Q: The 4X Mass Workout is filling out my muscles faster than anything I’ve ever tried. Thank you! I’m wondering what you think about doing something weird on the last set. Like I’ve been doing a drop set on the last set every so often or a superset with another exercise just on that last set. Is that okay, or should I only stick to straight sets with 4X?
A: If you’ve been reading this newsletter for any length of time, you should know that we encourage any and all types of training experimentation. Always remember that what packs on new mass for one person may not work well for another, so be innovative and open-minded…
That’s the very reason we have several ebooks with workouts that include various mass tactics. Your idea of a drop set on the last set of a 4X sequence is excellent and should help blow up the target muscle even more. To clarify for readers who aren’t familiar with the techniques, here’s the drill on dumbbell upright rows…
Take a weight with which you can get 15 reps, but only do 10. Rest 30 seconds, then do 10 more. Rest for 30 second again and strive for another 10. Rest for 30 seconds one last time, and get as close to 10 as you can. Once you hit exhaustion, grab a lighter set of dumbbells and immediately rep out, getting around six more reps. What you did looks like…
Dumbbell upright rows (4X style), 4 x 10, 10, 10, 9(6)
Notice that you’ve essentially done five sets, four in 4X-sequence style plus a drop set added to the last one for even more extended tension time and fiber recruitment. The burn will be intense, and your muscle pump immense.
Or, as you said, you could hit exhaustion on that fourth set and immediately move to another exercise and rep out. For example, you could follow dumbbell upright rows with lateral raises to really blow out the medial delt heads.
Another option: We also recommend our 3X + negative-accentuated (NA) method. For that you do a 3X sequence, with 30 seconds between sets. After the third set, rest 30 seconds again, but reduce the weight and do a negative-accentuated set on your fourth—that’s one second on the positive and six seconds on the negative of every rep.
An NA set will give you around 50 seconds of tension time if you do seven reps. That’s a unique type of stress for most trainees that packs on mass fast. Look around that gym and you’ll see that work sets rarely last longer than 20 seconds—not good considering max hypertrophy occurs at around 40 seconds of tension time.
Oh, and the X-centric (NA) emphasis also creates excess muscle trauma, which requires energy, or bodyfat burn, to repair the extra microtears. That’s why it’s one of our favorite fat-to-muscle tactics—and it works BIG time.
Of course, you can always simply add X-Rep partials to the last set of a 4X sequence. At exhaustion on set 4, move the poundage to a point at which the target muscle is semi-stretched, like near the bottom of an incline press or chinup, and pulse with eight-inch partial reps. That extends the tension time and forces MORE growth fibers to fire.
That type of surprise mass attack hurts but it works. Remember, you have to grind through some pain to make big gains.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
The Great “Magnesium Conspiracy”
If you’re on social media, which we all are, you’ve been hearing a lot about magnesium lately. The fact is, magnesium deficiency could be one of the greatest health conspiracies in history…
First, let’s be clear: Magnesium is THE single most studied mineral in existence. It powers over 300 critical, life-saving reactions in your body (including dozens of shockers mentioned here).
To date, thousands of studies have proven it to be beneficial for the heart, energy, metabolism, immunity, sleep, pain relief, and more.
The only two-time Nobel Prize winner, Linus Pauling, recommended daily supplementation of magnesium (at least 350mg per day). So do over 100,000 courageous doctors—including top MDs from Harvard.
BUT THERE’S A PROBLEM…
- Most fortified foods/products use SYNTHETIC (chemical-made), low-grade magnesium the body can’t absorb, AND…
- Most ONLY CONTAIN 1-3 forms of magnesium (at best); when the reality is your body needs ALL 7 FORMS OF MAGNESIUM
Given how much magnesium helps with stress, sleep, heart health, energy and more, it’s easily one of the most dangerous health hoaxes ever.
THE GOOD NEWS: there’s a miracle that occurs when your body gets ALL the magnesium that it needs, in all the forms that it needs, at the optimal dosage.
Just remember — if you’re *only* taking one form of magnesium — YOU ARE STILL DEFICIENT!
===>> Why Getting ALL 7 FORMS Of Magnesium Lowers Stress, Fixes Sleep, and Boosts Healthy Metabolism