Q: I love the 4X mass method. I’ve been using it for a month, and I feel and look bigger and better. My question is, When I start a 4X sequence, what do I do if the weight is way too light on that first set? Should I just do 10 and then add weight for my next 3 sets? I don’t want to waste that first set.
A: You could do that. Or here are 3 ways to do it that we like better…
- Do 10 on that first set, pretend it’s a lighter warmup set, add weight, then do your 4X sequence (5 sets total).
- Do 12—or if it’s really light, 15. Then continue with three more sets of that same number of reps with the same weight (4×12 or 4×15).
- Make that first set X-centric—that is, when you feel that it’s way too light, start lifting in one second and lower in six on every rep.
By lifting in one second and lowering in six, you extend the tension time of that first set to almost a full minute. You also emphasize the eccentric stroke, which will cause micro-tears in the muscle fibers…
So you get a unique form of muscle stress and enhanced blood flow with a longer tension time. And that can enhance fiber activation in the following 3 sets.
An X-centric set, whether on the first set of a 4X sequence or on the last set with a weight reduction, can do great things for triggering new muscle growth. Give it a try for quick, new muscle size.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson