Q: I’m reading the Super-Size e-book. Jordon’s 18-pound muscle gain is inspiring and a great story, but I’m 45 years old. He’s in his teens. I don’t think I can train heavy even at every other workout the way he did. Should I try it, even at my age? I got great gains with The Anabolic After-40 Muscle-Size Manual, but this one has me intrigued to see if I can get big during my next training phase.
A: Well, glad you’re immersed in and inspired by The Super-Size Crash Course, but you should keep reading. Chapter 6 lays out a great alternate Phase 1 program—without heavy pyramids…
Actually, there are two excellent alternative Phase 1 programs for older trainees….
1) Use the program outlined in Chapter 6. It’s a proven split-positions workout. You train the big midrange exercise with Downward-Progression 4X+ and the stretch move at one workout. At the next, you do Progressive-Speed 4X on the midrange exercise and standard sets on the contracted move. For example:
Midrange: Squats (DP 4X + Xcel), 4 x 12, 10, 8, 6(10 X-cel)
Stretch: Sissy squats, 3 x 8-10
Midrange: Squats (PS 4X), 4 x 9 (Xcen), 10, 9, 12 (Xcel)
Contracted: Leg extensions, 3 x 8-10
Both of the methods that you use on the midrange exercise include an X-celeration, or speed, set. It’s a proven way to activate deep growth fibers similar to what heavy training does; however, no ultra-heavy weights are necessary. Both DP and PS are 4X moderate-weight, growth-threshold methods.
2) The other “alternate” Phase 1 is to NOT do Power POF pyramids on the midrange exercises. Instead, substitute DP 4X. Keep the rest of the program as is.
Remember, DP 4X is taking your 15-rep max, but you only do 12. Add weight as you rest for 45 seconds, then do 10. Add weight again, rest 45 and do 8. Add weight one last time, rest 45 and do 6.
Because you start with your 15RM and only do 12, it’s like a warmup. Then with 45-second rests between sets, the fatigue builds so you’re not able to up your weight to dangerous levels. It’s like a density form of Power pyramids, perfect for older trainees.
Keep in mind that Jordon made his best size gains in Phase 2, which did NOT include mega-heavy pyramids as Phase 1 did. He got his biggest SIZE surge with moderate-weight, growth threshold training—the key to get big MASS gaining.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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