Q: I’m reading the Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building e-book, and I noticed that you have a section on X-centric training. But it’s not the same as what you describe in my X-centric Mass Workout e-book. Is one better than the other?
A: X-centric is our X-Rep vernacular for eccentric, which is the negative stroke of an exercise; that is, the lowering of a weight, like the downward portion of a bench press.
Our current description of X-centric training is lifting in one second and lowering in SIX. Doing eight X-centric reps gives you almost a solid minute of tension time on the muscle. PLUS, taking six seconds to lower the weight produces more microtrauma in the myofibrillar strands in the muscle fibers…
You essentially achieve expansion of both the myofibrils and the sarcoplasm, the energy fluid in muscles that expands in response to LONG tension times. It’s a double dose of muscle growth.
We have routines built around that amazing mass-building—and fat-burning—method in The X-centric Mass Workout. So what is the other version of X-centric?
In the Beyond-X e-book, Chapter 7 is X/Pause and X-centric Training—but this earlier definition of X-centric is different. We analyzed a few studies that look at negative-style training and fast-rep training. The conclusion was that overloading the “max-force point” is key to getting extreme—or X-treme—muscle size.
The max-force point is the turnaround of a rep—where you move from negative to positive—like the bottom of an incline press or dip or chin. That semi-stretch point is very important, and the X-centric method in Beyond X is one of the ways designed to overload that X-Spot
What you do is a PURE-negative set with a few X-Rep partials at the max-force point between each rep. Here’s a quote explaining that mass method…
Tie 20 percent more weight around your waist for chins, climb to the top, lower slowly [six seconds] and then do three [eight-inch] X Reps near the bottom. Do four or five of those pure negatives plus Xes, but be careful—you’re guaranteed to get mighty sore.
There is another X-centric version in Beyond X, but we won’t go into it here. All of these X-centric methods are perfect for fall and winter mass training because of the extra fat-burning effect you get. In other words, X-centric sets can help you stay leaner over the fall and winter. How?
Studies show that the extra microtrauma, or myofibrillar “damage,” you get from negatives requires body fat as energy to heal and regenerate. So you burn more fat as your muscles recover outside the gym. You’re burning fat 24/7. Nice.
Give X-centric training a try to pack on new size and reduce body-fat rise.
Note: Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building is packed with X-hybrid tactics to add muscle and burn more fat, including Double-X Overload, X Fade, Stage Sets, and X/Pause. Many complete programs too, including Split-Positions Training. And to inspire you to grow like never before, we have an entire chapter in which we analyze former Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman’s workout from an X-Rep perspective. He was a true freak physique—and you’ll understand why when we reverse-engineer his workout. Check it out HERE <==
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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