Q: I know you suggest one second to lift and three seconds to lower. Do you ever use a slower lifting cadence, like lifting in three or four seconds instead of only one? Wouldn’t that produce more tension time for unique muscle-growth stimulation?
A: Yes, it can be a great variation for more mass creation as well as a fat-burning catalyst. But the big reason to slow down on the lifting stroke is for more strength.
In The Quick-Start Muscle-Building Guide, an e-book for beginners or those coming back to weights after a layoff, we prescribe a two-week break-in program of big, basic exercises. That gets your coordination up to speed and your muscles learning—or relearning—to fire properly…
Then, after that two weeks, you split the workouts and add an isolation move—but with a 3-SECOND LIFT and a 3-SECOND LOWERING…
The reason for slower lifting is faster neuromuscular efficiency development. That type of longer, slower tension builds nerve force so you get stronger faster; however, it also can involve new muscle fibers for faster muscle growth…
Varying your rep tempo does excellent things for muscle mass, strength, and even FAT LOSS. How? By enhancing the lactic acid pathway and your natural growth hormone release.
In the Quick-Start guide, you do the isolation exercises with a 3/3 cadence for 10 reps. That provides 60 SECONDS of tension time and a severe muscle burn. That burn is fueled by lactic acid pooling in the muscle, and lactic acid triggers a major growth hormone surge.
GH is a good muscle-building catalyst as well as a potent fat burner. That’s right, you get muscle and rippedness…
According to Olympic coach and muscle-building/strength expert, the late Charles Poliquin,
The lactic acid pathway is better for fat loss than the commonly accepted aerobic pathway…. High blood lactic acid levels decrease blood pH levels, which in turn sends a message to the brain to accelerate its production of growth hormone. Higher growth hormone levels increase fat loss.
That’s one reason we provide programs in the Size Surge Workout 2.0 that include the 4X mass method. That growth-threshold-training style boosts lactic acid by reducing rest times between sets…
For 4X you pick a weight with which you can get 15 reps, but you only do 10, lifting in 1 second and lowering in 3. You rest only 35 seconds, then you do 10 more—and so on for four sets. On set 4 you go all out—to failure. If you get 10, you increase the poundage at your next workout.
So you get 40 seconds of tension time per set AND the short rest between sets pool lactic acid in the muscle for a GH surge. You get both fierce fat-burning and mega-muscle-building effects. You do 4X on the isolation exercise AFTER a POWER PYRAMID on the compound move. So for lower/middle chest it’s…
Midrange: Bench presses (power pyramid), 3 x 8, 6, 5
Stretch & Contracted: Cable crossovers (4X method), 4 x 10
So, with a slower rep speed on the isolation moves in the Quick-Start Muscle-Building Guide workout or the 4X-infused Size Surge 2.0 program, you get a double-dose of muscle growth as well as ugly bodyfat churning and burning. Take your pick to get BIG and RIPPED QUICK.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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