Q: I got your 4X Mass Workout 2.0. I love the [higher-rep] TORQ method and 4X combo workouts. I feel it working
A: Bodybuilders of yesteryear often used higher reps before contests for fat burning, but experts later said that was foolish. Why? Because high reps cannot “etch in” cuts. Or can they?…
Think about it. Higher reps, such as 30-20-15 TORQ sequences, ignite a wicked muscle BURN. And studies show that the BURN changes the pH of the blood and triggers a significant GROWTH HORMONE surge. Interesting that GH is a potent fat burner as well as an anabolic stimulator for putting more muscle on.
So it looks like the bodybuilders of yesteryear were right, to a degree, using higher reps to cut up. You get a fat-burning effect plus a new muscle-growth stimulus.
New muscle growth occurs because of the unique time under tension (TUT)…
Most bodybuilders train in the lower hypertrophic time-under-tension range. Remember, the optimal TUT for muscle-size stimulation is 40 to 90 seconds. Do your work sets last 40 seconds? Most bodybuilders rarely reach 30, much less 40…
And if you do reach 40 seconds, do you ever hit the HIGH-END range—60 to 90 seconds? Probably not. The TORQ method makes that happen, so you get a NEW get-bigger trigger as well as a bodyfat stripper. Exciting stuff…
You mentioned X-centric, or negative-accentuated, sets. That’s lifting in 1 second and lowering in 6 on every rep. That slow lowering can create more trauma in the myofibrillar strands in the muscle. The negative, or lowering, stroke is what causes the fissures in muscle that can lead to tissue remodeling (growth)…
Bonus: When your body repairs those microtears, it requires energy—and much of that comes from fat. How great is that?
So the fiber trauma increases your metabolism during the repair process, and you get leaner. Plus, your body repairs the myofibrils so they are bigger and stronger to resist more assaults.
Should you do X-centric sets in addition to TORQ? You can. For example, in one of the new programs in 4X Mass Workout 2.0 you use the TORQ high-rep sequences on the stretch-position exercises. So you could use X-centric (NA) on the last set of the big midrange move, like this…
Midrange: Barbell curls (4X), 3 x 10, 1 x 7NA
Stretch: Incline curls (TORQ), 3 x 30, 20, 15
Contracted: Concentration curls, (4X), 3 x 12
Keep in mind that stretch-position exercises, like incline curls, can produce excess soreness because of the extreme muscle elongation—and with TORQ you’re getting 65 reps of
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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