Q: I have the 4X Mass Workout e-book, and I’m convinced it’s the best way for me to build muscle now after years of high-intensity training. I’m ready to start, but I want to include some negative-accentuated (NA) sets for better fat burning. I have both the X-centric Mass Workout and the Fat-to-Muscle Workout [which both include NA]. Lots of good info and workouts, but nothing that really merges 4X and NA the way I want. I need to add NA sets to the Direct/Indirect 4X Mass Workout. How?
A: Keep in mind that negative-accentuated sets are very traumatic and can require more recovery. With the Direct/Indirect 4X Mass Workout, most upper-body muscles are getting THREE hits a week, be they major or minor. That’s already a lot of muscular trauma. But you’re right: Adding an appropriate dose of NA work—one second on the positive and six seconds on the negative—without overtraining, can stimulate more fat burning on a couple of levels…
If you use the right amount of NA training, it will boost muscle damage just enough to heighten the need for recovery outside the gym. That amps up your metabolism as your body must use fuel to repair muscle microtears—and much of that energy requirement comes from body fat. You’re burning fat 24/7. Nice! Also, the longer tension time of an NA set creates a unique anabolic stress on the muscle fibers. PLUS, it also enhances GROWTH HORMONE release—GH is a potent fat burner…
So the question is, How do you get the correct amount of NA training? Well, NA is best used on the big compound, or midrange exercises, the first movement in each bodypart routine. So here are two options:
1) Reduce your 4X sequence to a 3X on the first exercise; after the last set, rest about 1 1/2 minutes, then take the same weight for an NA set (one second positive, six seconds negative).
2) Do the entire 4X bodypart workout as listed, then at the end go back to the first big exercise and do ONE NA set; that’s using NA as an anabolic chaser with a relatively light weight.
For example, on chest day, after you complete all of your chest exercises, go back to the bench press and do one last NA set. For lats, go back to the pulldown and do one NA set after your last lat exercise.
Midrange: Pulldowns, 4×10
Stretch: Pullovers, 3×10
Contracted: Stiff-arm pulldowns, 4×10
NA set: Pulldowns, 1×8
In most cases, we prefer the ending NA set. Why? As we said, NA sets are very traumatic—and you’re training all upper-body muscles three times a week with the direct/indirect 4X Mass Workout. So doing an NA set at the very end, when the target muscle is spent, will be less traumatic than doing it upfront with a heavier weight…
Give the NA chaser a try for more muscle size. We guarantee that NA blasts will get you leaner and more massive fast. [Note: For more on NA training as it applies to getting bigger and more ripped at the same time, see The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout.]
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
ATTENTION OVER-40 BODYBUILDERS
One of the most interesting read-me pages on Testosterone and other muscle-building hormones we’ve seen is The Truth About Testosterone.
It even talks about a fruit, a specific part, that can up your T naturally. Cranking up your testosterone will not only get you jacked in the gym, but in the bedroom too—not to mention help rip up your midsection as it ignites fat burning. If that interests you, there’s more from our colleague and registered dietician, HERE.