Q: I have the updated Quick Start Muscle 2.0. Thank you! The new home-workout section is just what I needed. One question: I remember you guys talking about an all-stretch-exercise workout a while back. Is that something I should try to increase mass gains while I’m training at home?
A: Yes, absolutely. Doing ONLY stretch-position exercises at a workout for every bodypart can do some great things for muscle growth…
- It provides a traumatic overload (stretch moves produce damage, especially at the muscle insertion—you will get sore)
- It can cause proliferation of anabolic receptors on muscle tissue (due to #1 above)
- It can be an excellent change to gain, if you don’t do a lot of stretching or stretch-position exercises very often.
In the new Quick-Start Muscle 2.0, the Home Workout 2 (page 49) begins most muscle groups with a stretch exercise, like sissy squats for quads…
So for an all-stretch workout, do that exercise only, using the STX method as listed: the first set for 20 or so reps to failure; rest 20 to 30 seconds, then do a second set with a speed tempo, about one second up and one second down—piston-style.
A Brazil study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology in 2015 showed, using a high-rep set first will fatigue slow-twitch fibers which forces more fast-twitch growth fibers to fire on subsequent heavier, or in this case speed, sets.
With that high-rep-set-first method, the study showed more fast-twitch muscle-fiber growth than with standard training. Plus, you get new growth in the slow-twitch fibers for another layer of hypertrophy. (There’s more on the study in Chapter 5.)
If you want more volume, you can rest 10 seconds, then do another speed set—and so on.
We said that most of the bodyparts in that Workout 2, page 49, start with a stretch move; some don’t. So here is our complete list:
All-dumbbell workout stretch exercises: sissy squats, forward-lean one-leg calf raises, stiff-legged deadlifts, flyes, incline rows, pullovers, incline one-arm laterals, incline curls, overhead extensions, full-range crunches.
So for an effective mass-building home-training strategy, you can use the STX home workouts in Quick-Start Muscle 2.0 like this:
Workout 1 (compound-move emphasis, page 48)
Workout 2 (isolation-compound combo, page 49)
Workout 3 (stretch-only work, as outlined above).
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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