Here’s a great shot of Lee Labrada back to back with his son Hunter, age 28 and a current IFBB pro. Notice the similar genetics, a big player in bodybuilding success… [Read more…]
This is a great photo of Lee Haney at his peak, standing relaxed outside. Absolutely flawless mass. Imagine him holding a leash with a poodle at the end. Like a moving sculpture in a Speedo out walking his dog. LOL… [Read more…]
This is one of the best upper-body shots of Lee Labrada we’ve seen (it may be a Michael Neveux shot, but we’re not sure). Lee never won the Mr. Olympia, but he got close due to his incredible “Mass With Class” physique…
What was his bodybuilding secret? He was from the Lee Haney school of “stimulate don’t annihilate” your muscles during workouts; however, he fused that with the Mike Mentzer’s shorter workouts to failure—but with only moderate poundages.
He was all about “growth threshold” training. Here’s how Labrada defined it…
The growth threshold is the point at which the level of fatigue in the muscle is high enough that a growth response is elicited. Your goal during a workout should be to fatigue the target muscles you are training more and more with each succeeding set.
In other words, you want the muscles to progressively get more and more tired out, until you reach a point where the muscles are functionally ‘worn out.’ Signals are sent to the brain that set up the compensation, or growth, process during the post workout period, so that in future workouts, you can handle it.
Our two favorite ways to achieve a growth-threshold mass blast is with 4X and STX (slow-twitch exhaustion). Both methods have you use only moderate weights with short rests between sets to progressively hypertrophy all muscle fiber types…
By the way, Labrada still looks unbelievable now in his 60s thanks to this safer style of training. Now that’s Mass-With-Class longevity.
Try 4X for growth-threshold success—no joint stress.
> The 4X Mass Workout 2.0 is available HERE.
Or check out our STX growth-threshold method in our latest retooled ebook…
> Muscle-Building Quick-Start Guide 2.0 is available HERE.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
Get Ripped with Anabolic Fasting
With proper intermittent fasting, you can transform your physique faster than ever…
Brad Pilon’s book Eat Stop Eat is THE book on Intermittent Fasting. Besides the nuts and bolts of what to do and when to burn fat and build muscle simultaneously, Brad covers all the research on IF-related topics…
From how fasting affects blood glucose/insulin/leptin/testosterone to how it jacks the muscle-building process. You’ll see all the latest science.
Grab your copy now because Eat Stop Eat is only $10 till the end of this month (it’s a $49 value!). Check it out here…
Lee Labrada never won the Mr. Olympia, but he got close due to his incredible symmetry, proportions, and muscle size and density—“Mass With Class.” His physique was a work of art…
You can see that from this out-and-about photo by Michael Neveux of Lee in archer mode… [Read more…]
Q: I get really winded on some exercises, like squats and rows, with only 35 seconds between 4X sets. I’m still sucking air when it’s time to start my next set. Is it okay to take more time?
A: Yes, but we believe that to get the DENSITY size effect you’re after with the 4X mass method, you should have a countdown so you don’t rest more than one minute between sets. Former pro bodybuilder Lee Labrada said… [Read more…]
Q: You’ve mentioned the Growth Threshold a few times. What is that? What does it mean and how do I use it to get bigger?
A: Growth Threshold is a term we borrowed from champion pro bodybuilder Lee Labrada, pictured below. Here’s Lee’s explanation, from our 4X Mass Workout e-book:
The growth threshold is the point at which the level of fatigue in the muscle is high enough that a growth response is elicited. Your goal during a workout should be to fatigue the target muscles you are training more and more with each succeeding set. In other words, you want the muscles to progressively get more and more tired out, until you reach a point where the muscles are functionally ‘worn out.’ Signals are sent to the brain that set up the compensation, or growth, process during the postworkout period, so that in future workouts you can handle it.
Because you use the same weight on every set of a 4X sequence, and the first two sets are fairly easy, you gradually approach the growth threshold. The short 30-to-40-second rests between sets ensure that fatigue accumulates to a size-triggering climax at set 4.
For those not familiar with 4X, you take a weight with which you can get 15 reps, but you only do 10 deliberate reps; rest 30 to 40 seconds, then do 10 more. Rest 30 to 40 seconds again, then do 10 more. Rest 30 to 40 seconds one last time, then go to failure. If you get 10 on that fourth set, add weight to that exercise at your next workout…
As Labrada says,
I do not let my muscles regain all of their strength before starting the next set. After all, my goal is to fatigue my muscles more and more with each succeeding set until they hit the growth threshold.
And that’s what 4X sequences are all about—reaching the critical growth threshold without overtaxing the body’s recovery systems so you continue to ignite new, dramatic muscle growth at every workout. 4X training will give you size increases in both the myofibrils, the actin-myosin strands that produce force, and the sarcoplasmic endurance fluid in the muscle fibers.
And if you use a 4X sequence on the full-range 3-way Positions-of-Flexion programs for each muscle—midrange, stretch, and contracted, you reach the growth threshold for each and get a triple dose of muscle growth.
NOTE: If you’ve been training with standard myofibrillar-dominant heavy sets—tension times of 20 seconds and rests of 2 minutes or more—you may want to increase your sarcoplasmic mass with a few weeks of PURE density training. For that, give 10×10 training a spin. You take a weight with which you can get 20 reps, but you only do 10. Rest 30 seconds, then do 10 more—and so on until you complete 10 sets. The last few rounds will be brutal, but the pump and sarcoplasmic size you ignite will be unreal. Use it on only one exercise per bodypart—10 minutes for each—for two weeks and watch the amazing changes in your physique.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
Build MASS with bodyweight training
One way you’re guaranteed to pack on stacks of muscle is through a process called muscle protein synthesis (MPS), which more than doubles 24 hours after an intense workout…
Until recently, MPS was only elevated when trainees would lift 70-90% of their one-rep max…
That’s not only dangerous for your joints, but it also sets you up for high injury risk every time you exercise…
It used to be believed that training with your own bodyweight couldn’t get you the same results as training with your 70-90% one rep max… Until NOW.
Q: I just started reading up on your [Positions-of-Flexion] mass-building method. The full-range hit on each muscle makes so much sense that I can’t wait to try it. A friend said it helped him build 10 pounds of new mass in just six weeks. Where do I start? Is there a basic 4-days-per-week POF mass workout I can use?
Q: I love the Super-TORQ mass method you outline in the Power-Density 2.0 e-book. I’m 55 years old, so moderate weights are great for me, but I can’t quite wrap my head around doing such high reps at every workout. I alternate with heavy workouts as you suggest in the e-book because I’ve brutalized my joints over the years (screw you, heavy benches—Lol). Is there a MODERATE-power/Super TORQ workout I could use instead?
Q: You guys have opened my eyes to new ways to grow muscle. Your explanation of the myofibrils (force generation) and sarcoplasm (energy fluid) and how they both contribute to size is excellent. To build both of those fast, I want a simple, no-bells-and-whistles heavy-light program. What would you suggest?
A: Ah, the no-frills approach. It’s always good to go back to basics every so often, focusing on the force-generating myofibrils with a heavy workout and sarcoplasmic expansion with lighter DENSITY at the next… [Read more…]
Q: I know you suggest one second to lift and three seconds to lower. Do you ever use a slower lifting cadence, like lifting in three or four seconds instead of only one? Wouldn’t that produce more tension time for unique muscle-growth stimulation?
A: Yes, it can be a great variation for more mass creation as well as a fat-burning catalyst. But the big reason to slow down on the lifting stroke is for more strength. [Read more…]