Q: I’m using the Size Surge program for the second time. I tried it last winter and saw great gains…about 10 pounds! I’m on Phase 1, week 4 and have already seen new gains…about 3 pounds of muscle. I’ve been reading about your 4X mass training. Could I do that on Phase 2?
A: Yes, you can use the 4X mass-training method in Phase 2 of the Size Surge program. That’s a great choice. During Phase 1 you’ll have been training three days a week with a few HEAVY sets per exercise on a basic program. After five weeks of that myofibrillar-dominant training, you’ll be ready for a more balanced attack and a surge in sarcoplasmic expansion to pack on even more MASS.
Remember, the myofibrils are the actin and myosin pairings in the fast-twitch fibers that produce force. Standard heavy training affects that size layer. The sarcoplasm is the energy fluid in those fibers that contains glycogen, mitochondria, ATP and noncontractile proteins. 4X training will get at both of those for a double dose of muscle growth. You’ll see and feel it happening…
For 4X you take a weight with which you can get 15 reps, but you only do 10; rest 30 to 40 seconds, then do 10 more—and so on until you complete four sets. You go all out on set 4, and if you get 10 reps, you add weight to that exercise at your next workout.
That moderate-poundages-short-rest method will take your muscle size to the next level—myofibrillar size as well as sarcoplasmic expansion. Every workout will get you revved up because you’ll see your muscles expanding before your eyes. You’ll also allow your joints, tendons, and ligaments to heal after your heavy phase 1 training. Plus, for Size Surge Phase 2 you’ll be moving to a full-range Positions of Flexion program…
That means you train each muscle through its midrange, stretch, and contracted positions. That usually takes three different exercises, one for each arc of flexion. For example, for lats it’s pulldowns, pullovers, and stiff-arm pulldowns…
That 3-way attack on each muscle provides muscle growth via a number of different pathways…
- Midrange gives you synergy—many muscles working together for a more ergonomic action and maximum fiber activation; you fire the most fast-twitch fibers on these exercises (squats, bench presses, etc.)
- Stretch produces an emergency response from the muscle, which “wakes up” dormant fibers as well as triggers anabolic hormone release in the target muscle and anabolic receptor proliferation (remember the animal study that produced a 300 percent muscle mass increase with only one month of stretch overload; elongation against resistance is very important for extreme muscle growth). Examples include flyes for chest, overhead extensions for triceps, and incline curls for biceps (see POF biceps exercises pictured below)…
- Contracted hits the muscle with occlusion, or blood-flow blockage—that’s continuous tension throughout the set, which has been shown to build the mitochondria and heighten the release of growth hormone. Examples include cable flyes for chest, pushdowns for triceps, laterals for delts.
If you’re going to use the 4X method in phase 2 of the Size Surge program, we recommend the 3-way split on pages 55-57. While Jonathan used a 2-way split for his phase 2 in the early ’90s when he gained 20 pounds of muscle in 10 weeks with the Size Surge program, we believe the 3-way split will allow more focus and enhanced recovery for optimal supercompensation (full muscle expansion between workouts)…
Workout 1: Chest, triceps
Workout 2: Legs, abs
Workout 3: Back, delts, biceps
Train four days a week, for example, M-T-Th-F, following the workouts as listed. Pick up with the next workout in the order the following Monday. Simply do a 4X or 3X sequences for each exercise for an exciting new surge in muscle size. Prepare to GROW!
Note: Jonathan’s Size Surge Workout e-book and the 4X Mass Workout e-book are only $9 each. The official Positions-of-Flexion mass-building manual is the 3D Muscle Building e-book, also only $9. It contains more on how POF works, workouts for every bodypart, complete POF programs, and an analysis of Jonathan’s Size Surge workouts with variations, such as the Mass F/X program.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
Over-40 and Want More Muscle AND Sex Drive?
HERE YOU GO:
One of the most interesting read-me pages on Testosterone and other muscle-building hormones we’ve seen is The Truth About Testosterone.
It even talks about a fruit, a specific part, that can up your T naturally. Cranking up your testosterone will not only get you jacked in the gym, but in the bedroom too—not to mention help rip up your midsection as it ignites fat burning. If that interests you, there’s more from our colleague and registered dietician, HERE.