Q: In one of your recent newsletters I noticed that you guys recommended using The Basic X-traordinary X-Rep Workout to an advanced trainee. Can someone who’s been training a while really make new gains with such an abbreviated basic program?
A: Absolutely! And the gains can be outstanding, especially after an extreme peaking cycle. When you’ve been training toward a peak day, like a competition, photoshoot, or any other specific goal, you bring yourself to the brink of overtraining—but that’s a good thing, and incredible things happen when you simplify for size…
After a hellish all-out training phase, the body can explode with even more growth—if you give it the right brief-but-intense stimulus and quality muscle-building nutrients. You’ll trigger a DRAMATIC anabolic rebound when you simplify for size…
That’s the phase-training approach we recommend with most training programs—six weeks of all-out training followed by a one-to-two week downshift; however, before a contest or photo shoot, intensity and volume are at extreme levels, so a longer backoff phase that gradually builds in intensity can produce even more startling muscle-size increases…
Most experienced competitive bodybuilders know that, which is why they rarely take a long layoff after a contest. They will merely back off of their training to a degree and simplify for size—still hitting it hard but with less volume—and up their calories. That fills out their muscles quickly due to rapid supercompensation. In fact, it can be one of the most spectacular growth phases during the year…
For example, after doing 10-plus sets for more complex bodyparts like delts, you’d switch to using The Basic X-traordinary X-Rep Workout, which has you simplify for size to this:
Power Pyramid: Seated laterals/upright rows, 3 x 10, 8, 6 + X Reps
Density Drop Set: Behind-the-neck presses, 1 x 10(6 + X Reps)
That quick-hit back-to-basics approach uses only key ultimate exercises to activate a significant number of fast-twitch fibers, particularly the most important type-2As, which are most prevalent in the biggest, freakiest bodybuilders. You get both Power and Density, attacking both sides of those dual-capacity mass fibers. Very efficient…
That “basic” workout contains similar short max-hyptertrophy routines for each bodypart so that each workout only takes 35 to 40 minutes. That’s due to the unique split—which would also be different from your previous approach (remember, change equals gains).
Of course, you could gradually build on this back to basics program till you’re back to full-on Positions-of-Flexion workouts for each bodypart—like the second program listed in that X-traordinary X-Rep Workout e-book (pages 37-40). By then, we’ll be bigger and stronger thanks to this back-to-basics XX Workout and a HUGE anabolic rebound.
If you’ve been training with an extensive program for more than a month, back to basics can work for you too—triggering a burst of new size after a week or two. Prepare to grow like never before!
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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