Q: I just got the Size Surge 2.0 e-book (thanks for the great price). It’s excellent, but you don’t mention X Reps much. I know you said when Jonathan got his great results with the original Size Surge program, you hadn’t developed X-es yet. I’ve built a lot of mass with that technique, so should I include X Reps in either phase?
A: For the uninitiated, X Reps are short eight-inch partials at the end of a full-range set. We’ll give you an alternate end-of-set mass move in a moment, but first, here’s a quick explanation of X Reps…
Once you hit full-range failure, you do end-of-set X-Rep partials in the segment of the stroke where the target muscle is somewhat stretched—like the bottom range of a chin-up. That’s Jonathan above demonstrating X Reps at the end of a set of chins. You should be able to crank out 3 to 4 of those…
Yes, they hurt, but they work, BIG time. Why? 2 reasons…
1) Because that bottom “semi-stretched” area of the stroke is where the target muscle has the best leverage to activate the most growth fibers.
2) You extend the tension time of the set with three to five of those partial reps (X-es).
Okay, here’s the alternate MASS-MOVE QUICK TIP: Jonathan did NOT use X Reps when he packed on 20 pounds of muscle in 10 weeks with the Size Surge program. BUT one thing he did do was end-of-set STATIC HOLDS at the sticking point (the precursor to X Reps).
For example, on pulldowns he would do his normal set, cranking out around eight reps to failure, then he would attempt one last rep. When he hit the sticking point, he would hold the weight there statically for up to six seconds. That makes a significant difference in tension time and mass stimulation.
It’s interesting that Arthur Jones—Nautilus-machine creator and director of the Colorado Experiment in which Casey Viator gained 60 pounds of muscle in 4 weeks—always recommended those static holds. Casey no doubt used holds at the end of most sets in that amazing experiment as Jones screamed at him (he also mixed in negatives—for more on the routine he used, see the SS Workout 2.0).
So because both the Phase 1 and Phase 2 Size Surge workouts are straight sets with lower rep counts, the answer is YES: We absolutely recommend using either X Reps or a 6-second Stat-X at the end of the LAST SET of each exercise only…
You’ll activate more fibers and push the target-muscle tension time into the hypertrophic zone, around 40 seconds. That will ensure sarcoplasmic expansion as well as myofibrillar growth within the muscle fibers so you pack on MAJOR MASS (especially during the winter when your calories are up)…
In other words, you’ll get a double dose of muscle growth for a super Size Surge.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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