ourselves. Before your metabolism will permit a lot of leanmass gain. Just as important. more on that in a moment). but the question remains: Could we have been even better? Muscle just shouldn’t be that difficult to build. much more difficult to build. with more muscularity at a heavier bodyweight. Why the heck not?! One of our strategies created an ah-ha moment was how we approach our mass-building phase. Huge muscles are a luxury for the human body. We’ve always thought that staying fairly lean makes it easier to get shredded as summer nears. w e’re fairly advanced. leanest condition e ve r. He finally saw the scale hover in the 200-pound range in his hardest. and reviewing all we’ve learned.As we mentioned and you saw in the last chapter. usually in the winter. your body has to be damn sure famine is never going to happen. Sure. Keep your body in positive nitrogen balance and positive 60 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . so gains won’t be 20 pounds a ye a r. X/Pause. Hunger is an absolute nono. who’s a middle-aged hardgainer. however—and this is a big however—it also makes muscle much. or perhaps better. you need a fairly large calorie surplus—of the right nutrients—to kick your body into anabolic ove rd ri ve and prevent it from burning muscle for energy. those calories have to be spread out over the course of the day every day. We we re both bigger than at our ’04 photo shoot but in the same. condition—shredded! That’s impressive. We were very happy that we improved. we included new X-hybrid techniques—X-centric training. Double-X Overload and X Fade—which we believe are the reasons our results came much faster during our second X-periment. We continue to hit it fairly hard five days a week (which may be a problem too. as they we re in the beginning of our lifting careers—or could they be? After analyzing everything we do. In other words.
which means we’re throwing ab visibility out the window. If you do the math. the body needs something to w o rk with. The right pharmaceuticals make excess calories a minor player. especially when we’re using X Reps and X-hybrid techniques that jack up the Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 61 . These days that’s not so much the case because a lot of bodybuilders cycle anabolic stero i d s throughout the winter. We’ve said that. something we adopted before the end of summer—and it’s a gain maximizer! We’ve never been able to come up with a perfect recoveryoriented split. (No. but it’s reality. and if your workouts are intense enough to stimulate growth and you get enough recove ry — Bam!—new muscle should appear very quickly. being overly efficient with all the muscle-building blocks it receives. Larry Scott—used to appro a c h winter as a muscle-feeding/building fre n z y. we should be on a three-on/one-off split. mainly because we can’t train on the weekends. it’s not fair. but thanks to drugs it’s always in anticatabolic m o d e.i n s a n i t y e ra — A rnold. Monday through Fri d a y. In a nutshell the research tells us that we should get better gains hitting a leg workout only once a week. you’ll see that you can’t use that split without training on the weekends.) You can see where we’re going with this: We’ll be shoveling in more musclebuilding calories during our mass-building phase. That five-day plan worked well for us in ’04. More on our mucho-mass-diet strategies in a moment. but the new re s e a rch we mentioned in the previous chapter about legs needing more re c ove ry time had us rethinking things. One of our solutions was to still train on a three-way split. but train f i ve days in a row. Let’s segue into training. as our new split is rather ingenious. picking up the missed sixth workout the following Monday and continuing with the sequence. A good laye r covering the abs was considered a necessary evil during a maxmuscle-building phase.quality calorie abundance. Da ve Dra p e r. with a leg-training workout falling between two different upper-body workouts. Sure. ideally. Bodybuilders who got huge before the stero i d .
triceps. forearms) Thursday: Off Friday: Workout 3B (chest. lower back) Wednesday: Workout 3B (chest. abs + calves) Weekend: Off (with cardio) Week 3 Monday: Workout 1B (delts. midback. biceps. Ok a y. midback. lats. let’s rewind and go through our new mega-mass-building strategy point by point. no weekend training. triceps. lats. abs + calves) Weekend: Off (with cardio) Repeat Week 1 62 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . lower back) Wednesday: Workout 1A (delts. we should get even better gains over the winter. etc. triceps. lats. lower back) Wednesday: Workout 1B (delts. lats. triceps. biceps. midback. If we put on quad s i ze then.) Thursday: Off Friday: Workout 1A (delts. lower back) Wednesday: Workout 3A (chest. and it worked extremely well. biceps. abs) Tuesday: Workout 2 (legs. no bodypart overlap (we’ll outline the program in a moment and explain the A and B designations—it’s not as complicated as it looks. forearms) Tuesday: Workout 2 (legs. abs) Tuesday: Workout 2 (legs. biceps. 1) Mega-Mass split. We used that strategy for the last few weeks of our ripping phase over the summer. even when we were doing cardio on a daily basis. c o n s i d e ring our cardio cutback. forearms + calves) Weekend: Off (with cardio) Week 4 Monday: Workout 3A (chest. abs) Thursday: Off Friday: Workout 1B (delts. forearms) Tuesday: Workout 2 (legs. biceps. lats. forearms + calves) Weekend: Off (with cardio) Week 2 Monday: Workout 3B (chest. midback. midback. biceps. So what’s the ingenious split we’re so excited about? Here it is.intensity and muscle damage significantly. trust us): Week 1 Monday: Workout 1A (delts. midback. triceps. forearms) Thursday: Off Friday: Workout 3A (chest.
followed by forward-lean l a t e ra l s. multijoint exercise. or four days. 2) Split-positions training. incline one-arm laterals. Friday is a repeat of Monday’s workout but—and this is important—with different positions. but the second exerc i s e alternates between a contracted-position movement and a stretch-position movement. Upper-body workouts are categorized as either A or B. The m i d range exercise stays constant. and Friday is a repeat of Monday’s bodyparts. which should make for some awesome progress. At the next delt w o rkout. or seven days— although weekend cardio affects leg recovery. to the following Monday As we said. We never work upper body two days in a row. ( We’re also adding a mini-calf blast to our Friday workouts because calves recover much faster than the upper-leg muscles. That’s how it is for every upper-body muscle group. but this time we follow with a stre t c h position delt movement. the big midrange. In the program in this chapter. or five days. 1B. a contracted-position delt move.) •Wednesday bodyparts: 120 hours. Then Thursday is a complete rest day.Notice that we hit legs once a week. Here’s an example from the 3A and 3B workouts for upper chest: The A workout has Smith-machine incline Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 63 . dumbell u p right rows again. on Tu e s d a y. which b reaks up the two different upper-body sessions. Remember. we use the same midrange exerc i s e. to Friday •Tuesday bodyparts (legs): 168 hours. For example. you’ll see that the A workouts contain a big midrange exercise and a contracted-position movement for each bodypart. change is necessary for growth. the 1A delt routine has dumbbell upright rows. which brings us to our next strategy and explains the A and B designations on upper-body workouts (we could see that was puzzling you). How does all of that pan out on the recovery scale? Check it out: •Monday bodyparts: 96 hours.
We use the split-positions approach for every upper-body exercise. of flexion. (Modest. It’s a system that provides optimal recovery—if you divide your workouts correctly. but that’s followed by incline dumbbell flyes. followed by incline cable flyes. Recovery is also about nutrition and getting the right compounds in sufficient quantities to fuel intense workouts and provide a surplus for growth. à la Ronnie Coleman (he also alternates between two routines for every bodypart). X .t raining anabolic window. about a half scoop of CreaSol (titrated creatine) and a scoop of 64 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . aren’t we?) 3) Mega-Mass nutrition. That provides a lot of variety. In the routines that appear at the end of this chapter. or arcs. the A workouts are m i d ra n g e / c o n t racted. a contracted-position upper-chest move. the constant midrange exercise. unique stress and more recovery.presses. but over two workouts (a Positions-of-Flexion p rimer is on page 76 if yo u’re not familiar with that masstraining protocol). Yes. Ingenious. The bodypart you train first has to wait almost an hour or longer for refueling. since you don’t work all three positions at every workout. a stretch-position exercise. In reality the first bodypart’s anabolic window is almost closed by the end of your workout (and you thought it was best to work yo u r weakest bodypart first). the B workout is Smith-machine incline presses again. there’s also research that says you should feed your muscles d u r i n g your training. That way the target muscles get some unique stress at every session.com). That makes sense because the bodyparts you train last get the most from your postworkout drink. and the B w orkouts are midrange/stretch. Hmm. Our recipe? We’re going to mix about a scoop of RecoverX. we’re still depending on our X Stack postworkout combo—RecoverX plus Cre a Sol (www. however.Stack. The solution is to drink as you train (no. With split-positions training you cover all the positions.). Think about it. That’s got eve rything we need to take full advantage of the after. not beer!—although the Mexican beer Dos Equis means two Xes.
We mentioned that the splitpositions approach will keep the stress on our muscles fresh. The problem with GAKIC is that when we took it before the workout. we should be able to sustain the higher power output we’ve been experiencing early in our workouts with no drop off. Stage Sets and Double-X O verload—on most of our exerc i s e s. is an ammonia buffer that has given us some amazing stre n g t h increases. they should work even better during the winter when we’re not restricting calories.) We just have to learn to accept some exc e s s baggage (bodyfat) as a necessary evil if we want to pack on the most muscle possible over the winter. a Mu s c l e Tech product. but what about the powerful X-Rep hybrid techniques that helped us add more muscle very quickly during our ’05 ripping phase? You bet we’re going to use them. GAKIC. We’re also going to have one or two scoops of Pro-Fusion protein powder before bed. it wore off about twothirds of the way through. 4) Mega-Mass variation. trying to down most of it early on. especially those that get hit early in the session (they won’t get cheated any longer). X Fade. It’s a mix of micellar casein and whey proteins.GAKIC together in a water bottle and sip it throughout our workouts. especially the big Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 65 . which we reported on in the IM Research Team in the November ’05 IRON MAN . We’ve never done that because of the fear of exc e s s calories making us fat. Now we realize that it’s necessary to prevent catabolic actions during the sleeping/fasting phase of the day in order to max out muscle growth. We plan to rotate those various X-Rep techniques—Xcentric training. (Many scientists believe that more than 75 percent of muscle growth occurs because of catabolic pre vention as opposed to anabolic a c t i o n s — h ow much muscle is your body burning when it d o e s n’t have ac cess to amino acids. In fact. so it should provide our resting muscles with more recovery and growth-promoting building blocks as we s l e e p. With continuous fueling as we train. like during sleep? In t e resting. The RecoverX and Cre a Sol will feed and refuel the muscles as we blast them. X/Pause.
The more variation the better. If you follow our Mega-Mass program. But if you want to get creative feel free.midrange movements that stay constant. That’s because X-Rep methods are very potent and intense—they can cause ove rt raining if abused. Put the workouts in order. Wednesday and Friday (if it looks as if you may have to miss a Friday workout. the small bit of overlap is better than missing a workout). va ri e t y. print out a clean page and fill in all your weights). optimum recovery.) As you can see. Can we (and you) add another 20 pounds of muscle in the coming months? It’s very possible! Prepare to grow! 66 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . and follow the sequence with us on Monday. don’t get carried away with X Reps. We suggest you p rint out the pro g ram. you don’t have to pick a technique out of a hat. Tuesday. We’ll no doubt be modifying and changing things as we go. We’ve even provided space at the right to jot in your poundages for each exercise (when it gets too messy because you just keep getting stronger and stronger. or midrange exercises. and you can stick to those for every workout on the second set. a separate page for each day (and maybe print out the X-Rep Hybrid Techniques Cheat Sheet on page 48 too).c h e s t workout. Remember. the first heavy set to nervous system exhaustion s e rves to prime the central nervous system to perf o rm optimally on the second set. overload and intensity. For example. train on Thursday instead. (More on doubling up on X Reps in Chapter 11. on a small clipboard with a pencil. And on compound. the next workout we may use X/Pause or a Stage Set. our Mega-Mass strategy is built on a surplus of quality calories. Also notice that we usually only do one set with X Reps or an X-hybrid technique. which includes X Reps or an Xhybrid technique.com often. We’ve provided the best X-Rep technique for each exercise. You’ll definiely want to follow our lead and make a big move into the X-treme growth zone with us.X-Rep. we’ll use Smith machine incline presses at eve ry upper. X Q&A. the big multijoint movements. so check out our X-Blog at www. but one workout we may do standard X Reps at the end of the second set.
Biceps. Forearms (M) Dumbbell upright rows or wide-grip rack pulls (X Reps) (C) Forward-lean laterals (X/Pause) (M) Dumbbell presses (Double-X O) (M) Cable upright rows (Double-X O + X Reps) 1 x 10-12 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 Poundage (C) Barbell shrugs (X Reps. (M) = Midrange. X Fade on 2nd) (M) Rope hammer curls (X Reps) (C) Barbell reverse wrist curls (X Reps) (C) Barbell wrist curls (X Reps) (C) Rockers 2 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 2 x 15 2 x 15 1 x 15 1 x 10-12 1 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 10-12 Add to Friday’s workout Seated calf raises (X Reps) Standing calf raises 2 x 9-12 1 x 20-25 •Where X-Reps or an X-hybrid technique is designated. bottom first) (C) Bent-over laterals (Double-X O) (M) Cable curls (X/Pause) (C) Concentration curls (X Reps. (S) = Stretch Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 67 . use it only on one set. X Fade on 2nd) 2 x 10-12 (M) Nautilus rows (X/Pause) (C) Bent-arm bent-over laterals (X Reps) (M) Behind-the-neck pulldowns (Staged. (C) = Contracted. Midback.X-Rep-Hybrid Mega-Mass Program Workout 1A: Delts. the second set if two sets are designated.
the second set if two sets are designated. Hams. Gastrocs. Double-X O on 2nd) (C) Leg extensions (X Reps. (M) = Midrange. (C) = Contracted. (S) = Stretch 68 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . X Fade on 2nd) (S) Sissy squats (X Reps or Double-X O) (M) Leg presses or hack squats (feet high and wide) (C) Leg curls (X Reps.X-Rep-Hybrid Mega-Mass Program Workout 2: Quads. Low Back (M) Smith-machine squats (X Reps. X Fade on 2nd) (C) Standing calf raises (Double-X O) (S) Machine donkey calf raises (Double-X O) (S&C) Seated calf raises (S&C) Low-back machine (X Reps) 2 x 12-15 2 x 8-10 1 x 12 2 x 8-10 1 x max 3 x 15-20 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 1 x 10-12 Poundage 2 x 15-20 1 x 8-12 •Where X-Reps or an X-hybrid technique is designated. X Fade on 2nd) (S) Bottom-range stiff-legged deadlifts (Double-X O) (S) Hyperextensions (X Reps) (S) Leg press calf raises (X Reps) (C) Hack-machine calf raises (X Reps. use it only on one set.
Abs (M) Smith-machine incline presses (Staged. X Fade on 2nd) 2 x 8-12 (M) Dumbbell bench presses (Double-X O) (C) Low cable flyes (X Reps) (C) Middle cable flyes (X Fade) (M) Parallel-grip pulldowns (X Reps) (M) Chins (X-centric or Double-X O) (S&C) Machine pullovers (X Reps. (M) = Midrange. (C) = Contracted. the second set if two sets are designated. bottom first) 2 x 8-10 Poundage (C) High cable flyes (X Reps. (S) = Stretch Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 69 . Lats. Triceps. use it only on one set. X Fade on second) (M) Decline extensions (Double-X O) (C) Pushdowns (X Reps) Superset (M) Incline kneeups (M) Bench V-ups (C) Twisting crunches 2 x 10 2x8 2 x 10-12 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 1 x 8-12 1 x 8-12 2 x 8-10 1-2 x 8-12 Add to Friday’s workout Seated calf raises (X Reps) Standing calf raises 2 x 9-12 1 x 20-25 •Where X-Reps or an X-hybrid technique is designated.X-Rep-Hybrid Mega-Mass Program Workout 3A: Chest.
(M) = Midrange. Biceps. Midback. (S) = Stretch 70 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . (C) = Contracted. the second set if two sets are designated. X Fade on 2nd) (S) One-arm dumbbell rows (Double-X O) (M) Behind-the-neck pulldowns (X Reps) (S&C) Uncrossovers (X Reps) (M) Preacher curls (X Reps.X-Rep-Hybrid Mega-Mass Program Workout 1B: Delts. 2nd set Staged) (S) Incline curls (Double-X O) (M) Incline hammer curls (Double-X O) (C) Dumbbell reverse wrist curls (X Reps) (C) Dumbbell wrist curls (X Reps) (C) Rockers 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 1 x 10-12 2 x 10-12 2 x 8-10 2 x 10-12 1 x 10-12 1 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 2 x 15 2 x 15 1 x 15 2 x 8-10 Poundage Add to Friday’s workout Seated calf raises (X Reps) Standing calf raises 2 x 9-12 1 x 20-25 •Where X-Reps or an X-hybrid technique is designated. Forearms (M) Dumbbell upright rows or wide-grip rack pulls (X/Pause) (S) Cable laterals (X Reps) or incline one-arm laterals (Double X O) (M) Dumbbell presses (X Reps) (M) Rack pulls (X Reps) (S) Dumbbell shrugs (Double-X O) (M) Nautilus rows (X Reps. use it only on one set.
Lats. (C) = Contracted. Abs (M) Smith-machine incline presses (X/Pause) (S) Incline flyes (Double-X O) (M) Wide-grip dips (X-centric) (S) Decline flyes (Double-X O) (S) Flat-bench flyes (Double-X O) (M) Parallel-grip pulldowns (X Reps. the second set if two sets are designated. X Fade on 2nd) (M) Chins (X Reps) (S) Dumbbell pullovers (Double-X O) (M) Decline extensions (Staged) (S) Cable pushouts or overhead extensions (X Reps. (M) = Midrange. X Fade on 2nd) Superset (M) Incline kneeups (M) Bench V-ups (S&C) Ab Bench crunches or full-range crunches 2 x 10-12 2 x 10 2x8 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 1-2 x 8-12 2 x 8-10 2-3 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-12 2 x 8-10 1 x 8-12 1 x 8-12 Poundage Add to Friday’s workout Seated calf raises (X Reps) Standing calf raises 2 x 9-12 1 x 20-25 •Where X-Reps or an X-hybrid technique is designated.X-Rep-Hybrid Mega-Mass Program Workout 3B: Chest. Triceps. (S) = Stretch Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 71 . use it only on one set.
available at www. Midback. 72 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . Biceps.com. We have an X-Rep e-book in the works specifically for home-gym trainees coming soon. Forearms Dumbbell upright rows or wide-grip rack pulls (X Reps) 2 x 8-10 Seated forward-lean laterals (X/Pause) 2 x 8-10 Dumbbell presses (Double-X O) 2 x 8-10 Barbell shrugs (Double-X O) 2 x 10-12 Bent-over barbell rows (X/Pause) 2 x 8-10 Bent-arm bent-over laterals (Double-X O) 2 x 10-12 Bent-over laterals (X Reps) 2 x 8-10 Dumbbell curls 2 x 8-10 Concentration curls (X Reps. the second set if two sets are designated.We’ve had a number of trainees request home -gym programs that include X Reps. For more on setting up a basic home gym. see IRON MAN’s Home Gym Handbook. X-Rep-Hybrid Mega-Mass Home-Gym Program Workout 1A: Delts. X Fade on 2nd) 2 x 8-10 Hammer curls 1 x 8-10 Barbell reverse wrist curls (X Reps) 2 x 15 Barbell wrist curls (X Reps) 2 x 15 Rockers 1 x 15 Add to Friday’s workout Seated calf raises (X Reps) Standing calf raises Poundage 2 x 9-12 1 x 20-25 •Where X-Reps or an X-hybrid technique is designated. use it only on one set.Home-Gym. so we’re including a version of our Mega-Mass routine that uses only basic exercises that are available in most bare-bones home gyms.
Staged) 2 x 8-10 Incline flyes (squeeze at top of each rep) 2 x 8-12 Dumbbell bench presses (Double-X O) 2 x 8-10 Decline flyes (squeeze at top of each rep) 1 x 8-12 Flat-bench flyes (squeeze at top of each rep) 1 x 8-12 Parallel-grip chins (X Reps) 2 x 8-10 Chins (X-centric or Double-X O) 1 x 8-12 Undergrip rows (X/Pause) 2 x 8-10 Decline extensions (Double-X O) 2 x 8-10 Kickbacks 2 x 8-10 Superset Incline kneeups 2 x 10 Bench V-ups 2x8 Twisting crunches 2 x 10-12 Add to Friday’s workout Seated calf raises (X Reps) Standing calf raises 2 x 9-12 1 x 20-25 Poundage •Where X-Reps or an X-hybrid technique is designated. Poundage X-Rep-Hybrid Mega-Mass Home-Gym Program Workout 3A: Chest. Lats. use it only on one set. Triceps. Abs Incline presses (X Reps. use it only on one set. X Fade on 2nd) 2 x 8-10 Bottom-range stiff-legged deadlifts (Double-X O) 2 x 8-10 Hyperextensions (X Reps) 1 x max Donkey calf raises.X-Rep-Hybrid Mega-Mass Home-Gym Program Workout 2: Quads. Gastrocs. Double-X O) 3-4 x 15-20 Seated calf raises 2 x 15-20 •Where X-Reps or an X-hybrid technique is designated. Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 73 . the second set if two sets are designated. last set Staged) 3 x 8-10 Leg extensions or hack squats with a quad squeeze at top of each rep (X Reps) 2 x 8-10 Sissy squats (Double-X O) 1 x 10-12 Hack squats (nonlock) 1 x 8-10 Leg curls (X Reps. Low Back Squats (nonlock. Hams. the second set if two sets are designated. standing calf raises or one-leg calf raises (X Reps.
Staged) Incline curls (Double-X O) Incline hammer curls (Double-X O) Dumbbell reverse wrist curls (X Reps) Dumbbell wrist curls (X Reps) Rockers Add to Friday’s workout Seated calf raises (X Reps) Standing calf raises 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 10-12 2 x 8-10 2 x 10-12 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 1 x 8-10 2 x 15 2 x 15 1 x 15 2 x 9-12 1 x 20-25 •Where X-Reps or an X-hybrid technique is designated.X-Rep-Hybrid Mega-Mass Home-Gym Program Workout 1B: Delts. Forearms Dumbbell upright rows or wide-grip rack pulls (X/Pause) Incline one-arm laterals (Double-X O) Dumbbell presses (X Reps) Rack pulls or dumbbell shrugs (X Reps) Bent-over barbell rows (X Reps) One-arm dumbbell rows (Double-X O) Bent-over laterals (Double-X O) Preacher curls (X Reps. Biceps. use it only on one set. Midback. the second set if two sets are designated. 74 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building .
Triceps. Drop sets help increase capillary beds in the muscle and are excellent for building intermediary muscle fibers. Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 75 . decreasing the weight and immediately doing a second set to exhaustion. A drop set is doing a set to exhaustion. the second set if two sets are designated. We may do X Reps on the first set. Note: On any exercise in either program we may choose to do a drop set in place of a straight set to enhance the workload and pump. use it only on one set.X-Rep-Hybrid Mega-Mass Home-Gym Program Workout 3B: Chest. Lats. Abs Incline presses (X/Pause) Incline flyes (Double-X O) Wide-grip dips (X Reps) Decline flyes (Double-X O) Flat-bench flyes (Double-X O) Parallel-grip chins (X-centric) Chins (X Reps or Double-X O) Dumbbell pullovers (Double-X O) Decline extensions (Staged) Overhead extensions (Double-X O) Superset Incline kneeups Bench V-ups Ab Bench crunches or full-range crunches (X Reps) Add to Friday’s workout Seated calf raises (X Reps) Standing calf raises 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-12 2 x 8-10 1 x 8-12 1 x 8-12 2 x 8-10 1 x 8-12 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 8-10 2 x 10 2x8 2 x 10-12 2 x 9-12 1 x 20-25 •Where X-Reps or an X-hybrid technique is designated. the second set or both.
which emphasizes the stretch).com. triceps and deltoids during bench presses—the target (chest) is more effectively stimulated with heavy overload. which means more of the target muscle is stimulated to grow. This can recruit reserve muscle fibers. and the muscle is put in a hypercontracted state. Grow: The Positions-of-Flexion MuscleTraining Manual. Best X-hybrid technique for midrange exercises: X/Pause. Eat. or fiber splitting. Each of those positions has a specific purpose. C o n t r a c t e d : Here you place the target muscle in the most advantageous position for it to contract. see Train. Note: For more information on POF as well as other POF routines. in animals. the nervous system receives an emergency-response signal. a perfect way to end a bodypart workout. state against resistance. or stretched. like squats and bench presses). Examples include leg extensions. Examples include squats. or muscle teamwork. Important bonus: Stretch overload has also been found in research studies to trigger hyperplasia. When a number of muscles work together— such as the chest. as follows: Midrange: Stimulates the bulk of the muscle fibers with synergy. stiff-legged deadlifts for the hamstrings and sissy squats for the quads. 76 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . so they are perfect for extreme occlusion. The human muscle structures are designed to work in tandem for maximum power output. The stretch forces the activation of the myotatic reflex. Best X-hybrid techniques for stretch-position exercises: Double-X Overload (an X Rep between every full rep. contracted and stretch—to complete the full-range muscle-building chain. Best X-hybrid techniques for contracted-position exercises: X Fade. Stage (on those with bone-supported lockout. Double-X Overload. Examples include flyes for the chest. S t r e t c h : Here you put the target muscle in its ultimate elongated. so these movements are simply more natural than forced isolation. When the target is stretched with a quick twitch to reverse the movement. available at www. Double-X Overload. cable crossovers and leg curls.Home-Gym. bench presses and chins. which is believed to cause the recruitment of reserve muscle fibers in the target muscle. These exercises usually have continuous tension.Positions-of-Flexion Primer With a Positions of Flexion protocol you train each target bodypart in three positions—midrange.
CHAPTER 11 X Q&A Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 77 .
Q: Can a skinny hardgainer type use X Reps and get results? A : Ab s o l u t e l y, and St e ve is a perfect example. He’s an ectomorph, smaller bone structure who has a hard time putting on weight, and he made the best gains of his entire training career when he started using X Reps—at age 44! X Reps work for virtually everyone who uses them correctly. And hardgainers are no exception. In UMW we said that many researchers believe that less than half of the fast-twitch fibers are involved in any all-out set. That’s right, a single set to failure is not very efficient for stimulating growth. And it’s even less efficient for hardgainers, who get maybe 20 to 30 percent fiber activation because of their poor nerve-to-muscle connections. In other words, their central nervous system craps out even earlier than the CNS of other bodybuilders on any given set, leaving most of their fast-twitch fibers snoozing. Re m e m b e r, the faster- g rowing fast-twitch fibers activa t e toward the end of a strict set, as dictated by the size principle of muscle fiber recruitment, but hardgainers get at very few of those fibers because their below-average nervous system shuts down early. Can they just load up on more sets to compensate? If you’re a hardgainer, you know that’s impossible because hardgainers also have a less-efficient recovery system—they can’t tolerate a lot of work. What about just a few more sets with more explosive movements, which could help activate more fibers? Bad idea. As we said, most hardgainers have poor neuromuscular efficiency. That means explosive-style training isn’t very effective and is often dangerous. They must do their sets with strict style—and that does very little to overload the important semistretched position (near the turnaround) of the big mass-building exercises. So it appears that the harder a hardgainer trains, the less he gains because he overstresses his recovery ability and/or gets injured when he tries to explode with heavy weights to overload the sweet spot of certain exerc i s e s. It’s the fru s t ra t i n g
78 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building
hardgainer paradox. X Reps work for hard g a i n e r because they help him ove r ride the i n h e rent neuromuscular deficiency somewhat and ove rload the s e m i s t retched position in one set. That makes the X-Rep set two to five times more effective at triggering fasttwitch-fiber growth—and many of the X - h y b rid techni ques do an eve n better job of that. That’s why they’re so very important for hardgainers. X-Reps power partials at the sweet Steve is proof that X spot of each exercise gets at much Reps work big-time for old more of the muscle in any one strict hardgainers—and guys too. He’s 46! set—and you don’t have to do set after recovery-draining set. The end-of-set partial technique is an absolute godsend for hardgainers. Here’s why it works: When your nervous system craps out, leaving so many growth fibers unused or understimulated (70 p e rcent in some cases), you move to the key point in the exercise’s stroke, like near the bottom of an incline press, and keep firing the muscle—pulsing in a very short five-to-10-inch range. You essentially leapfrog nervous system fatigue and get at a much larger percentage of muscle fibers with those power pulses at the target muscle’s maximum-force-generation point, where fiber activation is optimized. In other words, you get a quantum leap in mass-building efficiency without having to add sets, just what hardgainers need for jacking up growth stimulation to exceptional levels without volume overkill. In fact, X Reps can help slow-to-grow bodybuilders trigger more size increases in a few months than they have experienced in years. Exciting stuff! Q: You guys usually suggest at least two warmup sets prior to most compound [or multijoint] exercises. Do I just take a lighter weight and do the same number of
Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 79
reps or what? A: That’s a very important question because small details can add up to bigger re s u l t s. Even something as seemingly insignificant as a proper warmup can be the differe n c e between anabolic acceleration and stagnation. For example, we’ve discussed occlusion, or blocking blood flow to a muscle, and how scientists found that it can jack up strength significantly. In our X-traordinary Abs e-book and in Chapter 2 of this e-book we discussed how researchers placed a blood pressure cuff on subjects’ upper arms for two minutes. The cuff was then removed, and the subjects did wrist curls. Results: Those whose blood flow had been impaired showed a 20 percent strength increase over that of the subjects who d i d n’t use the cuff. Ye s, 20 percent! ( T h e re have also been amazing size increases from occlusion, as we described in Chapter 2.) That indicates significantly better fiber recruitment. Along the same lines, studies on warming up muscles found that doing a number of lighter sets prior to heavy work can help the t a rget muscle contract much better than without those p re l i m i n a ry sets—about 20 percent better, in fact. Hmm, there’s that 20 percent figure again. So could occlusion merely be acting as a warm u p ? Absolutely! After all, a warmup is simply a means of priming the pump—pushing blood into the muscle so it will perform to the best of its ability on the heavy sets. If you block blood flow instead of (or in addition to) doing some lighter pumping sets, you end up with a warm, ready-to-fire muscle. Either way you get a rush of blood to the bodypart immediately after. Now, the qu estion becomes how you can use that information to set the stage for the most grow power from your w o rk sets. (Keep in mind that you want to max out hypertrophic stimulation with the fewest work sets necessary so you don’t drain your re c ove ry system with too much volume.) We’ve said in the past that for big multijoint exercises like
80 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building
get your mind in touch with the target muscle Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 81 . wasting lots of time jabbering and not paying attention. We’ve seen bodybuilders in the gym jerk through their warmups. Trust us. Then do the second five only through the bottom two-thirds of the stroke. it should be a fairly nonstressful set that doesn’t tax your strength but amplifies it. We’re convinced that if you take care of a few details on your warmup sets. Do four full-range reps followed by four nonlock partials for occlusion. Here’s how to make it happen: Warmup set 1: Take 60 percent of your work-set weight and do 10 reps—five full-range reps and five partials. Do the first one with about 60 percent of your first work-set weight and the second with about 80 percent. Keep each rep fairly slow and controlled to activate your nervous system. Remember.squats and bench presses you should do two warmup sets. two is all you need on multijoint exercises to stimulate more muscle growth (how about 20 percent more?). they’re severely limiting their gains and creating the need to either do more warmup sets. you may have done your warmup reps too fast. If you don’t feel blood moving to the target. if four plus four feels too taxing. more work sets or extensive rehab work once they get injured. (Individual strength may vary. That blood increase will make your work sets significantly more effective. For example. try three plus three. But there’s more to it than percentages. That will lube your joints and get the blood pumping (partials produce occlusion). especially after the second warmup. Warmup set 2: Up the poundage to 80 percent of your work-set weight. Go from full stretch to complete lockout on the first five.) At the end of each warmup set you should feel blood f l owing to the target due to occlusion from the nonlock p a rt i a l s. on bench presses you’ll push the bar from your chest to just above the midpoint of the stroke on your partials. without locking out.
there’s more than one way to grow. Here’s how to do the much more effective uncrossover: Stand in the crossover machine and grab one of the upper handles with the opposite hand. Q: W hi ch is b etter. so X Reps and the X-hybrid techniques help us make that happen—and we certainly can’t complain considering the gains we’ve made—more in the past year than in the previous four! Q: What the heck is an uncrossover exercise? A : It’s a great re a r-delt and midback movement with continuous tension. Is one style better than the other? It depends on you—your body. Legendary bodybuilder Bill Pearl used to train with 20 or more sets per bodypart. holding it at the opposite shoulder. Others prefer to do fewer sets and push harder—for example. abbreviated high-intensity-style workouts? A : High-intensity workouts or higher. something you don’t get with bent-over dumbbell laterals—the resistance goes to almost zero on those at the key semistretched point. It just didn’t suit him. We prefer to get it done as quickly as possible and get out of the gym. Bill Pearl probably wouldn't have gained much on an HIT-oriented routine—because he would’ve hated it and quit if that was the only way. preferences and personality. efficient warmup strategy can get you bigger gains from your heavy work.volume methods? Both will work. That quick. When you do that. As Nautilus creator Arthur Jones used to say. We’re efficiency minded. bringing it 82 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . There is a lot of truth to that. but he never trained to exhaustion on any set.n e rvo u s system exhaustion with X Reps—to hit the majority of fibers. past centra l . volu me tr aining or sh ort . you have to scale back the vo l u m e.and prime the pump. Luckily for all of us. He got at more muscle fibers by doing set after set. You can train long or you can train hard. but you can’t do both. and it will take fewer work sets to get the fast-twitch blast you’re after. Now step over to the other side and grab that handle with the opposite hand.
Otherwise. Move to the middle of the cro s s ove r a p p a ra t u s. step back about a foot. It’s the same with pulldowns and row s. squeez i n g your scapulae together as you pull. If I had to use a bare-bones home gym. delts will be contracting hard. In the finish position yo u should look like you’re doing a back Jonathan midway double-biceps pose with bad form— through an uncrossand your midback muscles and rear over. Q: W hat are your thoughts on the Bowflex? I’m thinking about buying one. there’s less resistance at that key point and more at the top of the movement. and your rear delts to get the handles back. near the start of an incline press when your hands are close to your shoulders.to the opposite shoulder so your arms are crossed over your chest. Can it deliver a wo rk o u t good enough for someone using it to gain muscle and look better? A: A Bowflex is just okay as a stand-alone home gym. where the rods are maximally flexed. hands together and cables crossing. I’d get an adjustable Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 83 . You can do them sitting or standing. Us e your midback muscles. My main gripe is that the max-force point for most muscles is near the semistretched point—for example. Some exercises are good. The way the Bowflex is designed. pull the handles back. and extend your arms out and above your head. others aren’t so good. you’ll be getting even less maxforce-point overload than if you used standard barbells and dumbbells (because the most force occurs at the top of the stroke on most Bowflex exercises). From that standpoint it’s mandatory to incorporate X Reps at the max-force point when you hit nervous system exhaustion on most sets to stress the muscle optimally. with rods that increase pre s s u re as you extend. With a slight bend in your e l b ow s.
Don’t allow your arm to move all the way down till it’s perpendicular with the floor. that will take tension off your 84 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . Also. With a dumbbell in the hand of your outside arm. One-arm cable laterals are a better solution for semistretched-point overload (bottom of the stroke) than standing laterals because the cable pulls your hand and arm across your torso rather than straight down like a dumbbell. if you use enough weight to blast the strongest low position. Now your torso is at an angle. And like regular dumbbell laterals. the real overload doesn’t occur until your arms are about a third of the way up through the arc. the resistance is pulling your arms down at the bottom not across as it should for medialhead resistance. putting more stress on your traps not your delts. Which bring us to the incline one-arm lateral raise. Why. move the dumbbell down in front of your body till it’s just lower than your waist. Due to the nature of dumbbell laterals and its arc of movement. you won’t be able to move your arm very far without some heaving—but it’s still a decent delt exercise. leaning your nonworking side against it.com. gravity pulls the weight toward the ground. [ Powe r Block selectori zed dumbbells are available at www. when your arms are hanging straight down.Home-Gym. You sit sideways on a 45-to-55-degree incline bench. torso twisting and leg thrusting can make the exercise less delt specific and more of a trap builder.] Q: You guys say that the incline one-arm lateral raise is a good delt exercise.bench and the heaviest selectorized dumbbells available—like a Powe r Block. That gives you the most ve r s a t i l i t y — e ve n though the setup doesn’t look nearly as cool as a Bow f l e x . arms away from your torso. Regular dumbbell laterals lack resistance down at the bottom. and how do you perform it correctly? A: We conside r incline one-arm lateral raises an indispensible movement because it allows you to get some stretch in the medial-delt head. howe ve r.
Reverse the movement right when the dumbbell is even with your hip area that’s against the bench.The incline one-arm lateral raise. a great stretch-position exercise for the medial delt with critical X Spot overload. that top position is really only about two-thirds up the arc of a standing lateral raise. Q: What exercise can I substitute for toes-pointed leg curls. even when he was fully clothed. A slight bend at your elbow is acceptable. a version of the incline one-arm lateral was a favorite of Arnold’s. Then raise it till your arm is just about parallel to the floor. And you raise it to parallel—but because your torso is angled. the midrange movement for calves listed in your Train. We’ve re c e n t l y discovered that leg-oriented cardio is the best midrange work for calves. That’s a ve ry impre s s i ve feat considering that his clavicles were fairly narrow. You get resistance when your upper arm is close to your body due to the angle of your torso. delt. You’re essentially working the bottom two-thirds of the lateral raise stroke and—this is the important point—you’re getting lots of overload at the turnaround when the dumbbell is in front of your hips at the bottom of the stroke. Grow Positions-of-Flexion book? A: There really isn’t one—and even toes-pointed leg curls a re n’t a true midrange exercise for calve s. Eat. By the way. which may explain why he got so broad and had that eye-popping width. We’ve noticed Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 85 . especially walking hills and sprinting.
perhaps one or two of those being X-Rep sets. you don’t make much inroad into high-threshold territory. We’ve also discovered that less-padded running shoes. whether you’re running or attacking calf raises in the gym. we’re more interested in finding the most efficient way to train (we have jobs and families. which yo u suggest in your X-Rep training. Shoes that are adve rtised as “like running barefoot” give you a more natural movement. training to failure isn’t necessary. like Nike Free. wo n’t t rai ni ng to failure indu ce burnout and overtraining? A: As we mentioned in a previous answer. our calves get considerably better. however. If that’s tru e. the low-threshold motor units fire first. followed by the mediums. but I h a ve questions about training to failure. You can activate a few more fast-twitch fibers by doing additional subfailure sets and getting a different recruitment p a t t e rn — d i f f e rent fibers may be brought into play on additional sets. and we believe that way is to limit training to only a few sets to f a i l u re. That means your X Reps will be much more effective as well—if you can stand the pain of Xing on calf work. howe ve r. followed by the highthreshold motor units (the pure fast-twitch fibers). When you do a set. Does it cause nervous system burnout? Not if you keep the 86 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . Q: I’ve bought many of your books and e-books. Isn’t it a bad thing? I’ve read that it’s not required to gain muscle and it can cause central nervous system fatigue. If you don’t go to failure. and you get less rebound at the important max-force point near the bottom of the stroke. It appears to be the best way to activate as many fast-twitch fibers as possible without spending excessive time in the gym. it does make building muscle less time-consuming. It has to do with the size principle of muscle fiber recruitment.that w hen we start i ncreasing our cardio as summer a p p ro a c h e s. for crying out loud—who has time for three-hour workouts?). are best for calf stimulation.
so no matter how you train. do the same routine with the same poundages for a week. By the way. however. stagnate and then re ve rt to status quo before you hit them again. What could be happening is that you’re not hitting your muscles frequently enough. you shouldn’t be getting extremely sore after eve ry workout. It’s as if you’re starting from scratch every time. should I avoid working out again if I’m sore? Or is it okay to train after two days of rest if I’m only slightly sore? A: Soreness is muscle damage.volume low and the training frequency sensible. it’s probably okay to hit a muscle when it’s slightly sore (there are even studies that say it’s beneficial to train a muscle two days in a row. as we outline in the Sp l i t Positions Pro g ram in Chapter 10. That means they’re regressing before you train them again—they superc o m p e n s a t e. and then do a Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 87 .” Try training muscle groups more frequently. and a hardgainer. but stop all sets two reps short of failure. I’m sore the next—and it’s even worse on day two. so don’t think you need to get sore to grow. Either tactic will help regenerate your nervous system. Nevertheless. Q: What’s the deal with soreness? I work out one day. Or take four to five days off. In c i d e n t a l l y. but we’re not big fans of that idea). do incorporate phase training into your mass-building strategy. You should also use phase training—after six weeks or so of all-out workouts. rest. there are no studies connecting soreness to muscle growth. like twice a week or once eve ry five days. using a volume approach can also cause CNS burnout. as described in the beginner section of The Ultimate Mass Workout e-book. It’s the perfect example of the phrase “spinning your wheels. As a beginner. We also recommend that beginners break in to intensity training to avoid overstressing the CNS—they need to build up to this type of exertion. which explains the soreness. and yo u’ll come back feeling bigger and stro n g e r. Q: In The Ultimate Mass Workout e-book you say to do one positive-failure work set.
Other X-hybrid techniques aren’t as grueling. where we do the top third of the 88 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . but you have to be careful. too. Should you add a X-hybri d technique on your second set? That can work. like right after a semiheavy warmup set (80 percent of your first work-set weight. and then we have to help each other move the weight to lockout. and most of the Xhybrid techniques are even more potent. Using X-centric training. and you may be able to use them on your second work set with great results. For that first stage we move the bar from the bottom. It probably has a lot to do with neuromuscular adaption—your nervo u s system gets atuned to getting in the groove earlier. yo u’re hammering the target muscle with a lot of heavy partials right at the max-force point. doing X Reps on your first work set should be fine. That could trigger ove rt raining.second positive-failure work set with X Reps—but I’ve been using Xes on the first work set with great results. X Reps are powerful. slow negatives at the end of a set with X Reps on each. see the previous Q&A on proper warmup). Can I continue doing my first work set with X Reps. is also very taxing due to all the power partial work combined with slow negative tension. For example. and then doing the second set Stage style. I do two pro g re s s i vely heavier warmup sets. We usually get about eight. We often use the same weight as the first set. if you do your first work set with X Reps and your second with X/Pause. hitting the semistretched position. and then one or two standard sets. and then add an X-hybrid technique to my second work set? A: We’ve noticed that the more experienced we get with X Reps. my first work set with X Reps at the end. For example. we’ve experimented with doing our first work set with X Reps at the end. the better they work on the first work set. What I’ve noticed is that additional sets after the initial X-Rep set are more effective due to a kind of preexhaust effect that comes from working in the X zone on my very first set. So if you’re a fairly advanced lifter. to just above the midpoint.
Should they add an XOverload set. then follow with the top one-third. Now if you add X Reps to the end of that sequence. like Stage or Double-X Overload. c h a ra c t e ri s t i c. But what if I do the bottom two-thirds of the stroke to failure. we often go overboard and flirt with overtraining. before the Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 89 . you’re essentially doing a normal set with X Reps. you can reduce the weight by 10 to 20 percent and do every rep with a hitch at the maxforce point. Re c ove ry and intensity may depend on the technique and t o l e rance is an individual specific individual recovery ability. trying to squeeze the pecs at the lockout position on each one. you may be pushing hybrid technique to their second work set? That it.stroke. After your first work set with X Reps. like X/Pause). Q: You say that Stage Sets are n’t good to use on exercises that have continuous tension. we try not to exceed three weeks of that type of insanity. When we’re motivated. the end of that Double-X. after you go further and add X Reps to a semiheavy warmup. where the X Spot is? A: Well. you may be pushing the limits. only yo u’re stopping your standard reps short. The same goes for Double-X Overload. but when we’re pushing ourselves to the brink. if benefit from doing X Reps on the first work set. however. like pulldowns. or an X-Rep set followed by a straight set or a set with one of the milder Xhybrid techniques. Most of the time we prefer a straight set followed by an X-Rep set or X-hybrid set (the more seve re the better. That double-bang at the max-force point betwe e n every rep is excellent for stressing We’ve found that more the muscle right where it needs it advanced trainees may most for more growth.
or power partials. You can also use the Double-X Overload technique on those and other continuous-tension exercises. We’ve also tried to explain why adding X Reps.semistretched point. which is what we explained in the first few chapters of this e-book. Here’s a bit of a review: By adding X Reps to incline presses. to the ends of sets of certain exercises is a much more efficient means of attaining pro-style mass than simply doing set after set on multiple exercises. Overloading the maxforce generation point of an exercise may provide unique fasttwitch-fiber activation. That’s standard X-Rep procedure on pulldowns and rows. or X Spot. make it the bottom three-fourths so you move to the X Spot on every rep before you reverse the movement of the bar. then end with X-Rep partials at the semistretched point. occlusion may cause endurance fibers to take more of the initial load during a set of an exercise. so you get more growth in those fibers as well as fast-twitch hypert ro p h y. It appears that the champs get big by maximizing a number of growth factors. while occlusion may do things like pump up fluid volume and increase capillary beds—two s e p a rate layers of growth. up near the top. That’s another mass layer. you take the pecs past failure at the key max-force generation point. Then at exhaustion. Q: Does ove rloading the max-force point of an exercise create a different type of growth from what you get by blocking blood flow? A: We know what you’re getting at. So to improve on the example you just gave. with its influx of blood. Pl u s. instead of doing the bottom two-thirds. do X Reps at that X Spot. That’s not so good because you want to include that semistretched point on every rep—it’s the most important point for growth stimulation—then blast it further with X Reps when more full reps are impossible. or layers. getting much more fast-twitch-fiber activation than if you stop at positive failure. It’s the best way to move past nervous system exhaustion and fatigue to get more fast-twitch 90 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . using an X Rep between each full rep.
or muscle-fiber splitting. Jay Culter. (Double-X Overload. X-hybrid techniques and so Reps. on stretch-position exercises is proving to be a very powerful size building technique.b u i l d i n g routine. or midrange. you do X Reps at a semistretched point. uses that technique a lot in his size . so they seve rely stress the muscle when it’s in an elongated state.) Much of our analysis also gave credence to the Positions-ofFlexion muscle-building method—working a muscle with midrange-. but there’s still lots to learn. stretch. exercises like presses. one of the biggest bodybuilders in the world.and contracted-position exercises.com. We’ve found a number of pieces to the You also g et mass-building puzzle with our testing and some stre t c h experimentation in the gym: Positions of overload with X Flexion. especially when you add X Reps to the end of a set.X-Rep. the bigger your muscles can eventually become. Then you can get the best occlusion effects with Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 91 . which may on.fiber action.overload/muscle-mass connection! As we’ve mentioned. which may help initiate hyperplasia—and the more fibers there are to grow. an X Rep between every full rep. connection to hyperplasia. X Reps. You can trigger the most fiber activation with compound. probably due to that stre t c h . Yo u also create some postfailure occlusion with X Reps because p a rtial pulses keep tension on the target muscle. You can almost feel the blood being squeeze d out with each pulsing action. Keep up h a ve a with our latest findings at www. Remember.
dormant-fiber activation (thanks to the myotatic reflex.continuous-tension contracted-position exerc i s e s. you can use stretch-position exercises for even more occlusion. We’ll keep you posted on new discoveries in the pages of IRON MAN magazine. Add X Reps to those. the IM e-zine and via our X-Blog at www. although POF plus X Reps and X-hybrid techniques may be the training Holy Grail for a number of bodybuilders. We’re getting closer to finding the final pieces as we keep experimenting and learning. an e m e rgency response tri g g e red by fu ll stretch ag ainst resistance) and perhaps more fiber-splitting action. Finally. and you increase occlusion time and its size. Exciting stuff! We’re not saying we’ve found the answer. like crossovers. 92 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building .X-Rep.com.and strength-building effects. but we will say we’ve pieced together a huge section of the mass-building puzzle.
Olympia’s Workout From an X-Rep Perspective Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 93 .BONUS CHAPTER A Analyzing Mr.
trains with an emphasis on semistretched overload. Th at means 94 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . In fact. Coleman does that Coleman and i n s t i n c t i ve l y his incredible with heavy traps! p a rt i a l . you need to overload that point somehow.” which is an ungodly display of muscle mass and raw strength captured by videographer Mitsuru Okabe. near the turnaround of a rep—almost at the bottom of an incline press. for example. his mass-training style is a prime example of max-force-point overload on almost every exercise. In simple term s. if you want to tri g g e r e x t reme mass. the max-force point is the place along an exercise’s stroke at which the target muscle has the most poweroutput potential. he does only the bottom half of a benc h p ress stro k e. In fact.T h roughout this e-book we’ve mentioned how Ro n n i e Coleman. When a muscle is semistretched—not fully stretched. Re m e m b e r. “The Cost of Redemption. It’s essentially the most important point of any movement because it’s where the most fiber activation can o c c u r — m o re force equals maximum muscle invo l ve m e n t . he almost neve r does fullrange re p s. it’s usually at the semistre t c h e d position. but almost—the muscle fibers are perfectly aligned for ultimate p ower generation. W h e re is that point? Well. Fo r e x a m p l e. Olympia. Those observations were the result of watching his latest DVD.ra n g e re p s. Mr.
. (Incidentally. however. he may be triggering hyperplasia. That’s exactly how he trains his shrugs. as we’ve mentioned a number of places in this e-book. as dictated by X-Rep protocol. He works from just above the middle of the stroke to down just short of full stretch—the semistretched point. it’s interesting to note that on all calf exercises. He begins with seated calf raises. and the first thing t h a t’s noteworthy i s that he never gets close to full contraction—not even on his first. He does the same thing on one-leg leg press calf raises. There is still some stretch in the calf muscle at that point. the semistretched point. To drive home that point. Coleman’s biggest nemesis in his quest for more Olympia titles. Jay Cutler. or fiber splitting. holding and hitching at the semistretched point between groups of reps or single reps. we thought it would be interesting to discuss his workout day by day. instinctively at every workout thanks to that unique tweak that has the power to create a freak physique!) Delts. double-dipping at the bottom stretch and then only moving the bar up a few inches before he lowers and double bangs again—and his traps are absolutely enormous! Could his calves get even better with extra semistretched-point overload? We think so.. He dri ves the dumbbells from ear level. So from a scientific standpoint he might get better results double-clutching at the semistretched point. using a seat with back support.he slams that mass-morphing sweet spot with severe overload on every single rep. Workout 1 Calves. which for him is just above the middle of the stroke. but not as much as closer to the bottom of the stroke. far short of lockout. to about eight inches above his head. uses the Double-X-Overload technique on almost every set. down near the bottom where the most fiber activation can occur (the DoubleX Overload technique). he double bounces when he gets to the highest point. lighter sets. even the seated va ri e t y. (It’s during Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 95 . As we said. He kicks off shoulder work with seated dumbbell p re s s e s.
Coleman does four sets. It was rather shocking to see that Coleman prefers higher reps on almost all of his sets. for about 20 reps. but here’s a quick review: You stand in the middle of a cable crossover.) He does four sets of part i a l . here’s a big surprise: A fter dumbbell presses he goes to the Nautilus double-shoulder machine and does lateral raises. “Yeah. stopping each rep at about eye level. Speaking of higher re p s. Uncrossovers are next. keeping the slight bend at the elbows. only the bottom half of the m ovement (semistretched point again). increasing the weight on each till he’s using the 160s on his last set for seven reps. 160-pound dumbbells!) His first three sets are all in the 10-to-12-rep range. You uncross your arms and drive your hands out to your sides at shoulder level. turning his palms out (ouch) and moving the bar from ear level to just above his head. but it’s probably to hammer the target muscle with more tension time. buddy!” He loves that stuff. your arms crossed at midforearm in front of your face with a slight bend at each elbow. no matter how painful the set. for about 20 re p s. He does three of the high-rep combo sets—and his delts get pumped to the extreme. (Yes. Next it’s bent-over cable laterals in the same cro s s ove r machine but using the low handles—and zero full-range reps. His reps start at 15 on the first set and creep down from there. 96 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . What the heck is an uncrossover? We explained them in the X Q&A section.this exercise that you get to hear his first surprising and somewhat humorous battle cry. no lockout. After a few reps you should get a wicked burn in your rear-delt heads and midback. going from 15 down to eight.range dumbbell pre s s e s. the cable handle from the opposite side in each hand. Then he follows immediately with presses on the machine. increasing the weight on each and decreasing his reps. For front delts he does a few progressively heavier sets of alternate dumbbell front raises.
and he uses a tremendous poundage that rattles the power rack at the end of his sets. Then he bumps it up to 645 for 12 and. He does four sets of these stretch-emphasis delt/back burners. other than shock and awe. howe ve r. his shoulders barely move. He does 30 quick reps on each set. Tr a p s. his arms never get close to p a rallel to the floor for complete contraction. we wonder why he doesn’t try the double-clutch semistretched-overload tactic on more of his exercises. He starts with 445 pounds and does 15 reps. “Yeah. stretched position on every rep. In other w o rd s. which may be his freakiest bodypart. As before.Holy He does only half reps from the stretch #%@! point to about halfway up. A re you seeing a pattern? The s t retched and semistretched points appear to be critically important for building mass. Workout 2 Quads. he blasts out heavy behind-the-back barbell shrugs. He only does bottomrange partials—and his traps look like eight-ton boulders sitting on his shoulders. Co l e m a n’s tra i n i n g indicates that in a big way—even more strongly on the next exercise. it’s. was this: Considering the impressiveness of his traps. Could it make him even larger? Scary thought. Our primary thought at the end of his workout. providing serious Double-X Overload at the maxforce point. To finish. he double-clutches at the bottom. And as mentioned above. but it’s very possible considering it’s connection to muscle fiber replication. buddy!” as he primes his Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 97 . Coleman starts with four progressively heavier sets of leg extensions to warm up his knees. He does them while holding the Olympic bar behind his legs rather than in front. finally. 735 for 11.
more than a ton. provide a good transition to hamstring work. Coleman does take quite a bit of time between heavy sets. 745x4 and 800x2. He begins with one-leg leg curls. as he wraps his knees and squeezes into a power suit. stretch-position work has been linked to hyperplasia. however. in the lab. and he alternates legs for three sets of about 15 reps apiece. Those leg pre s s e s. once again doing only the bottom two-thirds of the movement (semistretched point) and no pauses. Stiff-legged deadlifts are last on his day-two agenda. his quads (with occlusion) and his mind for squats. He shoulders the bar from heavy-duty power stands and then squats without any safety catchers—other than his training partner and the Metroflex Gym owner. Another eye-popping display occurs on leg presses.250 pounds—for eight reps! Yep. never pushing close to top-end lockout. and a calculator is brought out to determine that he was using 2. with feet high on the p l a t f o rm. His reps are rapid fire. and as we keep saying throughout this e-book. it’s semistretched-position overload. It looked to be only about 275 pounds for all three sets. Ha m s t ri n g s. He appears to be using the exercise as more of a stretch-emphasizing movement. Prepare to be impressed! He does five progressively heavier sets on squats: 225x12. 800 for two deep reps nonlock style is amazing. Oh. 595x8.knees. and did we mention that all of his reps are down below parallel and only partial range? Yep. Whoa! But even more impressive is that he doesn’t use a power rack. On his last set he appears to have every 45 in the gym piled on. Still. Perhaps that’s one reason Ronnie is so dam n h uge—maybe stretch and 98 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . He does four pro g re s s i vely heavier sets with his feet close and in nonlock style. and the theme slapped us in the face again: He only moves the bar f rom ankles to knees—stretched-position part i a l s. And his weight is relatively light. neither of whom look too thrilled about having to pull 800 pounds off of Ronnie if he misses. or fiber splitting. 405x10.
Not too shabby. 405x10 and 495x5. C h e s t. How much does Mr. O bench? At this workout his last three sets were 315x12. Coleman’s ab routine is an almost endless giant set. standing cable crunches and twisting crunches. rapid-fire reps. bottom two-thirds of the move m e n t o n l y. It looks as though he’s moving through only the bottom half of the stroke. exploding on every rep at the low. who e m p h a s i zes stretch even more than Coleman. semistretched point. He does bench cru n c h e s. ( The same can be said of Jay Cu t l e r. That allows him to hit the semistretched point more quickly and keep continuous tension on his pecs for anabolic occlusion aftereffects. often reversing the Coleman’s bench press range is from the chest to just above the midpoint of the stroke on every rep. He does only the bottom half to two-thirds of the stroke. Even more evidence of Coleman’s attention to muscle elongation: He ends this workout with hamstring and adductor stretches.semistretch focus has produced considerable replication of muscle fibers. It appears as though there’s no specific order. never holding a contraction and almost always just doing partial-range. five pro g re s s i ve l y heavier sets—and his range is almost shorter here than on most other exercises.) In t e re s t i n g concept. He begins with bench presses. For incline presses it’s a repeat performance as far as range goes—partial. max-force-point emphasis. bench kneeups. he just does whichever exercise he feels like doing—but he still emphasizes the semistretched point on almost all of them. Workout 3 Abs. Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 99 . which is why it’s part of our mega-mass program! Stretching. bottom range only.
Here he sits and grips wheelbarrowtyp e handles. hands up next to his pecs down to well short of lockout. He fires out 10 to 15 reps with zero pauses for three sets. I swear yo u’ll like it!). where the X spot is. He lowers the dumbbell to just off his shoulder. Workout 4 Calves. He starts the day with some high-rep calf work in his home gym. he’s off to the gym. Not to belabor the point. Forced reps are a rare occurrence. He drives the handles from the semistretched point. and the weight is at the opposite end. but (you guessed it) his range of motion is from about the middle of his chest (triceps’ semistretched point) to just short of lockout. kicking out of the semistretched position. The explosive heave just before lockout at the top of every rep really overloads that max-forc e point for some seriou s mass 100 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . Next up: decline presses. He just keeps pulsing in that middle ra n g e. Narrow-grip pushdowns finish off his triceps. down to his middle chest. He lowers the bar to his low-pec line on every rep. Back. hand at about ear level. not even close to lockout. He begins with quick-hit one-arm ove rh e a d extensions in a seated position. He does three sets: 225x15. The fulcrum is at the middle of the two handlebars. He pulls from just shy of lockout. once again doing short. try double-clutching closer to the bottom.movement of the bar and exploding on it before it touches his chest. pulsing reps through the bottom range only and double-clutching each rep at about the midpoint (Ro n n i e. That may be the exercise he uses the fullest range on. Tri c e p s. After pumping up his calves. and he does three sets: 225x15. 315x15 and 405x10. He does those pistonlike reps for three sets of 12 to 15 reps. Bottom half of the stroke only. for three sets of 12 to 15 reps. semistretched point. then drives it up till his hand is just above his head. 315x12 and 405x8 plus one forced rep. Machine dips are next. Wide-grip lat pulldowns are first.
You can see it happening. or hyperplasia). Next up are alternate dumbbell curls. It looks like an old Nautilus machine with an EZ-curl handle. to just above the middle of the stro k e — n o contraction emphasis at all. he goes for some serious stretch (and maybe some critical fiber splitting. He never pulls the bar past ear level. with one ’bell. partial-range with a considerable stretch emphasis (how could you not emphasize stretch with that amount of weight?). the last with the stack plus a 45 pinned to it. Unreal! He does four sets of 12 reps. and he releases to just short of lockout. never straightening his arm s. He does three sets of 12 again. Last is a unique cable curl. pulling a 160-pound dumbbell from back over his head to just over his eyes. Cable rows follow—rapid-fire reps from the forward-lean. Cro s s bench dumbbell pullovers. He begins attacking his mountainous biceps with machine curls. pistonlike max-force-point-overload reps for all three sets. To finish off back. He bends over slightly at the waist and curls from the s e m i s t retched point. arms just bent out of the straight-arm position. although they’re really behind-the-head pulldowns. give his lats some wicked elongation. he turns his back to it so the cable runs down between his legs. Nothing special here. Biceps. Instead of facing the we i g h t stack. His reps are partial. and on his last set he rows the stack plus two 45s that are pinned to it. Behind-the-neck pulldowns are next.stimulation in his upper lats. but he doesn’t do full-range reps. He does three sets of 12 again. He does three sets of 12 reps here. especially when he gets to his last set. semistretched position and pulling the parallel handle to near his upper abs as he straightens his torso. to just Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 101 . Each of the three sets seems extremely long because of the alternating arms—one arm rests while the other curls—plus the fact that he does 10 full reps on every set. He curls from the semistretched point. just rocking the weight up in a see-saw motion.
much more important than squeezy contractions—at least in the massive Coleman camp. similar to our new X-Hybrid Mega-Mass Program in Chapter 10. Olympia. We’ve been explaining why in this e-book and the rest. Then he hits a few poses—an incredible impromptu display of raw muscle size and separation.95 plus shipping from Home Gym Warehouse. When Coleman does partial reps. The others hit the same bodyparts but usually with different exercises. He performs three sets of 15. You can see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice.Home-Gym. Mass-Building Lessons So what can we learn from all of this? First and foremost. The last thing we picked up on is that Coleman is one heck of a personable guy and loves training.com. Coleman’s training verifies a lot of what we’ve discovered the past few years at the IRON MAN Training & Research Center.above the midpoint of the stroke—like slightly exaggerated X Reps. The technique creates occlusion. we only described half of his workouts. it a p p e a r s. or visit www . that s e m i s t retched. an A-and-B approach (sound familiar?). 102 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . despite his being months away from the Mr. 15 and 11 reps. as we continue to say over and ove r. Note: Ronnie Coleman’s three-hour-and-15-minute “The Cost of Redemption” DVD is available for $29. such as nonlock squats or pre s s e s. continuous tension appears to be a very big player in building muscle. buddy!” is now a common battle cry at all of our X-Rep workouts. One thing you don’t learn on the DVD is that Co l e m a n usually trains with two different workouts for each bodypart. Next. In other words. the target muscle never gets a breather. Call (800) 447-0008. “Yeah.and stretched-position overload are much. and that produces a skin-stretching pump as well as spectacular anabolic responses in muscle tissue. He rotates them to hit the muscle with different stress at eve ry session. or blocked blood f l ow.
BONUS CHAPTER B The Inner Workings of Steroids: Mimicking Their Anabolic Power Without Drugs Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 103 .
which is the amount a lot of bodybuilders inject). We consider those accusations the ultimate compliment for a d ru g .] Anabolic-hormone Surge •Simply put. Triggering an insulin uptick at specific times during the day can also amplify those effects even more. as GH boosts testosterone’s potency and vice versa. but we don’t. You also want to increase your growth hormone so you get a synergistic anabolic effect. a strength explosion and a rush of self-confidence. and you’ll experience new muscle growth. Adopt the 10 ’roid-mimicking techniques we’ve got here. Th e primary anabolic hormones in the body appear to have a synergistic effect in building muscle. if we analyze the way steroids work and do everything in our power to mimic those effects naturally. • Recent studies confirm another route through which anabolic steroids increase muscle size: augmented release of other anabolic hormones in the bo dy. anabolic steroids are either testosterone itself or synthetic versions of testosterone.Let’s face it: Steroids enable an athlete to leapfrog hormonal roadblocks and reach a new level of physical prowess—fast—a level that was impossible without drugs. such as gro wth hormone and insulinlike growth factor 1 (IGF-1). We have— and now we’re often accused of using. as t h a t’s what steroids are—synthetic versi ons of that anabolic/androgenic hormone. In fact.f ree athlete! [Note: The intros in italics are from Jerry Brainum’s “Anabolic Steroid Primer” that appeared in IRON MAN magazine. you want to kick your testosterone into high gear. Hold on! Impossible without drugs? That may be a bit pre m a t u re. used with permission. 104 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . many of us can get results similar to what happens when we’re on mild anabolics (we say “mild” because there’s no way to get your body to produce five times its normal testosterone output. It should be obvious that to start the steroid-mimicking process. You read that right: steroidlike results without the steroids.
To get steroidlike e f f e c t s. not random workouts. And research indicates that you get the biggest test surge when your pro g ram is dominated by multijoint exercises. you g otta have si gnificant amounts of both testosterone and GH coursing through your system.1 Getting that anabolic triple whammy takes specific strategies. probably due to elevated cortisol. the Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 105 . Also. almost any type of intense weight training increases testosterone and GH to some degree. but you don’t want to overdo it. In fact. Su re. The mistake most drug-free bodybuilders make is thinking that any type of weight workout they do gives them optimal s u rges in the anabolic horm o n e s. and yo u’ll grow as neve r before. you have to do enough volume. Te s t o s t e ro n e. So here are your first two steroid-mimicking strategies: 1 ) Make sure your workout is dominated by the big compound exercises. upright rows and presses for delts and bench presses for chest. chins for lats. rows for midback.The anabolic synergy of those three hormones is the reason so many bodybuilders’ drug stacks include all of them—and the reason there are so many 250-plus-pound behemoths stalking the stages of pro bodybuilding shows. the l a rger the bodypart yo u’re training. In one study men who took both GH and testosterone showed lean-mass increases three times greater than those who took testosterone alone. And that’s not just an educated guess. two to three sets of eight to 10 reps. Boost yours n a t u ra l l y. but we’re after maximum output. the more testostero n e release you get. (Those are the midrange exercises (M) in the Mega-Mass routines. You want to stop the workout before cortisol goes into musclemunching Pac-Man mode. a stress hormone that smothers anabolic hormones and eats muscle. Common wisdom is that workouts lasting more than about an hour and 15 minutes cause a testosterone crash. Intense anaerobic exercise is the key to increasing testosterone production. such as squats. Do squats for quads. and at the right times.
drop sets and/or X Reps on some sets. So how do you get your pituitary gland to secrete more GH and crank up test’s effects? Studies indicate that there’s a direct correlation between higher blood lactic acid levels and GH release. use supersets. in turn. So your third steroid-mimicking strategy is this: 3 ) Use an isolation exercise along with part i a l . To go for the burn. as when you use a stretch-position exercise like stiff-legged 106 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . Obviously. Re s e a rchers belie ve that GH supercharges the anabolic properties of testosterone. incr ease the number of androgen receptors. Single-joint isolation exercises (contracted-position movements in POF protocol) also produce muscle burn. especially on exercises that have lockout—they never get close to locking out so the muscle can rest. If you use one or all of the cortisol-control strategies coming up. exercises that enable you to lock out and rest at one end of the movement. that keep blood choked off from the muscle that help concentrate the b u rn — t h e re’s resistance through the entire range of movement. so the partial technique is a good one for GH release. •The answer lies in research showing that large doses of steroids. Any kind of intense weight training can increase androgen receptors. Ronnie Coleman and Jay Cutler both get that on most of their exercises by using only a partial range of motion. such as those commonly taken by athletes.ones with which you kick off each bodypart blast.ra n g e compound movements for each target muscle. you may be able to push some to an hour and a half. which.) 2) Try to keep most of your workouts at about an hour. the more GH you can stimulate. Also continuous-tension exercises. Drop sets. can increase GH. such as squats. and the study that got the triple-gain results verifies that. Gr owth horm one. can produce burn if you don’t go to lockout.2 That means the more muscle burn you induce. there’s evidence that elongating a muscle. X Reps and the various X-hybrid techniques can help intensify that muscle burn. however.
incline curls for biceps and flyes or wide-grip dips for chest.deadlifts for hamstrings and overhead extensions for triceps. IGF-1 is a highly anabolic metabolite that can occur as a direct result of GH. and stretch-position exercises can accomplish some of that same action. That upgrade in protein synthesis is one of the main reasons steroids build muscle quickly—and precisely what you want in order to create steroidlike effects naturally. To get the anabolic reactions without fat storage. or muscle fiber division. stiff-legged deadlifts for hamstrings. so exercises that stretch the target muscle can trigger muscle growth in a number of different ways.) •Steroids work by binding to specific cell receptors called androgen receptors.p o s i t i o n exercises include sissy squats for quads. And stre t c h overload has also been linked to hyperplasia. steroids incre a s e androgen receptors in muscle. And the Double-X Overload X-hybrid technique to some sets to s u p e rc h a rge their mass-building effects. And the DoubleX Overload technique can make stretch-position exerc i s e s even more powerful in both of those areas. That initiates a cascade in the cell that results in upgraded muscle protein synthesis. you need Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 107 . St re t c h . does a bang-up job of increasing IGF-1 receptors in the muscle. That’s why stretchposition movements are mandatory for maximizing the s t e roid-mimicking effects of weight training. (Stretch-position exercises (S) are included in the Mega-Mass programs in this e-book. one-arm incline laterals for delts. That gives us one more steroid-mimicking strategy: 4 ) Use stretch-position exercises to increase andro g e n receptors on muscles and to perhaps spur hyperplasia. That means you have to do your best to jam-pack yo u r muscles with amino acids—which leads us to the infamous storage hormone known as… Insulin. It can cause your body to store fat in fat cells and amino acids and creatine in muscle cells. ove rhead extensions for tri c e p s. shrugs for midback. pullovers for lats. In other word s.
for example. it’s designed for optimizing the postworkout anabolic window. preferably good fat from nuts or fish. available at www.m. eat six small protein-based meals spaced a few hours apart. but it works well in the morning too). Don’t gorge yourself. To minimize insulin surges throughout the day. like grape juice. Overfeeding at any one meal. which means you didn’t fast). 6 ) Drink a postworkout shake that has 40 grams of fast p rotein (whey) and 60 grams of fast carbs (high-glyc e m i c sugar) to spike insulin immediately after every workout and drive amino acids into your muscles (the X-Stack).X-Stack. Okay.com. Simple-sugar snacks cause insulin to skyrocket. Immediately after an intense training session your muscles are like bone-dry sponges ready to soak up nutrients. so give them what they crave in that anabolic window. causes an insulin surge at the wrong time. ( We use the X-Stack. Use a shake made with s t raight whey protein and/or hyd ro l y zed whey and simple carbs. add three more steroid-mimicking strategies to the list: 5) Get some fast protein and fast carbs as soon as you wake up to take advantage of the secondary anabolic window created by the overnight fast (unless you raided the fridge at 2 a. 108 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . which also includes five grams of titrated creatine. (Or use a half serving of the X-Stack.to trigger an insulin surge after you train but minimize those surges at all other times of the day. Go for about 60 grams of carbs and 40 grams of whey. a medium number of carbs—lowglycemic carbs are best—and a small amount of fat. no matter what the macronutrient percentages. avoid eating carbs alone. The basic rule is that each of your six meals should have at least 20 grams of protein.. Try 20 grams of whey protein along with 30 grams of simple carbs. A l s o. so you may want to experiment with getting fast protein and fast carbs in the morning as soon as you wake up.) Fasting has also been shown to create an import a n t anabolic window.
would tilt the balance toward anabolism. each with at least 20 grams of p rotein—30 to 40 is better.7) Eat six small meals a day. which helps you get more re p s. You want to re verse the situation.D. and the only way to maximize protein use without them is to make sure there are enough aminos available to your system at all times to swing the anabolic/catabolic balance in favor of growth. which is easily accomplished by increasing your carb intake before your workout and/or using a carb drink through the session. but we suggest some fast protein added to the mix to feed the muscles. One way to combat cortisol is to sip a high-glycemic-sugar mixture during your workout.. Anything that interf e res with cortisol activity. That will keep amino acids circulating—you never want recovering muscles to be starved of those building blocks—and avoid insulin surges that can cause fat deposition.” A study re p o r ted in mid-2002 ve ri fied that dri n k i n g c a r b o h yd rate beve rages during high-intensity interm i t t e n t exercise decreases cortisol levels. insulin s e c retion is re p ressed while the secretions of cortisol and glucagon are enhanced. has written Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 109 . not catabolism. the cell receptors that interact with cor tisol. Enemy number one in your quest to mimic steroid actions without taking drugs is cortisol. which smothers anabolic actions.3 Even Kool-Aid will work. diffusing your GH and testosterone output. steroids increase pro t e i n synthesis. Re m e m b e r. (We mentioned that as one of our megamass strategies. Ph. we’re using a half serving of our X-Stack along with the new supplement GAKIC. As a result. Research scientist Jose Antonio.) He re’s what Eu ro p e a n researcher Michael Gündill said about that strategy: “Blood glucose levels tend to fall during training. that’s an ammonia buffer. Catabolic-hormone Blockade •Androgens bind with low affinity to glucocorticoid cell receptors. such as anabolic steroids.
but how do you stay in control while you’re sawing logs? Dreaming of Carmen Electra giving you a hot-oil rub will no doubt raise your testosterone. Yo u’ve already seen a number of ways to maximize anabolism and de-emphasize catabolism during the day. simply try to get eight to 10 hours of sleep each night—and make sure it’s uninterrupted. If you try it. your best bet for building muscle steroid-free is to minimize cortisol. That way you optimize your androgen receptors (remember. testosterone and IGF-1. your cortisol will soar. with sugar. So a true anticatabolic effect would r equire larger doses of anabolics. but if Dennis Rodman s h ows up. or you could get nauseated. you can build new ones with stretch-position exercises) and minimize the cortisol receptors. Do that as often as possible—even when you sleep—and your gains should skyrocket.5 Two to five milligrams before bed may help. Even minor sleep disturbances can alter the hormonal response yo u’re after—which i s maximizing growth h orm o n e. among other things. deep sleep you’re after.about athletes drinking flat Coke (regular. Sleeping It On • C o rtisol receptors in muscle far outnumber andr ogen receptors. There’s one more steroid-mimicking strategy: 8 ) Sip a hig h-carb-and-protein mixture during yo u r workout (diluted X-Stack). and it can intensify REM sleep. maximize anabolic hormone output and enhance recovery whenever and wherever possible. but use it infrequently. not diet) d u ring workouts to bolster energy—and no doubt blunt cortisol release. you may want to try a melatonin supplement.4 If you have trouble sleeping soundly. make sure the carbonation is out. Melatonin is a natural horm o n e secreted by the pineal gland in the brain. sound sleep. and boost GH levels. the good. as your body could develop a dependence on it if 110 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . Once again. Instead of focusing on Ca rmen.
You’re already aware that it can burn muscle during a workout. For people who work out. By minimizing cortisol during sleep. namely. PS does that in a slightly different way with similar anticatabolic results. (That’s a must for our mega-mass strategy as well. take a micellar casein-and-whey protein drink before bed. Make sleep more anabolic by trickle-feeding your muscles amino acids during sleep—drink a micellar casein-and-whey protein shake before bed (we use Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 111 . If you’re not interested in melatonin. yo u’ll set up an anabolic environment. however. but as you know. amino acids. Bonus: Green tea has also been shown to help burn fat and improve anti-oxidant activity. As we’ve seen. growth can’t happen if hypert rophic building blocks are n’t ava i l a b l e. PS is a n a t u ral lipid that’s been shown to help control cort i s o l release—a for. That mix is what’s known as complete milk protein and provides a tricklefeed effect thanks to casein’s slow-digestion properties. Ah.real all-natural muscle booster due to its anticatabolic properties. or PS. If you have a small bladder. one reason anabolic s t e roids are so effective is that they interf e re with cort i s o l l e ve l s. but keep in mind that it can turn shut-eye catabolic as well.) Your final two steroid-mimicking strategies: 9) Get eight to 10 hours of sound sleep a night. before bed. You also want to minimize cortisol release as you sleep. 10) Make sleep more anticatabolic by controlling cortisol with a PS supplement before bed. you’ll be cursing your loss of REM sleep as you take aim at the dark silhouette you hope is the toilet.you use it every night. cortisol tends to rear its ugly musclewasting head in the first few hours. you may get similar effects with a cup of caffeine-free green tea. In other words. Melatonin or green tea before bed may help. so take about 400 milligrams of phosphatidylserine. To make sure your body has the musclerepair materials it needs through most of the night. tea before bed may do the opposite and cause a sleep interruption.
et al. 4 Forsling. Growth hormone and sex s t e roid administration in healthy older women and men. M. Influence of resistance exercise volume on serum growth hormone and cortisol concentrations in women. (1996). 19(2):89-97. no p h a rmaceuticals necessary. 288:2282-2292. Hormonal responses to exercise after partial sleep depri vation and after a hypnotic dru g induced sleep. (2002). The effect of melatonin administration on pituitary hormone secretion in man. et al. along with our Mega-Mass programs in this e-book. J Sports Sci. (2002).C. Journal of St rength and Conditioning Re s e a rc h.. 2 Mulligan.R. Influence of carbohyd ra t e supplementation on plasma cytokine and neutro p h i l d e g ranulation responses to high-intensity interm i t t e n t exercise.. 112 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . (1999). Try about 20 grams of micellar caseinand-whey protein before bed. you don’t want to get so much liquid that you wake up to pee. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 12(2):145-156. 5 Mougin... S.Pro-Fusion protein powder in water). (2001). By following all 10 rules. et al. 10:(4): 256–262. Note that you don’t want too much protein right before you hit the hay because you still want a fasted state when you wake up to create an anabolic window (see item 6). How about 20 pounds of new muscle in the coming months to radically change yo u r physique? Let’s get to it! References 1 Blackman. JAMA. F.. Clin Endocrinol. you should get some of the best muscle-building results of your life. 51(5):637-642. N. You want re s t f u l .E. et al. Go over this checklist often. M. Also. uninterrupted sleep. e t al. 3 Bi s h o p.
Nothing grabs attention like a shredded physique. It’s time to stop talking about it and start working on it. Forget those set-after-grueling-set ab programs—10 minutes is all you need. If you’re ready to shed your excess bodyfat and build some muscle at the same time. And if you kick your motivation into overdrive and get your bodyfat down.X-Rep. then this is your answer. Ready to kick-start the fatburning machine? You’re going to get X-treme Lean! Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building 113 . don’t worry— you soon will.com X-traordinary Abs. You just have to know how to apply the best full-range movements in precise combinations with X Reps and the occlusion technique. You want those etched abs? We’ll give you the diet info to let ’em rip! Includes the amazing X-treme Lean HighDefinition full-body Workout that features X Reps and the occlusion phenomenon to build muscle as you burn fat.E-books Available at www. If you don’t have visible abs now. you’ll have a visible six pack without even flexing. The new X-traordinary Abs e-book teaches you all of that and more! Includes a big Midsection Perfection Q&A section and watch as the top-9 ab myths get blown to smithereens! X-Treme Lean Fat-Burning and Nutrition Guide.
you haven’t experienced explosive growth. Here it is: The original X-Rep manual. precision workouts. waiting for you to light the fuse and create your own ultimate muscle-size-andstrength X-plosion. This program maximizes all the elements your body requires for an extreme hypertrophic response—the single best exercise for each muscle. neuromuscular target training. but until you ignite the anabolic fuse with The Ultimate Mass Workout and X Reps. You may think you’ve tried it all to build muscle. 114 Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building . capillary-expansion tactics. It’s all here.The Ultimate Mass Workout. anabolic hormone activation and maximum muscle fiberrecruitment techniques. featuring X-Rep Training.
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