Q: Using a static hold [StatX] at the end of a regular set near the muscle’s stretch is killer. I feel like I’m getting bigger after only a short time on this routine. Are those holds better than the X Reps your recommend with some movement?
A: It depends on the exercise, but in most cases, some movement, as in X Reps, may produce slightly better results. Here’s why…
Say you’re doing cable curls. You fail at rep 9, so you pull up about one-third of the stroke and hold. The muscle fibers are firing statically—no movement.
If instead you do X Reps, which means moving the weight up and down in about a five-to-eight-inch range, your nervous system is more apt to fire extra fibers, perhaps even dormant ones, to make the movement happen…
That’s because that X Spot is the optimal spot for the actin and myosin pairings to line up for best force generation—or fiber activation.
Muscle are designed to initiate movement, so X Reps can help you kick in more fibers.
However, if you can’t do X Reps, a static hold right at the X Spot is the next best thing. And on some exercises you’ll feel a StatX better than X Reps.
For us that’s often true on incline curls—a hold seems to blast our biceps better than X-Rep movement because there’s no elbow restriction.
So end-of-set X Reps or StatX—take your pick to get big quick.
We discuss all of the above and also outline an interesting mass-building program in X-Rep Update #1. You can try it as listed or use pieces of it in your current mass workout to trigger gargantuan growth guaranteed…
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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