Q: I’m using The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout and making great progress. I’m bigger, with veins, and my abs are coming in. I just picked up The Ultimate 10×10 Mass Workout for something different, so I want to go to that program next. My question concerns muscle damage. Getting trauma from slow negative-accentuated sets is what makes the Fat-to-Muscle Workout work so well, so when I switch to the 10×10 Workout, won’t I be getting less muscle damage and therefore less fat burning? I still need to get leaner, so should I add NA sets somewhere when I go to the 10×10 Workout?
A: You could add an NA set for each bodypart. We discuss how and where to do that in the 10×10 Q&A section; however, it’s not necessary for trainees who are doing 10×10 at every workout. Believe us, you’ll realize that fact after you try the 10-sets-of-10 method. The muscle soreness you get will tell you that your microtrauma goal has been met.
For example, we had been training hard for many months using an NA set for every bodypart, and soreness was a common occurrence because of those negative-accentuated sets—1.5 seconds up and six seconds down on every rep. Yet when we first tried 10×10 on decline extensions, our triceps were sore for four days—yes, four whole days, and that’s after doing only one exercise. Amazing.
Here’s something else to consider: Back in Arnold’s competitive years he did little, if any, cardio work, yet when he shifted into contest prep, he got ripped quickly. No, he didn’t do negative-accentuated sets, but he did get significant muscle-fiber damage due to the sheer volume of his in-season workouts. He would build up to 20 sets per bodypart, with fairly short rests, and you can bet that the extraordinary number of normal-speed negatives after each positive rep triggered a lot of microtrauma for a fat-to-muscle effect.
Remember, you’re getting a high number of standard-speed negatives every time you use 10×10—100 total negatives, to be exact, along with 100 positives. You may be thinking that because you use the same weight on all sets, the first few sets feel light and don’t do much. Not true; you’re still doing work and resisting on the negative stroke. Then as the sets get harder, you’ll have to fight to resist the weight on the negative stroke. The last few sets will be brutal. All of that compounds the fat-to-muscle microtrauma…
The brief rests also amplify the effect. Taking 30 seconds between sets ignites a fierce burn and pump. The result is an intensified growth hormone surge. Remember, GH is a potent fat burner that works in tandem with muscle damage for a heightened fat-to-muscle effect…
In fact, as we recently stated, Olympic strength coach Charles Poliquin says,
Pioneering research by a Romanian exercise scientist [showed] that the lactic acid pathway is better for fat loss than the commonly accepted aerobic pathway. He found that high blood lactic levels decrease blood pH levels, which in turn sends a message to the brain to accelerate its production of growth hormone. Higher growth hormone levels increase fat loss.
Recent Canadian research substantiated the lactic acid (muscle burn)-GH link. As you’ll find out, you trigger loads of lactic acid with 10×10…
We’ve found that 10×10 is a lot like HIIT (interval training)—intense work alternated with short rests. As all the recent research shows, that’s the best way to burn significant amounts of bodyfat. With 10×10, you integrate progressive weight training into the interval mix—and you get a big-time muscle builder on top of an incredible fat burner.
Down the road, when you need something new, you can experiment by adding NA sets. For now, you can be sure that 10×10 will keep the fat-to-muscle effects rolling.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson