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…
As for your question, yes, you can get the same, or perhaps better, size effects with an X-centric set first. Try lifting in 2 seconds and lowering in 5. That will give you 7 seconds per rep. If you use a weight that produces failure at 9 slow-mo reps, you’ll have more than 60 seconds of tension time…
Standard speed on a 20-rep set will give you 60 seconds, the same amount; however, the slo-mo set will provide unique slower tension, which can help you keep the target muscle better engaged for ultimate slow-twitch fatigue and growth. Here’s an interesting study that relates…
It’s from the International Journal of Applied Exercise Physiology [Vol. 5, No. 2, ’16], and the finding was that a slower eccentric, or lowering, action during biceps curls–4 seconds–produced superior increases in arm growth compared to one-second eccentric strokes. The positive, or concentric, stroke for both groups were performed at about one second.
One of our favorite hypertrophy researchers, Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D., had this to say about the study:
The authors speculate that the discrepancies may be due to longer TUT. While this hypothesis can’t be discounted, I’d speculate results are probably more related to the fact that the target muscle does not carry out much work during fast eccentrics in ‘isotonic’ training, as you don’t adequately resist gravity. It really comes down to controlling the repetition on the negative so that the working musculature does the work, not gravity.
And, as we said, we think that the time under tension does have something to do with it, considering the new findings concerning increased slow-twitch growth potential.
It makes sense that if you provide more growth-producing work to each “layer,” or hypertrophic pathway–slow-twitch, fast-twitch, sarcoplasmic fluid, mitochondria, etc.–you’ll get much bigger a lot faster. You could effectively double your growth potential.
Since you’re on the Anabolic Reload Mass Workout, you may want to try using a high-rep set first at some workouts, then switch to an X-centric set (2/5 cadence) first for one or more workouts. Either way you get a double-muscle-fiber attack for freak-physique mass.
Check out the new Anabolic Reload Mass Workout e-book.
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Till next time, train hard–and smart–for BIG results.
–Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson