Q: I’ve made the best mass gains of my life with your 4X method. I know you guys got new size with it too, so my question is, why Anabolic Reload STX (slow-twitch exhaustion)? I realize that it also does not require heavy weights, but is it better than 4X?
A: First, both methods accomplish the same thing: full-blown fiber hypertrophy with slow-twitch-fiber pre-exhaustion, triggering more high-growth fast-twitch fibers to fire on the last sets.
It’s the Size Principle of Muscle Fiber Recruitment…
Which says that with any set, the earlier easy reps fire a majority of slow-twitch fibers. As the reps get harder, more and more fast-twitch fibers are brought into play. At failure, the majority of fibers firing are fast-twitch.
So with the 4X mass method, you pick a weight you can get 15 reps with, but you only do 10 (easy, slow-twitch emphasis). Rest 35 seconds, then do 10 more (still fairly easy slow-twitch emphasis). And so on. Set 4 you go to failure (hard, fast-twitch). If you get more than 10, use a heavier weight next workout…
Size Principle says that on the first few easy sets, you exhaust the slow-twitch fibers. The fast-twitch then fire with a vengeance on the last set or two when the reps are much more difficult, especially on the last set to failure.
Now with Anabolic Reload STX, you do one high-rep set first (20-30) to failure, which exhausts the slow-twitch fibers. After a 35-second rest, you use a heavier weight to failure for 8 reps followed by a rest/pause add-on with the same weight (5 reps).
After the high-rep set, the heavy set plus the rest/pause add-on triggers significant fast-twitch high-growth fibers to fire—and hypertrophy big time.
Both are efficient ways to get the same result; however, with 4X you use more volume but no high-rep sets. With Anabolic Reload you get the size-building benefits of a longer-tension-time set.
Is one better than the other? Hard to say. Unless you have an aversion to high-rep sets, we recommend using one method for four to six weeks and then switch to the other for another four to six weeks. Each method will get you freaky growth in BOTH slow-twitch and fast-twitch fibers…
Incidentally, legendary bodybuilder Danny Padilla built extreme mass with a version of 4X. He was known for his classic, no-flaws physique—at only 5’2″, and his nickname was “the Giant Killer” because his perfect mass-symmetry combo allowed him to beat bodybuilders who were much taller and larger than he was. You can see why his physique is “legendary” in these pics…
He would do more volume—5 sets with the same moderate weight—but keep in mind that he was genetically gifted and also using “advanced supplements.” Lol.
Still, the method helped him place in the top five of many pro contests back in the ’80s. Again, just like 3X or 4X, he used the same weight on every set, with short rests between them—never more than a minute.
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Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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