Q: I did the first [5-week phase] of Jonathan’s 20-pounds-of-muscle-in-10-weeks program [from the 3D Muscle Building e-book] and didn’t get much size from it. I gained about 3 pounds and still feel skinny. Should I go ahead and do the second five weeks of different 3D Positions-of-Flexion workouts? Do you think that by hitting all of the positions [in the Phase 2 workouts] that I will make better gains than with the first part?
A: Full speed ahead—continue with Phase 2 (your gains from Phase 1 are actually darned good; more on that in a moment). By shifting to training each muscle in the midrange, stretch and contracted positions, you should get another more sizeable muscular adaptation (growth jolt).
Be sure that you have a medium-intensity week between the two phases to allow for supercompensation—complete recovery and muscle growth. That was one of the big keys to Jonathan’s amazing 10-week transformation (no steroids, no photo retouching)…
Keep in mind that he was regaining some of the muscle he’d had previously; it’s easier to build it the second time around. Nevertheless, he did pack on another 10 pounds of new muscle during that 10 weeks.
As for your progress, your 3-pound gain in the first phase is great. The big, basic Phase 1 program is actually an anabolic primer, mainly for kick-starting the full-range training in Phase 2. Incidentally, the majority of Jonathan’s muscle gains came in the second phase when he started using all three positions for every bodypart (3D POF).
One consideration: You may want to use a slightly higher rep range (10-12) than what’s listed in Jonathan’s original program (7-9). Thin, hardgainer types respond better to slightly higher reps and/or drop sets. That’s due to a higher percentage of high-glycolytic/high-oxidative fast-twitch muscle fibers. Steve is in that camp—most of his fast-twitchers have good endurance, unlike pure power fast-twitch fibers which have zero endurance (Jonathan has more of the latter).
You can see in Steve’s before photo below (no, he’s not going to a costume party as a fishing pole) that he was destined for distance-running greatness, but for some reason he chose bodybuilding. Fortunately, with experimentation in the gym and 3D POF, he restructured his physique and metabolism and added 80 pounds, a lot of it muscle (he went from weighing 120 pounds to 200 in ripped condition)…
If you’re up for trying a higher rep range in Phase 2, the 3D POF Every-Other-Day program on pages 52-53 in the 3D MB e-book is a good choice. If you’re a little more advanced, there’s another version of that 3D POF program on pages 67-68 with drop sets and X Reps included on key exercises (drop sets are excellent for hardgainers).
(Note: Beginners should not use end-of-set X-Rep partials or drop sets; see the Quick-Start Muscle-Building Guide if you are new to weight training.)
Let us know how your progress goes. And be patient. When you’re lean, a few pounds of muscle can change your physique dramatically.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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