Q: In a previous newsletter you talked about using DXO [Double-X Overload from the Beyond X e-book] on stretch-position exercises like flyes. I tried it on squats , and it felt incredible! I backed off on the weight, but my quads were on fire and I really felt them working better than a regular set. Is it good to use DXO on the big midrange exercises like squats and bench presses along with stretch-position exercises?
A: Absolutely. You have to use less weight, and that allows you to do the DXO set in perfect form and really connect with the target muscle—plus get unique muscle-fiber activation for new growth. You could end your squats with a DXO set…
For those not familiar with DXO, it’s like a 1 1/4 rep with the quarter occurring at the bottom stretch or semi-stretch point. So on squats or bench presses, you lower to the bottom, drive the weight up about a quarter of the way, lower back down to the bottom and then drive through a full rep to the top. You do a double “hitch” at the bottom of every rep, which is the key area for fiber activation…
Research shows that the semi-stretch point, near the bottom of a press or squat for example, is the optimal spot to get the best fiber response. With that quarter rep down low, you get more fiber action to grow. It’s the reason we do end-of-set X-Rep partials in that area as well—10-inch pulses near the bottom of an incline press, for example, when no more full reps are possible. [Note: End-of-set X Reps are not possible on free-bar squats—see our first e-book, The Ultimate Mass Workout for more.]
Now, some compound moves aren’t great for DXO. A good example is upright rows or rack high pulls. The resistance is so low near the bottom arm’s-extended position that you won’t feel much happening on the low quarter segment. Stick to standard reps on those or try an X-centric set, pulling up in one second, locking in at the top, then lowering in six seconds. Seven of those negative-accentuated reps will set your delts on fire and take your shoulder mass higher.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
What Would You Do to Protect Your Family?
Mike Westerdal is a renowned personal trainer and national best-selling physical preparedness author, but he’s also a father and a husband… who would do anything to protect his family.
He used to get pushed around when younger and spent years building up his body and becoming stronger, getting mentally and physically tough the hard way. As he got bigger, he learned to handle himself, and working in security, he learned first-hand how violence really plays out.
Some of the other guys online who show off their self-defense videos and books need to get a grip. The level of skill needed to pull off their basic moves is CRAZY for most ordinary people.
If a defense system requires more than a few hours to master, it’s not a program.
The only techniques you will ever use are the simple ones.
They need to work for an ordinary person without prior training, technique, or ability.
So even if you think you don’t have time to learn how to defend yourself…
You don’t need to spend years training to be a martial artist.