With spring right around the corner, it’s time for a lot of us to start thinking about easing into a fat-to-muscle plan—so you’re sure to have an eye-popping look that first warm day you peel off your shirt (you want jaws to hit the dirt)…[Read more…]
Q: I need to get leaner, and I think I’d better start now if I want abs by springtime. I know I need to diet, but I don’t want to lose muscle. What’s the best way to build muscle and burn fat?
A: Many will say that you will lose muscle if you reduce your calories enough to burn fat, but we disagree…[Read more…]
Q: I have the 4X Mass Workout e-book, and I’m convinced it’s the best way for me to build muscle now after years of high-intensity training. I’m ready to start, but I want to include some negative-accentuated (NA) sets for better fat burning. I have both the X-centric Mass Workout and the Fat-to-Muscle Workout [which both include NA]. Lots of good info and workouts, but nothing that really merges 4X and NA the way I want. I need to add NA sets to the Direct/Indirect 4X Mass Workout. How?
A: Keep in mind that negative-accentuated sets are very traumatic and can require more recovery. With the Direct/Indirect 4X Mass Workout, most upper-body muscles are getting THREE hits a week, be they major or minor. That’s already a lot of muscular trauma. But you’re right: Adding an appropriate dose of NA work—one second on the positive and six seconds on the negative—without overtraining, can stimulate more fat burning on a couple of levels… [Read more…]
Q: I got your three fat-loss e-books [Triple-Shred Offer], and I’ve read them all. Great information, and I’m soooo ready to start. I like the X-treme Lean High-Definition Workout, but I’d want to incorporate a negative-accentuated set for each muscle [as you discuss and include in The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout]. Where should I put the NA set in the X-treme Lean Workout? I want to be ripped this summer while I still have time!
A: Excellent question, and we’re glad you’re tailoring the workouts to your needs—to rip up faster. You’re right. Using a negative-accentuated set for each bodypart should make the X-treme Lean High-Def Workout even better, just don’t get carried away (of course, you’ll also need to stick to the diets and eating info in that e-book as well)… [Read more…]
A: The simple answer is that X-treme Lean contains more diet and nutrition info while The Ultimate Fat to Muscle Workout is more about the right type of training to max out fat loss as you gain muscle mass… [Read more…]
Q: You’ve said that training each bodypart only once a week never worked for you. But I saw mention in a previous article that you did make gains doing that with X-centric training. I like training each bodypart only once a week because that’s the way the pros do it. Should I use X-centric training to make it work better for me?
A: First, following the pros workouts is a bad idea for 99 percent of us. Steroids and other anabolic drugs make most of what they do NOT applicable to drug-free trainees. It’s like trying to make your Toyota Camry perform the same way as a Formula-One racing car. It can’t be done without some MAJOR “enhancements.”… [Read more…]
Q: I’m now a believer in negative-accentuated sets for fat loss. I started using a version of your Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout and got leaner and more muscular after only one month. I admit that I did a few more NA [negative-accentuated] sets for areas I really needed to reduce fat. I’ve heard that spot reduction isn’t possible, but I could swear I lost more fat in those areas like my midsection and thighs that I hit with more NA work. I’m seeing abs! So do you think spot reduction is a myth? I’m starting to think not.
A: For those unfamiliar with it, an NA set is one second up on the positive and six seconds down on the negative. For example, on a curl, you would curl the weight at normal speed, then lower slowly to a count of six. The slow negative emphasis increases blood flow to the muscle and also triggers more muscle trauma. Both of those factors are critical to fast fat-to-muscle results… [Read more…]
Q: I just started the 4X Mass Workout, and I really like it. I feel bigger already. I still have some fat to lose, so I also got your Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout. Can I incorporate the negative-accentuated sets from that into a total-4X program somehow to get more fat burning?
A: NA sets are one second up for the positive and lowering in six seconds for the negative. That slow, negative-accentuated style triggers more muscle damage, which requires more energy after the workout for repair. And that energy requirement means your metabolism is amped to help you get more fat burning.
NA is most effective on the big exercises for large muscle masses—for example, squats, pulldowns, rows, and presses. If you want to use an NA set on those exercises, they can help accelerate the fat-to-muscle process…
On squats, for example, we suggest doing your 4X sequence first. Your quads will be pretty spent after that five-minute mass blast. Rest for about two to three minutes after that, then do an NA set—one second up and six seconds down. You may be able to use the same weight that you used on 4X or you may have to reduce the weight. The poundage should be heavy enough to allow about 7 NA reps.
Do that for every big exercise for your largest bodyparts—squats, stiff-legged deadlifts, pulldowns, wide-grip cable rows and bench presses—and you’ll accelerate your mass gains as your body fat quickly wanes. Soon your abs and muscularity will be blazing! [For more on NA training, see The X-centric Mass Workout as well as The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout.]
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
If you want to build muscle (of course you do!) and ramp up your testosterone levels while burning a ton of fat at the same time, you need to try this workout if you haven’t already…
–> Use this cutting-edge cardio trick to boost testosterone and muscle growth
Note: This is NOT traditional HIIT or boring steady-state cardio
Q: I have most of your e-books, and every one of them is great. I’ve learned so much from them, and I’m gaining faster than ever. My question is that in The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout you use power sets, negative-accentuated sets, and then end with high-rep sets to finish off a muscle. But in the X-centric Mass Workout, you have a similar program, but you end each bodypart with 4X instead of high reps. When it comes to the finisher sets, which way is better?
A: Neither is better—just different. Arnold used to use high-rep burnout finisher sets. Those were a good complement to his many heavy power sets. He’d either use them on the last exercise for a muscle or do a high-rep set as the last finisher for almost every exercise. Either way, you end up with a skin-stretching pump… [Read more…]
Q: I’m ready to try The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout, but you have different workouts in that e-book. The first program is four days a week, but each bodypart is worked only once each week. The second program is three days a week, but again you train each bodypart only once. Then in the Q&A chapter, you suggest using the three-days-per-week routine over four days per week [following the 3-day sequence so each muscle is hit more than once a week]. Which way is best?
A: It’s tough to answer which way is best because we don’t know the extent of your recovery ability, stress levels, experience, etc. Remember, the Fat-to-Muscle workouts have negative-accentuated sets, which do great things for a fat-to-muscle metamorphosis during microtear repair, AND heavy power pyramids, which also are very abrasive to muscle fibers. Those two factors may force the need for more recovery—like seven days. [Read more…]