Q: Your 4X mass method has 35 to 45 seconds rest between sets. I’ve seen research that longer rests between sets can be better for strength and muscle growth. What’s your take on that?
A: Legendary trainer Vince Gironda, the Iron Guru who trained Mr. Olympias as well as Hollywood stars to build muscle fast, first got us into reducing rest between sets for muscle growth—he called it Density Training…
The cumulative muscle fatigue does amazing things for specific hypertrophy triggers, such as lactic acid accumulation, mitochondria expansion, and cell swelling.
As Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D., respected hypertrophy researcher said:
There’s evidence that the hypoxic effect mediates a hypertrophic response, conceivably by the buildup of metabolites and reduction in pH levels associated with such training.
BUT, Schoenfeld did another study comparing 1-minute rest between sets with 3-minute rests. The results showed that longer rests between sets produced better gains in size and strength—although the better gains were nothing to write home about: “The longer-resting group grew an extra 1.2 to 3.5 millimeters in each muscle.” (Yes, that’s millimeters)
Now the longer rest subjects did get stronger—more than 10 percent gains in some key lifts, but that’s to be expected. Training for strength necessitates longer rests for the nervous system, as powerlifters know. Still…
The study tells us that it’s best to use both long and short rests between sets. Why? Because the short rests produce muscle growth along specific pathways that the longer rests don’t—and vice versa. You get different types of muscle hypertrophy from each method. And you want to maximize every layer of muscle size possible.
One way to get both is to use longer rest between sets on your big exercises, like bench presses, squats, etc. Then use short rests on more isolated moves, like machine flyes, leg extensions, and so on.
We suggest that tactic in The 4X Mass Workout e-book on page 63…
You can do the first exercise, the big midrange move, as a heavy pyramid, adding weight to every set with two to three minutes between sets—for example, 3 x 8, 6, 4. Then do the stretch and contracted-position exercises as 4X—4 x 10 or 4 x 12.
Rep tempo, rep range, and even rest between sets—use variation for more mass creation.
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Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
Mass-Building Lessons From the Master Trainer
Vince Gironda was the Iron Guru, a bodybuilding legend ahead of his time. His most famous pupil in the bodybuilding world was the very first Mr. Olympia Larry Scott, and he also trained many Hollywood stars back in the day, like Clint Eastwood, and even Arnold consulted with him and was a fan (even though Vince told Arnold that he was a “fat f**k” when he first arrived in the U.S.).
Many of Vince’s mass-building tricks and methods have been forgotten, buried by information and misinformation overload on the Internet, but now you can find them all, his true methods, in this must-have, 330-page Vince Gironda e-book anthology…
You get everything from “Train 21 Rest 7” to 10-8-6-15 to Vince’s Stone Age Nutrition, the 8×8 method and program and much, much more (remember, it’s 330 pages). And it’s on sale at a discount for a limited time: Simply use the code GIRONDA20 at checkout for an extra 20 percent off.
Vince Gironda: Legend & Myth (300-page anthology + many bonus gifts and programs) HERE