Q: The X-Rep workout program I’m using from the X-Rep Update #1 e-book is amazing. I added a couple pounds of muscle after only two weeks, and I swear I’m seeing new cuts and striations I’ve never seen on me before. Do you notice more size and detail when you use the fascia-expansion techniques?
A: Standard POF protocol is the midrange exercise, followed by the stretch exercise, followed by the contracted exercise. For example, bench presses (midrange), dumbbell flyes (stretch), and cable flyes (contracted). Merely switching the order of the last two exercises provides more of a stretching effect on the muscle-fiber encasements, which allows for more growth to occur…
Many researchers claim that the fascia (encasements) restrict growth, so pumping the muscle with a contracted move (like cable flyes) and then elongating that full muscle with a stretch exercise (dumbbell flyes) last provides a loosening effect so the muscle fibers have more room to expand—and you get bigger faster. That’s the theory behind that mass tactic. But there’s more…
Doing the stretch-position exercise last, when the target muscle is fully engorged, puts more stress on the insertion points. In the chest example above, doing dumbbell flyes last, after your pecs are fully engorged, puts even more stress on the inner area where the pec major attaches to the rib cage. That will etch in more detail all the way up the inner chest. We both have trouble with our chests, but using that order switch has given us new size and detail in our pecs, as well as other muscle groups. Here’s a shot of Steve, looking very detailed, taken when we used that technique…
As we often say, one small change can create big gains. Simply switching the exercise order can get you growing again—as you found out—and etch in impressive attention-grabbing detail.
Oh, one other thing: That program in X-Rep Update #1 also includes static holds, which can etch in more muscle detail. It’s one reason competitive bodybuilders get harder and more dense-looking muscles when they practice posing for a contest. It’s a form of static-hold training; however, using weights, as we explain, is even more effective at chiseling more eye-popping muscle detail.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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