Q: I’m a fan of your older 4X mass method. It’s given me impressive mass gains ever since you came out with the 4X ebook a few years ago. You’ve been talking about garbage negatives recently, but each of the four sets in 4X is a 1/3 tempo. Should I make adjustments?
A: 4X was a precursor to STX, the slow-twitch-exhaustion method explained and applied in Old Man, Young Muscle.
4X is a slightly more volume-oriented way to get slow-twitch exhaustion, activating the most fast-twitch loading on sets 3 and 4. For those unfamiliar, here is how 4X is explained in The 4X Mass Workout 2.0…
Pick a weight with which you can get 15 reps, but only do 10. Rest 30 seconds, then do 10 more; rest 30 seconds, then do 10 more; rest 30 seconds one last time and attempt to grind out 10 reps on the fourth and final set.
You should not be able to get 10 reps on set 4; if you do, add weight to the poundage you chose for the four-set sequence at your next workout.
Simple. You could do that on only the ideal exercises listed in Old Man, Young Muscle and have a killer mass-building workout—four sets per muscle.
4X is similar to the way Danny Padilla trained back in the ‘70s to build mega mass without crushing his joints (more on his training in the 4X ebook)…
Because sets 1 and 2 are easy—you stop about five reps short of failure—the garbage negatives are less damaging; however…
Set 3 becomes difficult and set 4 is to muscular failure—you should get fewer than 10. Garbage-negative damage is now more in play…
That’s why I suggest doing sets 1 and 2 with a standard 1/3 tempo; then on sets 3 and 4, do Speed Sets—each rep lasting only 1.5 seconds or 1/1 tempo, depending on the exercise…
Speed reps will minimize garbage-negative damage, which is the reason I do about half of my sets in my current OMYM workouts Speed style.
With damage minimized you’ll pack on more muscle size.
GROW like never before: Get the complete Stretch-First POF Pre-Ex Workout as well as the Base-STX Workout, which both include the ideal exercise for each muscle and the best stretch and contracted add-on moves for mass, in Old Man, Young Muscle.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
Former Editor in Chief, Iron Man Magazine
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