Q: I just got Jonathan’s Size Surge e-book, and it looks great. I’m ready to try it. My problem is that I still need to lose some fat. I also have the X-centric Mass Workout, and that e-book says that negative-accentuated sets can help get rid of bodyfat. Can I do the Size Surge program, but instead of 2 all-out sets per exercise, do one of those sets in NA style for more fat burning? I really want to see my abs.
A: For those not familiar, negative-accentuated sets have you use one second on the positive stroke and six seconds on the negative. So on bench presses, you would lower to your chest in six seconds, then fire the bar off your chest to the arm’s-extended position in one second…
The slow negative stroke produces more muscle microtrauma, which requires more energy to repair between workouts. A lot of the extra recovery energy comes from bodyfat, so you get a revved metabolism and a more powerful fat-to-muscle effect to etch in your abs.
NA sets can also prolong the muscle-recovery process somewhat. That’s the reason we don’t suggest you do NA for ALL bodyparts at the Monday and Friday workouts. Use NA for some muscles on Monday, then use it on the rest on Friday…
Here’s the Phase 1 Size Surge split; where you see the NA designation is when you should do the second set in NA style…
Monday: Quads (NA), hamstrings, chest (NA), back, delts, calves (NA)
Wednesday: Deadlifts, calves, biceps, triceps, forearms, abs
Friday: Quads, hamstrings (NA), chest, back (NA), delts (NA), calves
For example, the first exercise on Monday is squats. You do a few warmup sets, then do one all-out heavy work set for eight to 10 reps. Rest for about 2 1/2 minutes as you reduce the weight. Now do your second set in NA style—six seconds down, one second up. Try for seven reps so you get about 50 seconds of tension time. Friday, when you work squats again, you do both sets standard style—8-10 reps heavy.
Notice that we don’t recommend any negative-accentuated work on Wednesday, so you do zero NA direct arm work. Why? Because when you train chest on Monday with NA, your triceps will get some of the effects. And when you train back on Friday with NA, your biceps will get some of the NA trauma. One traumatic NA hit a week for each bodypart is enough in most cases.
One more thing: Be sure your diet is giving you a SLIGHT calorie deficit so you burn bodyfat. As we’ve mentioned before, the diet in Size Surge will have to be altered for weight loss—smaller portion sizes—as it’s a mass-building eating regimen. You can also do some cardio on your off days and after the Wednesday workout. [For more on fat-loss cardio, diets, and training, see X-treme Lean.]
Follow those guidelines and you should eventually be sporting etched abs, even when you’re standing relaxed…
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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