Q: If I just do the basic [compound] exercises and continue to get stronger, won’t I get as big as possible as fast as possible?
A: That would seem to be true on the surface, but consider this: Strength equals force, so the stronger you get, the more you will develop size along that specific pathway—fiber size generated by force overload. But, as we’ve pointed out, there are two other key size-development pathways: stretch overload and tension/occlusion…
Japanese researchers have achieved significant muscle gains through occlusion
As for stretch, we often refer to the animal study that got a 300 percent increase in muscle mass after only one month of progressive stretch-overload “workouts.” That consisted of a slight pulsing action against resistance at very near full muscle elongation. (Once again,
So studies show that both occlusion and stretch overload can trigger bigger size increases on their own, just as max force can. But those three work faster if you use them together. Jonathan demonstrated that when he gained 20 pounds of muscle in 10 weeks. He used a basic max-force program the first five weeks as an anabolic primer (getting stronger on the basics), then he moved to a full 3-way Positions-of-Flexion program for each muscle during the second five weeks—and that’s when his size gains exploded…
Most trainees will get significantly better results when they train all three anabolic pathways directly with three separate exercises, as Jonathan did with his second 5-week POF program. For example, you train biceps with barbell curls (max force), incline dumbbell curls (stretch overload), and concentration curls (tension/occlusion).
If you only use the big exercise—barbell curls in this case—your biceps will get bigger as you get stronger, but it will take longer…because you aren’t directly attacking each anabolic pathway.
When the actual progress of an individual trainee is carefully charted over a period of a few months, several rather surprising results will become immediately apparent; for example, while strength levels will increase in a series of gentle curves, increases in size of the involved bodyparts—and thus apparent increases in muscular mass—will result in a stair-step pattern.
What Jones is saying is that strength increases are usually fairly steady, fluctuating slightly up and down but on a distinct upward trajectory, while size increases come in sudden spurts or bursts followed by plateaus—a stair-step pattern.
While attacking the three size-building pathways with POF may not alter that size-strength pattern, it can shorten the steps and make size bursts occur more quickly in leaps and bounds. Jones would agree, as he worked tirelessly to include maximum stretch and continuous tension on his Nautilus machines.
With 3D POF you hit each of those pathways separately using standard equipment—and, as Jonathan and others have shown, it can transform your physique quickly, even if you’re an average trainee. One last gem from Jones…
The potential muscular size of the average individual is far beyond existing average muscular size; in effect, almost any healthy man can build muscular size and strength to such a degree that most medical doctors would refuse to believe accurate before and after measurements and photographs. And at least a fair percentage of apparently average men can build literally huge muscular size.
Could you pack on 20 pounds of “huge muscular size” by the end of summer with the right type of training? It starts with your next workout.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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