Q: I’ve been using [end-of-set] X-Rep partials and making the best gains of my life. It’s got to be the top muscle-building breakthrough I’ve ever used. You guys always seem to be at the cutting edge of mass techniques. Any other secrets you can recommend to boost my gains?
A: Thanks for the kind words regarding X Reps. They were definitely a big muscle-building breakthrough and they’ve done great things for thousands of trainees—and we made the best gains of our lives our first X-Rep year—in only five weeks with them (no steroids, no trick photography—although the lighting is different and we have tans in the afters)…
The very first X-Rep workouts we used to achieve those spectacular results are in our first e-book, The Ultimate Mass Workout.
As for any “secrets,” we don’t really keep anything to ourselves since we love to see others make great progress. We’ve recently become excited again about negative-accentuated sets—that is doing a set using a 2-seconds-up/6-seconds-down cadence. The more we research it and use it, the more we’re convinced it’s on the same muscle-building breakthrough plane as X Reps due to it’s extreme muscle-building AND fat-burning effects…
We’ve explained here on numerous occasions that emphasizing the negative stroke of an exercise triggers more microtrauma, or muscle microtears. That microscopic damage requires a lot of energy to repair. That’s why it can boost your metabolism for days after your workout as your body continuously works to rebuild the tissue.
In other words, you burn bodyfat as you repair and build muscle. How great is that? But NA training appears to be even more powerful than we thought…
According to Ellington Darden, Ph.D., negative-style training is one of the fastest ways to trigger “extreme hypertrophy.” That’s what he defines as rapid-rate muscular growth:
The overall effect of extreme hypertrophy is the enlargement of the major muscle masses AS FAST AS SCIENTIFICALLY POSSIBLE.
That’s exciting stuff, and the reason we often throw in at least one negative-accentuated set for around seven reps for each bodypart. To get at the most fibers with the NA technique, we usually use it on a big compound move, like some type of squat for quads, some type of row for back, etc. (the Ultimate Exercises listed in the Fat-to-Muscle e-book)…
We often begin more serious NA focus whenever we want to kick-start the fat-burning process. Negative-accentuated sets also do great things for muscle size very quickly; that is, rapid-rate muscular growth and a new burst of anabolic drive. Talk about motivation!
We suggest you give them a try for quick cuts and new muscle size. [For more on negative-accentuated training and programs, see The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout.]
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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