I just saw Jonathan’s new read-me page about XRX and the workout he is now using. I turned 48 and am making the best size gains of my life with the [high-rep-set-first] Reload program. Is Jonathan’s similar? Is it better? Should I switch?
The reason Jonathan put together his new after-40 workout is that he Hates—with a capital H—high reps…
While he made amazing size gains when he first went on the high-rep-set-first program outlined in the Reload ebook, he began to not enjoy his training. He dreaded the first high-rep set on each exercise and wasn’t giving it his all.
On the other hand, Steve loves that method and has gotten some BIG results with it at 58. Why the difference?
There’s a scientific reason for all of that—and it’s not that Jonathan is a wuss. LOL…
Researchers took about 100 randomly selected subjects and trained them using various set-and-rep protocols. Those with a so-called ACE-2 variant, or endurance gene (skinnier folks like Steve), responded best to training using 15+ reps, or extended tension times.
On the other hand, the subjects who were more anaerobic (like Jonathan), with something called an ACE-DD variant, showed similar gains from both lighter, higher-rep workouts and heavy, low-rep ones—but they made the absolute BEST gains from heavier training. [Colakoglu, M., et al. (2005). Eur J App Physiol. 95(1):20-26.]
So we will get results with both types of workouts, Jonathan’s body type responds BEST to lower-rep, somewhat heavier training.
It also explains why Jonathan grows so well with X-Rep partials, a method designed to hyper-activate fast-twitch fibers, his more dominant type (we’ve found a way to make them even more hypertrophic, which we’ll explain in a moment).
We put our heads together, just like in our old Iron Man Training & Research Center days (notice the contrast in body types in this photo of us—no drugs, no photo retouching)…
Jonathan is now in his 40s, so he does not want to train ultra heavy—but semi-heavy weights with a density method that keeps his reps around 10 is what we were looking for.
The new method is similar to our 4X density tactic. You do 2 sub-failure sets with 30 seconds between, then you go to failure on the third set. After that, you rest 10 seconds and fire out fast X-Rep partials.
Talking about our past training, Jonathan and I both remembered how well he responded to X-Rep partials in the semi-stretch position—possibly his best shape ever (again, no steroids, no photo retouching)…
But this time, instead of tacking them onto the last set, we use them as a rest/pause add-on. Plus, they’re performed rapid fire to get Jonathan’s dominant high-growth fibers into hyper-hypertrophy mode.
Jonathan also likes separating the Positions-of-Flexion exercises so that he does midrange at one workout, contracted at another and stretch at the third—30-to-40-minute full-body workouts with different exercises at each.
Once Jonathan switched to the XRX workouts with Positions of Flexion exercises spread out, his motivation and size gains sky-rocketed immediately.
Now back to your question: Should you continue with the Reload program you’ve been using with spectacular results or switch to Jonathan’s new XRX program?
If you’ve been with us for any length of time, you know our number-one size-building mantra: Change to gain. Any program will get stale after four to six weeks—it’s simply how the body adapts…
So to keep the gain train rocketing at warp speed, try switching for four to six week—then go back to the high-rep-set-first Reload program—rotation for mega-mass creation….
Both STX and XRX are methods that optimize density for eye-popping muscle immensity.
NEWEST RELEASE: The Anabolic After-40 Muscle-Size Manual contains new mass-building XRX workouts featuring Pure Positions of Flexion mass training with moderate-weight 3X density sequences plus rest/pause X-Reps. In addition, you’ll get 3 FREE bonuses—“20 Pounds in 10 Weeks Blueprint,” “Anabolic After-40 Bodyweight Edition,” and “X-traordinary Arms.” Add them all to your mass-building library for a limited-time price ($100 value) of ONLY $15 HERE.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson