Q: I want to thank you for the great programs and excellent tips, like X-Reps. My background is in Olympic
A: You didn’t really ask a question, but we just wanted to commend you on being brave enough to give all-4X training—every other week—a try.
So many trainees are stuck in the must-always-train-heavy-to-grow mentality that they miss out on significant muscle-size stimulation. It’s probably the key reason most complain about such slow gains. Plus, they get injured much more often.
We know for a fact that always trying to up your poundages while training heavy at every workout can do cumulative damage. Can you say orthopedic nightmare? It can make getting older a much more painful experience—and may require surgical repair (hip replacement, shoulder surgery, knee reconstruction—Yikes).
You didn’t say how old you are, but assuming you’re a bit on the younger side, we like your idea of training heavy one week and then with moderate-weight 4X growth-threshold training the next. You may even want to try weekly change with some heavy training every third week, especially as you get older…
That would be similar to the Power/Rep Range/Shock method (from the 3D Muscle Building e-book), which we’ve tried. It got us to our absolute strongest years ago when we were into that. Using heavy power workouts every third week had our training weights skyrocket—they moved up significantly every power week.
Also, to give your 4X weeks a change-to-gain twist, we suggest you use some of the X-hybrid tactics that we outline in the Beyond X-Rep Muscle Building e-book, including Double-X Overload, X-Fade, Stage Sets,
An example: On a few of your 4X sequences—or all, if you’re really gung-ho with good recovery ability—after you go to failure on your last set, rest for 10 seconds, then go to failure again. That X/Pause tactic ups volume, intensity, and density.
Here’s another: Do 4×7 instead of 4×10, but use Double-X Overload on every set. That’s a partial X Rep in the semi-stretch position between each full rep. That “double hitch” enhances stretch overload, a key muscle-growth pathway (remember the animal study the got a 300 percent muscle mass increase in only one month of stretch-overload stimulation that we discuss in Beyond X.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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