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