Q: I’m ready to start the Mass F/X Program in 3D Muscle Building. I like it because it’s your updated version of the Size Surge Phase 1 program, training only three days a week, with sarcoplasmic work, not just all heavy. But can I use the X-centric method in that program? I really like that tactic. I used it to reshape my physique, building 10 pounds of muscle while losing fat at the same time. Where should I put the X-centric work?
A: For the uninitiated, X-centric work is lifting in one second and lowering in six seconds. That means if you do eight reps, you get almost a full minute of hypertrophic tension time, something most bodybuilders never do…
Plus, you produce trauma in the fibers with the slow negative strokes, which not only triggers growth but also forces the muscle to use body fat for energy to repair the muscle-fiber microtears during the recovery days. It’s one of our favorite fat-to-muscle tactics.
In fact, negative-style training is one reason Casey Viator was able to gain 60 lbs of muscle in only 4 weeks in the Colorado Experiment back in 1973.
Mind you, Casey was regaining a lot of that mass and was a genetic freak—he was the youngest ever to win the Mr. America at age 19. But it was still a phenomenal feat.
The Mass F/X Program in 3D Muscle Building is based on the exact training routine Casey used in that experiment. In fact, we have Casey’s complete Colorado Experiment workout on page 99 of the 3D e-book along with some of the details (other stories of amazing mass gains too—inspiring).
Casey did use some negative training in Colorado, so putting X-centric sets in the Mass F/X program is a great idea. As for where, we suggest using it on the “X” day. “X” in F/X stands for X-tended-set day. The “F” stands for force, so you want to keep the weights fairly heavy in F workouts….
That’s why X-centric is perfect on “X” days—it’s a set-extending tactic for longer tension times.
In the program that’s listed on pages 81-83, you extend the sets on X days primarily with rest/pause sets. For example, on bench presses you hit failure at 9 reps, rest for 10 seconds, take the same weight and rep out again, shooting for six reps; rest 10 seconds, then rep out one last time shooting for 4 reps.
Here’s the X-centric modification—let’s call it X-R/P…
Take a weight with which you can get about 15 reps. Now do an X-centric set. Lift in one second and lower in six seconds on every rep. At failure, probably around rep 7 or 8, rest for 10 seconds. Now do a standard-speed set, lift in one, lower in three. Rest 10 seconds again, and rep out one last time with a standard cadence.
The muscle fatigue, growth stimulation, and pump you get in those three quick sets will be off the charts.
Do that on every exercise that’s designated as R/P. Now it’s X-R/P! You’ll get unique extended tension time for more growth and a fat-to-muscle jolt. Will you gain 60 lbs of muscle in 4 weeks? No, you probably won’t, but you should still pack loads of new mass on your physique.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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