Q: In the description of your new e-book [The X-traordinary X-Rep Workout], you mention that Arnold used X Reps. How is that even possible? He was training [at his peak] way back in the 1970s, and X Reps didn’t come around till the 2000s. What’s the deal?
A: We coined the X-Rep term about fifteen years ago, but partial-rep training has been around for ages in various forms. What we did was take the most recent research on semi-stretch-point fiber activation and zero in on the BEST spot on the stroke for end-of-set partials, or X Reps…
That key point on an exercise’s stroke is where the muscle can generate the most force, and you therefore activate the most muscle fibers for incredible growth stimulation…
In other words, at the end of a set, when you can no longer do full-range reps, you move the resistance to that key point and do short-range partials—for example near the bottom of a chinup, from just out of the arms-straight position up to just before the halfway point. Here’s Jonathan demonstrating X Reps on chins…
Now, if X Reps are so effective, why not do some all-X-Rep sets, or X-Only, for max-force overload? X-
Arnold would often hang weight around his waist, enough so he could do maybe two or three full reps, but instead, he would only do the bottom third of the range, a short-stroke X-Rep move in the range Jonathan is demonstrating above. It was a heavy, shock attack for his lats, getting an inordinate number of muscle fibers to fire against a big load. That did some pretty good things for his V-taper, lat width and sweep…
In the X-traordinary X-Rep e-book, we also discuss how he used stretch-position exercises, a key component of Positions-of-Flexion mass training, for most of his
Luckily, the former publisher of IRON MAN magazine and our good friend, John Balik, lived and trained with Arnold back in his heyday, so we have John’s memory of that incredible time in bodybuilding history to draw from. His recollections are very motivating, not to mention informative from a training standpoint. Here’s another shot John snapped of Arnold on the beach in Santa Monica, California, in the ’70s…
No doubt that Arnold was way ahead of his time in the muscle department, and with John’s help we learned why: Arnold had an incredible instinct for doing the right things in the gym, methods that science is now verifying as
Note: For more details on Arnold’s X-Rep methods, see the X-traordinary X-Rep Workout. This exciting e-guide merges the top X-Rep techniques and info with muscle-building research into two power-packed X-Rep workouts—the basic X program only takes about 35 minutes. For more info, go HERE
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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