Q: I’ve been reading about the fascia-expansion supersets, and it makes a lot of sense. A friend of mine is using it, and he’s added five pounds of new muscle fast—in a month! He looks more ripped too, with veins everywhere. I want to try it, but I train after work at my gym, and it’s pretty crowded. I don’t think I can superset. Should I just give up on the idea of fascia expansion for now?
A: In our X-Rep Update #1 e-book we provide a solution. The key to fascia expansion and building new muscle fast is a big-pump exercise followed by a full-stretch movement. That allows you to stretch the muscle encasement, the fascia, due to elongating the muscle after it’s full of blood…
You can still achieve that mass-building effect without supersets. Use standard 3D Positions-of-Flexion training—midrange, stretch, and contracted—at one workout, then on fascia-expansion day, simply reverse the order of your last two exercises. So instead of midrange, then stretch followed by contraction, do midrange, then contracted followed by stretch. Here’s an example:
Heavy Biceps (straight POF)
Midrange: Barbell curls, 2 x 7-9
Stretch: Incline curls, 2 x 7-9
Contracted: Concentration curls, 2 x 7-9
Light Biceps (fascia-expansion POF)
Midrange: Barbell curls, 2 x 10-12
Contracted: Concentration curls (drop set), 1-2 x 9(6)
Stretch: Incline curls, 2 x 10-12
Now in the F-E program in the X-Rep Update e-book, we have StatC and StatS designations. Those are static-contraction-hold sets that, according to research, can add muscle mass very fast. The study we discuss in the e-book added pounds of muscle to subjects’ frames after only one static-contraction workout. (The static sets may be a big reason your friend added so much size so quickly.) To use it on the above program, put those hold sets on light day as follows:
Light Biceps (fascia-expansion POF with static holds)
Midrange: Barbell curls, 2 x 10-12
Contracted: Concentration curls (drop set), 1 x 9(StatC 30 seconds)
Stretch: Incline curls, 1 x 10-12; 1 x StatS 30 seconds
On concentration curls, you use a weight that allows nine standard reps before full-range exhaustion sets in, then you immediately grab a lighter dumbbell, curl into the top contracted position and hold/pulse for as long as you can—shoot for 30 seconds. Yes, it’s painful, but the anabolic bang you get is well worth the hurt.
Now that your biceps are full and throbbing from the contracted-position exercise plus a static hold, move to incline curls and do a standard set of 10 to 12 full-range reps, rest for about 45 seconds, then lie back with the dumbbells just out of the stretch position, arms slightly bent, and hold/pulse for about 30 seconds—or until you can’t stand the growth burn any longer. You can probably use the same weight that you used on the first standard set.
You can incorporate the above mass methods on any 3D POF bodypart program—squats, sissy squats, and leg extensions becomes squats, leg extensions (with StatC for occlusion and pump), and sissy squats (with StatS for fascia-expanding stretch) at your next leg workout. Alternate the two.
It’s a killer way to get size-building variation and F-E anabolic acceleration—no supersets necessary.
(Note: For complete 3D POF analysis and programs, see the 3D Muscle Building e-book; for more on fascia expansion, the F-E program and new X-Rep tactics like StatC and StatS, see the new X-Rep Update #1 e-book.)
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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