Q: I just want to thank you for another killer variation of 4X, “downward-progression.” I’ve only been using it for a couple of weeks on the big exercises, but a guy at the gym came up to me today and said, “You’re looking seriously bigger, bro.” It’s working great and is perfect with regular 4X and TORQ (tension-overload repetition quantity). I’m using DP 4X on the heavy power exercises in The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout 2.0, with 4X and TORQ on the others. I’m very impressed, and apparently growing more impressive. Lol. Thank you.
A: Interesting you say that because both of us received similar compliments in the gym when we started rotating in downward-progression 4X. One guy told Jonathan his arms were looking huge, and Steve got, “If you’re trying to get bigger, it’s working.” They both left off the “bro.”
All it takes for a surge of new SIZE is a solid change-to-gain—like downward-progression 4X. For the uninitiated, it could be called “semi-heavy growth-threshold training.” Here’s the DP 4X drill…
Set 1: Pick a weight with which you can get 15 reps, but only do 12 (not hard, but it’s two more reps than standard 4X).
Set 2: Increase the weight a small amount as you rest for 45 seconds; then do 10 reps (hard, but not to quite to failure yet).
Set 3: Again, up the weight as you rest 45 seconds; then try to crank out eight reps (should be to failure or very close).
Set 4: Increase the weight one last time as you rest for 45 seconds, and then go all out—shoot for six to seven reps (keep your form strict).
That’s a different animal than standard 4X, where you take your 15RM but only do 10, rest 35 seconds, then do it again—and so on for four sets of 10 reps.
Every set in downward-progression 4X is a bit more intense due to the heavier weights; however, the time under tension drops along with the reps as the poundages increase. Is that a good thing for size?
In some respects, yes. It’s more of a stimulus for thickening the actin and myosin strands—the myofibrils…
And it may help involve more muscle fibers. Either of those may account for your recent “bigger” compliments. However, keep in mind that DP 4X also has a DENSITY component because of the short 45-second rests between sets…
So the sarcoplasm is still getting an expansion stimulus with DP 4X—just not as much as with standard 4X and higher TUT…
Using DP 4X is ideal on the power exercises in ANY of the programs in The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout 2.0, especially if you’re old—like us—and can no longer tolerate mega-heavy weights.
And combining it with 4X and TORQ is great. Here’s a sample lat workout from Ultimate Power-Density with DP 4X on the first big midrange move and TORQ o the last for a super-pump blast…
Midrange: Pulldowns (DP 4X), 4 x 12, 10, 8, 6-7
Stretch: DB pullovers (4X), 4 x 10
Contracted: Stiff-arm pulldowns (TORQ), 3 x 30, 20, 15
DP 4X even works well in the POF-Power/Super-TORQ Mass Workout in that e-book—use it on all of the heavy midrange exercises instead of straight sets.
So there it is: Hit each bodypart with DP 4X in any of the workouts in the Power-Density e-book and prepare to GROW—with new mass to show…
Note: Ultimate Power-Density also has home-gym variations for those who need to (or choose to) train at home.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
The “New” Perfect Physique
You’ve probably believed that women go crazy over huge muscles. You’ve probably even aspired to look like Arnold at some point.
The picture of the perfect physique seems to have changed over the years…
There were several years when it seemed women preferred a leaner and smaller physique like Brad Pitt’s in Fight Club.
Luckily, that seems to have just been a fad, and a more muscular look has become more desired again. Not pro bodybuilder big, but something in between with good muscularity and chiseled detail…
Alain Gonzales refers to it as the “Athletic-Aesthetic” physique, and women go wild over it.
Check out Alain’s 12-week program here: