Q: I’m not gonna lie… I sometimes get bored with my training or just have random days when my motivation is a bit low. That makes it tough to get to the gym, but I really don’t want to skip a day because of that. What if I took random days here and there to do only one exercise for each muscle. Would that be good for growth, and how often could I do that?
Q: I had your original 10-Week Size Surge book from many years ago and just picked up the Size Surge 2.0 e-book. Thanks for revising it to include 4X training! I’m 45 now with a lot of joint damage from heavy “lifting,” if you want to call it that. So your [moderate-weight] 4X method is perfect and has me making new muscle gains. Thank you! My question concerns the “finisher” set you recommend in one of the workouts. Do you think pure-negative or negative-accentuated sets are better?
A: For the uninitiated, the Size Surge 2.0 e-book has a few new workouts compared to the original, including an alternate Phase 2 routine that’s Positions of Flexion with a few heavy sets, 4X work, AND a one-exercise mass finisher using an intensity method… [Read more…]
Q: I just got your X-treme Lean e-book. I will start ripping it up soon for spring. Lots of great nutrition stuff and diets, but I didn’t even realize it all has a workout program. Is this workout better than the Fat-to-Muscle Workout? I’m trying to decide which one to use in a few weeks to kick in the cuts for spring.
A: The X-treme Lean High-Definition Workout is a 3-way split. It includes lower reps, 8-12, on a big exercise alternated with a high-rep set on an isolation move to give you that lean-machine edge. For example, for upper chest it’s… [Read more…]
Q: I’ve been bulking the past few months, and now I need to start cutting since the new year is upon us. I want to get an early start so I have sharp abs by spring. Should I change my workout? I’ve been training mostly heavy but with some 4X added in.
A: Well, the first thing we suggest is cleaning up your diet. No more junk food—if you’ve been scarfing up too much of that, you’ve got too much body fat.
Also, if you haven’t been doing cardio, add 20 to 30 minutes AFTER two of your upper-body workouts each week. That will stimulate your metabolism and fat-burning mechanism.
Notice that those are subtle changes. You want to gradually move toward leanness—nothing drastic. That way you retain and even build muscle as you drop that ugly body fat…
As for your workouts, now is the time to introduce an X-centric set for each bodypart. And we suggest you do that on the last set of each big midrange exercise—squats, pulldowns, rows, bench presses, etc.
X-centric is using a slightly lighter weight than your normal 10-rep weight and raising it in one second and lowering in six on every rep. And it’s an almost magical fat-to-muscle method. Why?
Research shows that lowering slowly throughout the negative stroke causes more micro-trauma in muscle fibers. To repair those microtears, your body uses stored fat for energy.
So you burn off more fat 24/7 as you regenerate and pack on muscle. Nice…
Also, doing a set of seven or eight X-centric reps, at 7 seconds each, gives you a muscle-tension time of almost a minute. That helps expand the sarcoplasm in muscle tissue for new size and fullness, AND it produces intense muscle burn for growth hormone release…
GH is a very potent fat burner. So X-centric training is major acceleration for your body transformation.
NOTE: For more on using X-centric training as well as other methods and tactics to transform your physique from lean to mean, get The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout, HERE.
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 noticed in one of your recent newsletters about the Super-Size Crash Course that you mentioned doing an X-centric set followed immediately by speed reps. I’ve read that e-book twice, but I don’t remember seeing that anywhere. Am I missing something?
A: To clarify what we said, you take your 15-rep-max weight and do an X-centric set—lift in one second and lower in six on EVERY rep. [Read more…]
Q: Your 4X training is fantastic. It has me growing again, and it’s perfect with 3-way POF. My question is about muscle feel. How important is it to feel your muscles working for size increases? I ask because I have trouble feeling some body parts, like shoulders and chest.
A: We believe it’s EXTREMELY important to feel your muscles working; if you don’t, you may be using other muscle groups to move the weight or simply not innervating enough muscle fibers for a big anabolic response. [Read more…]
Q: I’m loving your 4X mass method. I’ve been using it for only three weeks, and I already feel bigger and look fuller. The scale says I’ve put on three pounds, but it looks like more than that. I feel pumped all the time. Anyway, I’m wondering if I should do a warmup set before I jump into 4X for an exercise. If not on all 3 exercises in Positions of Flexion, maybe just the first one will do the trick since it’s compound [or midrange], like squats.
A: Keep in mind that with 4X mass training, you’re using the same MODERATE weight from the first set to the last. In most cases you shouldn’t need a warmup set because your first in the sequence is fairly easy—you don’t go to failure… [Read more…]
Q: I’m really stoked about using the Size Surge program. A friend at my gym said he used it last winter and put on 12 pounds of muscle after only 8 weeks. My question is about burning fat while on the program. I don’t want to get fat, but I know I have to eat big to get big. You’ve said that X-centric [or negative-accentuated] sets can help burn more fat. Can I work those in somehow to Size Surge?
A: Absolutely! We try to use X-centric sets throughout the winter to help keep the lean machine revved so abs don’t completely disappear.
In fact, if you’re going to use the original heavy-training version of Size Surge—as opposed to the moderate-weight 4X version we’ve talked about—the X-centric sets will help you burn more fat AND expand the muscle sarcoplasm for extra mass. That’s important because heavy training tends to neglect that important anabolic “layer.” [Read more…]
Q: You guys have contributed so much to my ability to build lots of muscle. I want to thank you. X Reps are fantastic. Positions of Flexion is great; I build most of my workouts around that full-range principle. You’ve also created 4X and negative-accentuated [X-centric] training. So what do you think is the best of the bunch, your #1 mass-building discovery over the years?
A: Out of all of our mass-building tactics, X Reps are probably the easiest to apply. Well, maybe “easiest” is the wrong word because when you use them correctly, X-Rep partials at the end of a set are brutal—they hurt, but they work. X Reps make any set three to five times more effective at packing on mass… [Read more…]
Q: This is it! I started using The 10×10 Mass Workout a little while ago, and I’ve gained 3 pounds in 3 weeks, all muscle. If I keep this up, I can easily gain 20 pounds of muscle in the next few months. Thank you for showing me the best mass-building program ever.
A: While that’s not a question, we feel obligated to respond. First, we’re glad you’re making such spectacular progress with 10×10. Gaining 3 pounds in 3 weeks is very impressive, so keep using it till your gains slow down or stop… [Read more…]