Q: Right now I’m into your idea of using a basic workout to get big, so I’m using The Basic X-traordinary X-Rep Workout [pages 28-30 in that e-book]. I’ve been on it for three weeks, and I already feel bigger. I’m also stronger every time I train. Unreal results for workouts that take an hour. My question is, What can I do or add to that program for my slacker bodyparts? Like my shoulders desperately need extra roundness. Should I just add sets?
A: Simply adding sets to the existing delt workout is one way to go (but there’s another way that we like even better coming up). For example, the delt routine is dumbbell presses, and you pyramid the weight. Your reps should go 9, 7, 5-6, and on the last heaviest set you do X-Rep partials…
That’s the power part of the mass equation. Then you do dumbbell upright rows for a drop set. Your reps should be 10 on the first set, then immediately grab a lighter pair of dumbbells and go to failure, getting about six.
For an extra size jolt, add one set to both power and density. On the last set of your power pyramid, your reps are already low, so we suggest staying at that weight and repping out with it. That’s a fourth set for 3-4 reps.
On the DB upright rows, simply do a double drop for density instead of a single. In other words, after your second set, grab a lighter set of dumbbells and immediately rep out a third time, getting four to six reps. So you’ll do three sets back to back instead of just two. So your new delt specialization routine looks like this…
Power: Dumbbell presses, 4 x 9, 7, 5, 3-4
Density: DB upright rows (double drop), 1 x 10(6)(5)
Another way to go, and probably what you should try first, is instead of adding sets to those exercises, tack on a stretch-position exercise. In the Basic X-traordinary X-Rep Workout you aren’t getting any pure stretch-overload work; adding some can give you an extra layer of growth quickly…
Remember, an animal study produced a 300 percent muscle mass increase after only one month of stretch overload as the only stimulus. [Antonio and Gonyea. Med Sci Sprts Exerc. 25:1333-45. 1993.] Amazing! So one or two sets of a stretch-position move can give your delts—or any bodypart—a significant size surge. With that strategy, your delt routine will be…
Power: Dumbbell presses, 3 x 9, 7, 5-6
Density: Dumbbell upright rows, 1 x 10(6)
Stretch: Incline one-arm laterals, 1-2 x 9
You can add stretch-overload work to any bodypart in the Basic X-traordinary X-Rep Workout. If you’re not sure what the stretch exercise is, go to the more extensive POF workout on pages 37-40 of that e-book and look for the ones with the “S:” before them. Those are your pure stretch-position exercises…
For example, “S: Overhead extensions” in the triceps routine means that’s the stretch move for that muscle group. Adding those S exercises to any of the basic bodypart routines will give you a blast of new mass fast—and your workouts will still be about an hour.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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