Q: The Anabolic Reload Mass Workout, with a high-rep set first to fatigue slow-twitch fibers (STX), has helped me add six pounds of muscle in four weeks. Now I’m ready to go back to a three-way split, but the STX method worked so well that I want to keep using it, but after my heavy work. I’m in my 20s, so heavy weights is not a problem. Any suggestions? (Title: STX + SEX for Massive Muscle Growth)
Q: I am totally onboard with a high-rep set first to fatigue slow-twitch fibers first. I’ve noticed visible size gains in only one week using the Anabolic Reload program. What do you think about an isometric hold (iso-bolic hold) in the contracted position, like the top of a leg extension, for over a minute to accomplish that same slow-twitch fatigue first?
A: That’s an interesting question. Most people believe that a bundle of fibers fire on a rep, then more bundles engage on the next rep, and so on as the set progresses. However… [Read more…]
Q: I find it exciting that type-1 endurance fibers are also capable of showing a significant level of muscular hypertrophy. I’ve already seen significant new growth using the high-rep-set-first method from Anabolic Reload. My question is, Won’t a slow-mo style on that first set work just as well, like your X-centric method [7-second sets] and be good change to gain, and maybe even double your growth?
To clarify, the high-rep set first helps trigger growth in the slow-twitch fibers AND also pre-fatigues those fibers so you get better fast-twitch activation on the heavier sets that follow. Very efficient for hyper-hypertrophy, a.k.a. freak-physique mass that can double your growth potential… [Read more…]
Q: I saw a study that says resting longer between sets produces the most muscle gain. So should I increase the 30-second rests in the STX workouts in Anabolic Reload to 1 1/2 to 2 minutes for best rest results?
A: We’ve seen that study, and it’s right on. But it doesn’t refute our 30-second rests in the Anabolic Reload STX workouts. Why? It has to do with what you’re trying to accomplish with the earlier sets in a sequence and how muscle fibers fire… [Read more…]
The answer to freaky huge muscles (no, it’s not steroids)
Q: You talk about including higher-rep sets in workouts so you build the fast-twitch fibers as well as the mitochondria and sarcoplasmic fluid. But in light of the new findings that slow-twitch fibers have much more growth potential than previously thought, couldn’t slow-twitch growth be the real reason bodybuilders who use both lighter weights and heavy weights develop extreme muscle size?
Yes, it is all of the above: fast-twitch AND slow-twitch swelling as well as sarcoplasmic fluid expansion and mitochondria proliferation… [Read more…]
Q: Using a high-rep set to failure to fatigue the slow-twitch fibers prior to heavy sets for extreme mass makes sense. My heavy sets have the feeling of deeper activation, and I also like the fact the the slow twitch ones get growth stimulation too, along with more fast-twitch. My problem is that I HATE high reps. Even doing just one set of 20 to 30, I’m sure I’m stopping way early because it’s boring, not to mention it hurts. Is there another way?
A: Yes, there is absolutely another way–and to understand why it works, you need to [Read more…]
A: Heavier weights and lower reps will produce more growth—in a couple of fast-twitch fiber types. Scientists believe there are at least five (some even say nine) different fast-twitch fiber types, some being slightly more endurance oriented than others. So a set with four to six reps plus X Reps may do great things for one or two of those; but to get at the others you’d want to include slightly higher-rep sets (or include drop sets and supersets in combination with X Reps, as outlined in The Ultimate Mass Workout e-book). That will help you hit as many fast-twitch types as possible.
Technically speaking, fiber makeup dictates which rep range should dominate for an individual. For example, if you have more pure fast-twitch fibers, lower reps should dominate in your routine, but you shouldn’t neglect other rep ranges because you want to hit as many fiber types as possible to max out growth. In other words, the more fibers you get to grow, the bigger your muscles will be.
In our cases, Jonathan, being more mesomorphic (muscular/athletic), responds to lower reps, but he also includes drop sets and supersets to hit a variety of fiber types as well (those techniques bring in an endurance component). Steve, on the other hand, responds better to higher reps, as he’s an ectomorph (hardgainer/skinny) with more endurance-oriented fast-twitch fibers as well as lots of slow-twitch fibers. Heavy straight sets don’t do much for him, so he relies more on drop sets and supersets, while still keeping the reps in the six-to-12 range. That means if he does a drop set of 8(6) reps—eight reps, reduce the weight and immediately do six reps—he’s doing 14 reps. That’s two lower-rep sets back to back, giving him the best of both worlds. Add X Reps to one of those sets and he gets even more time under tension, overloading a number of fiber types. It’s a very efficient way to train for more muscle mass.
Remember, it’s not about just hitting fast-twitch fibers with low reps. There are a number of different fast-twitch fibers that vary in work capacity. We attack that problem by doing heavy work but also getting more endurance-oriented anaerobic work by using supersets and drop sets along with X Reps.