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X-traordinaryWorkouts.

com Presents
THE
X-traordinary

4X MASS
W O R KOUT

Fast
Simplified
Supersaturation
Training for X-treme Muscle Size
by Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
The 4X Mass Workout was written to help you achieve a
muscular physique with sensible bodybuilding strategies.
Weight training and dieting can be demanding activities,
however, so it is highly recommended that you consult your
physician and have a physical examination prior to beginning.
Proceed with the suggested exercises and routines at your own
risk.

Photography by Michael Neveux

Cover model: Jonathan Lawson

Copyright 2010 by Homebody Productions


All rights reserved.

The material in this document may not be reproduced in whole


or in part in any manner or form without prior written consent
from the publisher.

Homebody Productions, P.O. Box 2800, Ventura, CA 93002

www.X-Rep.com
Homepage

www.X-traordinaryWorkouts.com
Workout programs in printable PDF format

Other e-books are available at


www.X-Rep.com/xshop.htm

 The 4X Mass Workout


CONTENTS
Introduction............................................................4

Chapter 1Power-Density Fusion:


10X, 8X, 4X, 3X...................................6

Chapter 2Anabolic Re-ignition: Stress


and the Growth Threshold..............10

Chapter 3The Big, Basic 4X


Mass Workout..................................16

Chapter 4The Positions-of-Flexion


4X Mass Workout.............................22

Chapter 5The Direct-Indirect


4X Mass Workout.............................28

Chapter 64X Mass Workout Q&A...................36

The 4X Mass Workout 


Introduction
We're all about training hardall-out
sets that force the most growth fibers
into action. But sometimes you have
to ease up to keep growing.

Physiology tells us that pushing


to the limit for long periods can
cause systemic rebellion and muscle
regression. It's a case of diminishing
returnsdrive your body too hard for
too long and muscle tissue begins to
waste away due to excess stress.

Your job, if you want every one of your muscle groups


to be as big, full and impressive as possible, is to mediate
stress so hypertrophy stays on an upward trajectory.

Our mantra has always been one small change can trigger
bigger gains, and total-4X training is definitely a big switch
from what you're used to. It also eases up on the stress
accelerator, balancing it with more volume.

Whoa! Don't let that last statement scare you. This isn't
about adopting the marathon workouts of the over-drugged
present-day pro bodybuilders. It's about doing more work in
less time, but with slightly less intensity.

But isn't intensity the key to muscle gains? Yes, up to a


point; however, it's a proven fact that less-intense sets can
also trigger muscle-size increases. The reason is the all-or-
none principle...

All or none simply means that a muscle fiber fires

 The 4X Mass Workout


completely or not at all. So even when you perform a
medium-weight, subfailure set, you still tax a number of
muscle fibers to their maximum. No, not the majority of
fibers, but that's where more volume comes in.

Doing, say, four sets per exercise with the same medium
weight so that only the last set is all out, can do incredible
things for muscle growth. That's especially true if you use
that style of training as a follow-up to an extensive high-
intensity training phasesix to 10 all-out sets per bodypart,
as many of our other programs suggest. A total-4X program
is also ideal when you're in the midst of a low-calorie diet
and muscle-eating stress hormones are running rampant.

To make the less-intense style of four-sets-per-exercise


training even more effective, you shorten the rest time
between sets to 30 seconds. As you'll see in the first chapter,
that merges power and density for maximum hypertrophy of
the fast-twitch 2A fibers, the dominant type in the biggest,
freakiest bodybuildersand allows more work in less time.

Make no mistake: While we use the term ease up, this


type of training is not easy. It's challenging to both the
muscles and the cardiovascular system, especially on the
big exercises like squats; however, the gradual buildup in
intensity over four sets makes it less stressful on the joints,
nervous system and adrenal glands, which produce the
dreaded stress hormone cortisol. As
you'll find out for yourself, 4X mass
training is one of the big keys to
extreme muscle size. Prepare to grow!

Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson


www.X-Rep.com
The 4X Mass Workout 
CHAPTER 1
Power-Density Fusion
10X, 8X, 4X, 3X
We've discussed the importance of power and density
in many of our most recent e-books, like The Ultimate
Power-Density Mass Workout. Power is basically heavier
lower-rep work with longer rests, while density is longer
tension times, or doing more work in less time (short rests
between sets to compress the workload, as in 10x10
more on that in a moment).

Both power and density are


important if you're after maximum
muscle mass. That's because
recent research has discovered
that the dominant fiber type
in the biggest bodybuilders is
fast-twitch type 2A. Those are
dual-capacity fibers with both a
power and endurance, or density,
component.

Unfortunately, bodybuilders
have been brainwashed into
thinking that they must use
heavy-weight, lower-rep sets (power) for growth all the
time. That's a fallacy and one of the big reasons muscle
gains are very slow for the majority. It's also the reason
that when they add something like the 10-sets-of-10-reps
method (10x10), they get a massive growth spurt. Why?

 The 4X Mass Workout


Because they had been neglecting the density factor
almost completely at every workout.

What is 10x10? It's fully explained in The Ultimate


10x10 Mass Workout, but here's a synopsis: It's a pure-
density method that takes only about 10 minutes: You
take a weight that you can get about 20 reps witha light
weightbut you only do 10. Rest 30 seconds, then do 10
more, and so on until you complete 10 sets of 10 reps.
Actually, you shouldnt get 10 on the last few sets due to
the excruciating pain and full-blown pump. If you do get
10 on the last set, you need to add weight at your next
workout. In only 10 minutes the target muscle is spent;
however, as we said, it's pure density primarily because
of the light poundage you're forced to use. As we keep
saying, for total growth you also need power activation.

That's the reason there's a Heavy/Light program in the


above-mentioned 10x10 e-book. For each bodypart you
do heavy full-range Positions-of-Flexion training at one
workoutstraight sets with fairly low reps on all exercises.
That's your power component. Then on light day for
that bodypart you only do the big midrange move, but in
10x10 style for an incredible, fast density blast.

You essentially separate power from density at two


different workouts. That's specificity of training, or
specifically focusing on one aspect of the 2A fibers at
each workout. Some experts argue that separation of
power and density at different workouts is better because
there may be factors that mitigate power when you train
density and vice versa. While weve experienced excellent
results, as have many of our X-Rep trainees, with

The 4X Mass Workout 


separate-specificity methods like heavy/light, combining
power and density at the same workout can work just as
welland the 4X method is one of the best methods for
doing that quickly and efficiently.

As we mentioned, 10x10 is almost pure density;


however, if you reduce the sets and/or reps, you use
heavier poundages, and the power factor goes up. For
example, Vince Gironda, famed Hollywood gym owner
who was known as the Iron Guru, often prescribed 8x8
training to get actors in shape fast. While 8x8 is still
predominantly density oriented, it does begin to acquire a
power edge due to fewer sets and lower reps.

And that brings us to the 4X method. When your set


total for each exercise is low, like 3 or 4 sets, power takes
a more prominent rolemore so than on either 10x10
or 8x8 (see the graph below). With the 4x10 method set
3 is close to all out and set 4 is to exhaustionplus the
poundage is heavier than with either 8x8 or 10x10.

The Power/Density So while 10x10


Density Continuum
100% is almost 100%
density, 4x10 is
more balanced
as far as power
50/50 and density are
concernedand
that's what
makes it such a
Power
100% potent, efficient
0 get-bigger trigger!
x1 x8 x1
0
4 8
10

 The 4X Mass Workout


The 4X method: To use 4x10 on an exercise, pick a
weight with which you can get about 15 reps, but only do
10. Rest 30 to 40 secondsor as long as it takes your
partner to complete his 10 repsthen do another 10. Rest
30 to 40 seconds and so on until you complete four sets of
10 reps.

Just like the 10x10 method, if you get 10 reps on your


last set, the fourth in this case, you need to add weight
at your next workoutand that means youre adding
weight to all four sets because you use the same weight
throughout the 4X sequence. Simpleand effective!

Weve recently discovered that some of the most


successful bodybuilders of the 60s, 70s and 80s
used this method precontest, including one of the most
impressive short men of all time, Danny Padilla (he said he
learned about it from Arnold).
Check out Dannys contest-
ready, giant-killer physique.

The 4x10 method works!


Thats because its high
densitymore work in less
timewith a power edge. So
compared to most of our other
programs, 4X training has you
do more sets, but with less
stress, at a fairly fast clip.

Sometimes power plus


Danny
density with a bit less intensity
Padilla.
is just what you need for
maximum muscle immensity.
The 4X Mass Workout 
CHAPTER 2
Anabolic Re-ignition
Stress and the Growth Threshold
As we mentioned in the
introduction, the best time to use
4X mass training is after a month
or so of extensive high-intensity
workoutssuch as a program
with six to 10 all-out sets per
bodypartor during a ripping
phase, when low-calorie dieting is
cranking up your stress level. It's
the reason champs of the past,
like Danny Padilla and Arnold,
often implemented 4X-style
training during precontest phases.

The 4X method reduces stress


levels, which helps control cortisol
release. What's so bad about
cortisol? It forces your body to
hold onto fat and burn muscle tissue for energy. Say what?
You read that right. That nasty stress hormone can cause
you to shrink no matter how hard you're training. In fact,
all-out hard training causes cortisol to skyrocket, one more
reason it's so difficult to build extreme muscle size.

The solution is to lower the intensity of most of your


sets, while increasing the volume. That reduces cortisol,
derails muscle catabolism and encourages anabolic drive.

10 The 4X Mass Workout


When you're dieting,
your cortisol is higher,
which can cause
muscle loss. Too many
high-intensity sets can
compound that catabolic
state. The 4X method
is less intense, with a
bit more volume, which
helps minimize cortisol
release and boost
muscle growth.

Cortisol reduction
also improves one of your key muscle-building hormones,
testosterone.

Cortisol is a testosterone antagonist. In other words,


when cortisol is high, testosterone is lowered; if your
cortisol is low, your free, or active, testosterone is higher.
So keeping cortisol at bay means you're automatically in
the muscle-building money big timeyou've hit the get-
jacked jackpot! (Note: One big reason anabolic steroids
work so well is that they tie up cortisol receptors.)

Cortisol is also the reason your diet is an important


anabolic or catabolic factor: When you're dieting, your
cortisol is spiking often; the starvation mechanism is a
cortisol trigger, and that makes it hard to hold onto muscle
tissue, much less build it. On the other hand, when you're
eating loads of nutritious muscle-building calories, you
can afford to train with more all-out sets. A higher-carb
intake helps reduce cortisol output, which is why you can
train longer and harder in the winter. You've got a calorie
surplus with plenty of carbohydrates to beat back the
cortisol cannibals.

The 4X Mass Workout 11


After three to Even so, your
five weeks of
all-out training
body can only
your body stand so much
needs a backoff all-out training
phase to avoid before it begins
exhaustion.
to regress. It's
a physiological
law governing
how the body
copes with
excess stress.

Dr. Hans
Selye called this
stress-coping
mechanism
the General
Adaptation
Syndrome, stating that when your body encounters a
repeated stress, like high-intensity weight training, it goes
through three levels of response:

1) Alarm. During the first one to two weeks of


training, your body begins adjusting its defenses as
it prepares to compensate for the new stress.
2) Resistance. During weeks three to five your
body actually adapts to the stress by getting bigger.
3) Exhaustion. At about week six your body hits
a wall, or plateau, and your gains stall; a state of
overtraining sets in, and regression can occur.

12 The 4X Mass Workout


By shifting into a reduced-
intensity phase, like 4X
training, after four to five
weeks of extensive high-
intensity workouts, you
avoid exhaustion. In other
words, you go from alarm
to resistance, back to alarm
and then to resistance
againavoiding the dreaded
exhaustion phase for as long
as possible.

Without the 4X backoff phase, or some other type


of lower-intensity training, you keep on driving with all-
out intensity without a break and dig yourself into an
overtraining rut that could become a catabolic canyon
the exhaustion stage. That's when your muscle growth
stops completely and can reverse. Ever see a bodybuilder
dieting for a contest turn into the incredible shrinking
man? It's very common thanks to cortisol. (It's happened
to us on numerous occassions when our intensity was
over the top during a ripping phase. Motivation can be a
double-edged sword.)

Muscle regression is one of the most traumatic


experiences a serious bodybuilder can face, and the
culprit is the exhaustion stagedue to overtraining and
cumulative cortisol spikes. You often hear bodybuilders
say to keep training hard and heavy right up to a
contestbut that only works if you're on drugs, which
deactivates cortisol receptors. Drug-free bodybuilders

The 4X Mass Workout 13


must reduce intensity somehow but keep muscle
stimulation high as calories and carbs become scarce to
reduce bodyfat. The 4X method is an excellent solution
and why pro bodybuilders like Danny Padilla would use
it exclusively on every exercise for an entire 12-week
precontest phase.

One of the big reasons the 4X method works is


something called the growth threshold. The 4X method
allows you to reach it without overtaxing your nervous
system and adrenal glandsand without superheavy
weights that traumatize joints and connective tissue,
another cortisol catalyst. Here's how pro bodybuilder Lee
Labrada describes the growth threshold:

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
Lee Labrada. the muscles to

14 The 4X Mass Workout


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 Labrada
intensity.
sequence, and the first
two sets are fairly easy,
you gradually approach the growth threshold. The short
30-to-40-second rests between sets insure that fatigue
accumulates to a size-triggering climax at set 4.

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 aboutreaching


the critical growth threshold without overtaxing the body's
recovery systems so you continue to ignite new, dramatic
muscle growth at every workout.

The 4X Mass Workout 15


CHAPTER 3
The Big, Basic
4X Mass Workout
To review, the basic 4X sequence has you pick a weight
you can get 15 rep with, but you only do 10. Rest 30 to 40
seconds, then do 10 more; rest 30 to 40 seconds, then do
10 more; rest 30 to 40 seconds one last time and attempt to
grind out 10 reps on that fourth and final set for that exercise.

We say "attempt" because ideally you should NOT be able


to get 10 on that last setit's the set on which you want
to reach the growth threshold for that exercise and why the
fourth photo below is red zone. If you do get 10 reps on that
last set, you need to add weight at your next workout.

1 2 3 4

16 The 4X Mass Workout


A variation on
4X training is a 3X
sequence, which
you will also see
in the upcoming
programs. It's the
same protocol, only
you do three sets Crossups
for chest.
instead of four. You'll
start with a weight
that you can get around 12 or 13 reps with, but only do 10.

Often, if we reach 10 reps on the last set fairly easily, we


will do another set after a 30-to-40-second rest. You can
keep adding sets until you fail at less than 10 reps. So you
could conceivably do 5x10 or even 6x10 on some exercises;
however, keep in mind that your last set will have you fail
at under 10 reps. That's the signal that you've reached the
growth threshold and it's time to move to another exercise.

So if you want to be absolutely sure you've flipped the


anabolic switch, continue doing sets until you can no longer
get 10 reps with good form.

What about warmup sets? Because the first and second


set are fairly easy, they act as warmups; however, on some
of the more dangerous exercises we like to do one lighter
warmup set prior to launching into the 4X sequence.

Some exercises like squats, some types of presses


and many stretch-position exercises, like incline curls for

The 4X Mass Workout 17


bicepsare more dangerous Biceps
and/or take extra coordination stretch:
and nervous system incline
curls.
synchronization. On those we
recommend one light warmup
set before attacking the 4x10
sequence. One lighter set is all
you need.

For that warmup set take


a weight that you could get
about 20 reps with50 to
70 percent of your work
weightbut only do 10 slow,
controlled reps. That gets your
nervous system primed and
coordination up to speed. It
also seeds the tendons and ligaments for optimal power
but it should not be taxing in the least.

Not all exercises will require the one lighter warmup set.
We recommend it for most big midrange exercises in the
basic program and most stretch-position exercises in the
Positions-of-Flexion program in the next chapter. Let's
look at the Big, Basic 4X Mass Workout so you can get
growing with this amazing mass-building method.

Note: With the Basic 4X Workout we suggest you


train Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, following
the sequence of three workouts. That means Monday's
workout will repeat on Friday, then you continue with the
next workout in the sequence on the following Monday.

18 The 4X Mass Workout


The Big, Basic 4X Mass Workout
Workout 1: Chest, Delts, Triceps

Exercise Poundage

Bench presses*, 4 x 10

Cable crossovers, 3 x 12

Incline presses*, 4 x 10

Dumbbell upright rows* or

Rack pulls, 4 x 10

Dumbbell presses*, 3 x 10

Lateral raises, 3 x 12

Lying extensions*, 4 x 10

Pushdowns, 3 x 12

* Do one light warmup set with 50 to 70 percent of the weight you will
use for your 4X or 3X sequence.

4 x 10, 3 x 10 and 3 x 12 means to do the exercise in 10x10


styleuse a weight that you can get 15 reps with, but only do 10;
rest 30 seconds, then do 10 more. Continue until you complete the
designated number of sets (3 or 4). If you get 10 reps (or 12 in a 3x12
sequence) on the last set, add weight at your next workout.

The 4X Mass Workout 19


The Big, Basic 4X Mass Workout
Workout 2: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves

Exercise Poundage

Leg presses*
or Squats*, 4 x 10

Leg extensions, 3 x 12

Hyperextensions

(flat back), 4 x 10

Leg curls, 3 x 10

Knee-extension

leg press calf

raises*, 4 x 15

Standing calf raises, 3 x 12

* Do one light warmup set with 50 to 70 percent of the weight you will
use for your 4X or 3X sequence.

4 x 10, 3 x 10 and 3 x 12 means to do the exercise in 10x10


styleuse a weight that you can get 15 reps with, but only do 10;
rest 30 seconds, then do 10 more. Continue until you complete the
designated number of sets (3 or 4). If you get 10 reps (or 12 in a 3x12
sequence) on your last set, add weight at your next workout.

20 The 4X Mass Workout


The Big, Basic 4X Mass Workout
Workout 3: Back, Biceps, Abs

Exercise Poundage

Pulldowns*

or Chins*, 4 x 10

Stiff-arm pulldowns, 3 x 12

Bent-over rows*, 4 x 10

Bent-arm bent-over

laterals, 3 x 12

Barbell or dumbbell curls*,

4 x 10

Concentration curls

or Spider curls, 3 x 12

Incline kneeups, 4 x 12

Full-range crunches, 4 x 15

* Do one light warmup set with 50 to 70 percent of the weight you will
use for your 4X or 3X sequence.

4 x 10, 3 x 10 and 3 x 12 means to do the exercise in 10x10


styleuse a weight that you can get 15 reps with, but only do 10;
rest 30 seconds, then do 10 more. Continue until you complete the
designated number of sets (3 or 4). If you get 10 reps (or 12 in a 3x12
sequence) on your last set, add weight at your next workout.

The 4X Mass Workout 21


CHAPTER 4
The Positions-of-Flexion
4X Mass Workout
The following explanation of Positions of Flexion may
be a review for you, as we've been staunch proponents
of POF for more than 20 years and include it in all of our
e-books. POF is simply using specific exercises that
together train each muscle through a complete range of
motionmidrange, stretch and contracted.

A good example is triceps. The midrange exercise is


close-grip bench presses, the stretch-position exercise is
overhead extensions and the contracted-position move is
pushdowns, as pictured below. Here's a POF overview:

Synergy. This is muscle teamwork, and its the reason


the big multi-joint exercises like squats are so effective
at packing on mass. A number of muscle structures work
together so you can drive up heavy poundages. For
example, during bench presses, the pectorals, triceps
and deltoids work as a teamthey combine to generate
Midrange Stretch Contracted

22 The 4X Mass Workout


the most force possible. The human body is designed
to function in that manner, which means that multi-joint,
or compound, exercises are the best mass-building
movements.

Fiber recruitment. By
incorporating an exercise that
puts the target bodypart in an
overextended, or stretched,
state, like flyes for chest or
pullovers for lats, you can better
activate what is known as
the myotatic reflex. When the
muscle is stretched, the nervous
system sends an emergency
response signal to the brain and
a maximum number of muscle
fibers are recruited. Using
this prestretch reflex can help
you get to fibers you couldnt Sissy squats, the stretch-position
recruit with other exercises. For exercise for quads.
example, after you do squats
or leg presses, you move to sissy squats (pictured at
right), a stretch-position exercise for your quads, to jolt
reserve fibers into action. [Note: Stretch overload has also
been linked to hyperplasia, or fiber splitting, and anabolic
hormone release in muscle tissue.]

Peak contraction. Now that you have the majority


of the fibers attention, you use an exercise that puts
the target bodypart in a position to contract against
resistance, with resistance occurring through the entire
stroke. That produces tension and occlusion, or blood-

The 4X Mass Workout 23


POF for lats: pulldowns, pullovers and stiff-arm pulldowns.

flow blockage, and puts an exclamation point on your


size-building routine with a tremendous cramping
contraction and no relief during the set (occlusion).
Once the set is finished, a tidal wave of blood rushes in
for a tremendous skin-stretching pump. For example,
after pulldowns and pullovers, you end your lat
routine with stiff-arm pulldowns (as pictured above)
continuous muscle tension throughout the stroke.

By training the three positionsmidrange (synergy),


stretch (myotatic reflex) and contracted (tension/
occlusion)you work the target muscle through its
full range of motion and every key angle, which leads
to better overall size and strength gains with fully
developed muscle structures. The POF 4X program on
the next few pages adds stretch-overload exercises (S)
to the Big, Basic 4X Mass Workout in Chapter 3.

Stretch overload provides another layer of mass


stimulationand a big one at that. An animal study
produced a 300 percent increase in muscle mass
after only one month of progressive-stretch overload
"workouts." (Med Sci Sports Exerc. 25:1333-45; 1993)
Now that's anabolic power! However, stretch overload is
also very traumatic, so you don't want to abuse it.

24 The 4X Mass Workout


The Positions-of-Flexion 4X Mass Workout
Workout 1: Monday and Thursday
Quads, Hamstrings, Calves, Chest, Triceps
Exercise Poundage
M: Leg presses* or Squats*, 4 x 10
S: Sissy squats, 3 x 10
C: Leg extensions, 3 x 12
M&S: Hypers (flat back), 4 x 10
C: Leg curls, 3 x 12
M: Knee-extension leg press
calf raises*, 4 x 15
S: Donkey calf raises, 3 x 12
C: Standing calf raises, 3 x 12
M: Bench presses*, 4 x 10
S: Flat-bench flyes*, 3 x 10
M: Incline presses*, 3 x 10
S: Incline flyes*, 3 x 10
C: Cable crossovers, 3 x 12
M: Lying extensions*, 4 x 10
S: Overhead extensions*, 3 x 10
C: Pushdowns, 3 x 12

* Do one light warmup set with 50 to 70 percent of the weight you will
use for your 4X or 3X sequence.

4 x 10, 3 x 10 and 3 x 12 means to do the exercise in 10x10


styleuse a weight that you can get 15 reps with, but only do 10;
rest 30 seconds, then do 10 more. Continue until you complete the
designated number of sets (3 or 4). If you get 10 reps (or 12 in a 3x12
sequence) on the last set, add weight at your next workout.

The 4X Mass Workout 25


The Positions-of-Flexion 4X Mass Workout
Workout 2: Tuesday and Friday
Back, Delts, Biceps, Abs
Exercise Poundage
M: Pulldowns*, 4 x 10
S: DB pullovers*, 3 x 10
C: Stiff-arm pulldowns, 3 x 12
M&S: Bent-over DB rows*, 4 x 10
C: Bent-arm bent-over
laterals, 3 x 12
M: Dumbbell upright rows*, 4 x 10
M: Dumbbell presses*, 3 x 10
S: Incline one-arm laterals, 3 x 10
C: Lateral raises, 3 x 12
M: Barbell curls*, 4 x 10
S: Incline curls*, 3 x 10
C: Concentration curls, 3 x 12
M: Incline kneeups, 4 x 12
S&C: Full-range crunches, 4 x 15

* Do one light warmup set with 50 to 70 percent of the weight you will
use for your 4X or 3X sequence.

4 x 10, 3 x 10 and 3 x 12 means to do the exercise in 10x10


styleuse a weight that you can get 15 reps with, but only do 10;
rest 30 seconds, then do 10 more. Continue until you complete the
designated number of sets (3 or 4). If you get 10 reps (or 12 in a 3x12
sequence) on the last set, add weight at your next workout.

26 The 4X Mass Workout


This
Positions-of-
Flexion 4X
Mass Workout
is listed as a
two-way split,
and you train Bent-arm
on Monday, bent-over
Tuesday, laterals for
midback.
Thursday
and Friday
Workout 1 on Monday and Thursday, Workout 2 on
Tuesday and Friday.

The two-way-split design is just a template, one we


have been successful with, as have many of our trainees;
however, Workout 1 can take 1 1/2 to two hours. Keep
in mind that the POF bodypart routines can easily be
extracted so that you can create your own split. Or you
could use the Basic 4X Mass Workout design in the
previous chapter and do full-range POF for each bodypart.

Workout 1: Chest, delts, triceps


Workout 2: Quads, hamstrings, calves
Workout 3: Back, biceps, abs

There's a full-range mass program with those paramters


outlined in the Q&A chapter on pages 46-48.

Note: In the listed program, M = Midrange, S = Stretch


and C = Contracted. For example, bent-arm bent-over
laterals pictured above is a C (contracted-position) exercise
for the midback.

The 4X Mass Workout 27


CHAPTER 5
The Direct/Indirect
4X Mass Workout
Now it's time for a completely different take on splitting
up your 4X workout, a variation we've found extremely
productive because of the frequency of bodypart hits
(remember, the bodybuilders of yesteryear, like Arnold and
Frank Zane, trained each bodypart three times a week).
With this innovative routine, however, you don't realize
youre indirectly training a bodypart.

What the heck are we babbling about? It's direct/


indirect work, which is why the bodypart split in the
program coming up is different from the one in the
previous chapters. You get ancillary bodypart blood flow
and stimulation during exercises for other musclesfor
example, your triceps get
stimulated for hypertrophy
during pressing exercises
on chest day.

We've found that our


muscles grow best when
they get trained directly,
say with a POF biceps
routine of undergrip
chins, incline curls and
concentration curls. But
then a few days later,
when we train back,
Bench presses hit chest but also the biceps get hit again
provided indirect work for triceps.

28 The 4X Mass Workout


indirectly with all the pulling, rows, etc. Note that by
using undergrip chins as one of the biceps moves, the
lats get indirect work on biceps day. So it's biceps with
minor back work and back with minor biceps work. That
muscle-training overlap is good for more mass in this
caseas long as you don't work a bodypart two days in
a row. That's the tricky part, but a problem we've solved
with our split. The direct/indirect connections include:

Delts: Indirect trap hit with rack pulls, overhead presses

Chest: Indirect triceps hit with pressing

Back: Indirect biceps hit with pulldowns, rows

Biceps: Indirect lat hit with undergrip pulldowns

Triceps: Indirect chest hit with close-grip bench presses

We also get indirect leg work when we do deadlifts with


backbut only when our back workout falls on Friday.
You'll see that in the split layout on page 33, coming up
after the listed program.

And like we said, the trick is to space the indirect work


a few days apart from the direct workout for a bodypart so
that the muscle has time to recover. Our split does that, so
it's a rather ingenious way to increase bodypart-training
frequency without overwork. Let's look at the workouts.

[Note: You can see our current program and how it's
evolving by visiting our X-Rep Training Blog at: http://
www.x-rep.com/xblog.htm.]

The 4X Mass Workout 29


Direct/Indirect 4X Mass Workout
Workout 1: Chest, Back, Abs
Exercise Poundage
Bench presses, 4 x 10
Wide-grip dips, 3 x 10
Crossovers, 3 x 12
Incline DB presses, 3 x 10
Incline cable flyes, 3 x 12
Pulldowns, 3 x 10
DB pullovers, 3 x 10
Undergrip cable rows
or Rope rows, 3 x 12
Machine rows, 3 x 10
Bent-arm bent-over
laterals, 3 x 12
Cable upright rows, 4 x 10
Incline kneeups, 4 x 12
Ab Bench crunches
or full-range crunches, 4 x 15

* We take only 30 to 40 seconds of rest between sets whether we're


using a 4X or 3X sequence.

30 The 4X Mass Workout


Direct/Indirect 4X Mass Workout
TUES.Workout 2: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves
Exercise Poundage
Machine hack
squats, 4 x 10
Deadlifts, 3 x 10
Sissy squats, 3 x 12
Leg extensions, 3 x 12
Hyperextensions
(flat back), 4 x 10
Leg curls, 3 x 10
Knee-extension leg press
calf raises, 4 x 12
Machine donkey, 3 x 12
Machine calf raises, 3 x 12

* We take only 30 to 40 seconds of rest between sets whether we're


using a 4X or 3X sequence.

The 4X Mass Workout 31


Direct/Indirect 4X Mass Workout
Workout 3: Delts, Triceps, Biceps, Forearms
Exercise Poundage
Rack pulls, 4 x 10
Dumbbell presses, 3 x 10
Seated forward-lean
laterals, 4 x 12
Bent-over laterals, 3 x 12
Decline close-grip
bench presses, 4 x 10
Cable pushouts, 3 x 10
Bench dips, 3 x 12
Undergrip
pulldowns, 3 x 10
Incline curls, 3 x 10
Spider curls, 3 x 12
Incline hammer curls, 3 x 10
DB wrist curls or
Rockers, 3 x 12
Reverse wrist curls 3 x 12

* We take only 30 to 40 seconds of rest between sets whether we're


using a 4X or 3X sequence.

32 The 4X Mass Workout


Our split. We still train four days a week, Monday, Tuesday,
Wednesday and Friday. You may have noticed the TUES.
designation on leg day (Workout 2, page 31). That means
we always do that workout on Tuesdays, while the other two
upper-body workouts follow in order over the other three days,
like this:

Week 1
Monday: W1 (chest, back, abs)
Tuesday: W2 (legs)
Wednesday: W3 (delts, arms)
Friday: W1 (chest, back, absinclude deadlifts)

Week 2
Monday: W3 (delts, arms)
Tuesday: W2 (legs)
Wednesday: W1 (chest, back, abs)
Friday: W3 (delts, arms)

Simple. Just alternate Week 1 and Week 2. Note that you


don't train on Thursday or the weekend.

Rep tempo: Most of our work sets have a one-up/three-


down cadence; that is, a slight emphasis on the negative
stroke.

Warmup sets. As for warmup sets, we usually do one light


one, 50 to 70 percent of our work weight, for the big midrange
exercises and stretch-position exercises. That helps better
seed the tendons for those more dangerous and/or demanding
exercises.

Speaking of exercises, here are some of the more exotic


ones in the routine you may not be familiar with...

The 4X Mass Workout 33


Ab Bench crunches Rope rows

Sissy squats

34 The 4X Mass Workout


Pushouts

Rockers

Spider curls

You do spider curls on the For rockers you curl your


vertical side of a preacher hands in and up, then lower
bench. You can train one and curl them out and up.
arm at a time or both This trains the forearm
simultaneously (barbell or flexors (underside) and
dumbbells). extensors (top), respectively.

The 4X Mass Workout 35


CHAPTER 5
4X Mass Workout Q&A
Q: You say a lot of the pros in the 60s, 70s
and 80s used the 4X method, especially before a
contest. Did they use it exactly as you describe?

A: Some used 4x10, others preferred 4x12 or 5x12.


For example, a colleague of ours trained with many pro
bodybuilders, including Danny Padilla. Here is what he
had to say about Danny's program, which Danny said he
learned from Arnold and Sergio Oliva (pictured below):

Danny would not pyramid the weight he used on his


exercises. He would use the same weight on all his sets
and do 5 sets of 12 reps. That meant the first two sets
were not-to-failure sets, but by set three he was close,

The 4x10 method


is similar to how
many of the
champs in the
60s, 70s and 80s
trained, including
Sergio Oliva, Mr.
Olympia.

36 The 4X Mass Workout


and sets four and five were a fight to get the 12 reps if at
all. Once he could get 12 reps on all five sets, he would
increase the weight at the next workout.

This was a method written about in the magazines


back in the 50s. Danny thrived on it and told me he got
it from Arnold and Sergio. He often equated the sets to
knocking off the soldiers [fast-twitch fibers] one by one
with each rep of each set.

Q: Do you think a 4x10 routine is a good place


to start for a beginner?

A: We recommend pulling back to 3x10 on every


exercise for beginners. You could start with the Basic 4X
Mass Workout on pages 19-21, which is a split routine.
If you prefer full-body workouts, use one exercise for
each major muscle and train them in this order: Quads,
hamstrings, calves, chest, lats, midback, delts (no direct
arm moves because bi's and tri's will get plenty of work
from presses, rows, etc.). Here's an example, the Break-In
Program from our Quick-Start Muscle-Building Guide:

Squats
Leg curls
Machine standing calf raises
Bench presses
Pulldowns
Undergrip pulldowns
Machine rows
Overhead presses
Dumbbell upright rows

The 4X Mass Workout 37


Pick a weight you can get about 15 reps with, then do
three sets of 10, with 30 to 40 seconds between sets
time it; don't just guess. Use a weight that allows 10 on
all three sets for the first two weeks. The third week add
weight so you don't get 10 on your third set. If you get 10
on the third set of any exercise, add weight at your next
workout. Move to four sets per exercise after six weeks.

Q: You mentioned in your


e-zine that you sometimes
superset two opposing muscles
for 4x10. Like for forearms it's
wrist curls supersetted with
reverse wrist curls, no rest.
Could you do that with other
opposing bodyparts?

A: Absolutely, as long as the


exercises don't force you to stop
your sets from cardiovascular failure as opposed to
muscular failure. For example, supersetting squats and leg
curls would wind most people, as you don't rest at all after
any of the setsit's just back and forth from squats to leg
curls for 10 reps each. That's eight consecutive setsand
more of a cardio workout.

Opposing supersets would work on biceps and triceps,


however. Those are two smaller opposing muscles
that don't require a lot of oxygen to train. Barbell curls
supersetted with lying extensions, both midrange moves,
would be a good pairing. Chest and back may work too,
depending on the exercises.

38 The 4X Mass Workout


X-Rep chinup,
bottom third of
the stroke.

Q: What about intensity methods like forced


reps and end-of-set X-Rep partials? Should I use
them on the last few sets of a 4X sequence?

A: Taking sets beyond failure often can send you into an


overtraining tailspinespecially if you're using a 4X Mass
Workout as a followup to a high-intensity training phase.
The 4X method is designed to help you fully recover by
minimizing nervous system and adrenal stress and cortisol
output with subfailure volume rather than beyond-failure
setsonly the last set of a 4X sequence is to exhaustion.

But pushing your fourth set into the pain zone with X
Reps isn't totally taboo, especially the last few weeks of a
4X training phase. That will boost intensity for new growth.
We prefer partials to full-range forced reps because X
Reps are less destructive to the nervous system.

For X Reps you push a set to positive exhaustion, then


you lower the weight to the semi-stretch point and do
10-inch partials. For example, on chins, when another full
rep is impossible, you lower to near the arm's-extended
position (left photo above), then drive up to just below
halfway (right photo), doing as many of those pulsing low-
end partials as possible to activate more growth fibers.

The 4X Mass Workout 39


Q: You say a lot of pros have used the 4X or
similar methods, but weren't they on drugs? Will
this type of training work for me if I'm drug free?

A: Back to our colleague who trained with many of the


top pros back in the day; here's what he had to say:

Ive followed the same routines off drugs and with a


few adjustments I still made good gains. Not like when
I was on drugs of course, but still measurable. And I am
not genetically gifted. Lets face it, you can make good
progress drug-free and build a very good physique, but
someone using drugs is going to progress faster, further
better. Drugs work, and they are part of the game, BUT I
also believe that the routines followed by the pros are the
same routines that drug-free bodybuilders need to follow
with some adjustments.

Jay Those adjustments


Cutler. have been made in the
programs in this e-book,
including fewer training
days a week and fewer
sets per bodypart.

The question then


becomes volume vs.
intensity. How long
should you use a total-
4X routine and how
long should you use

40 The 4X Mass Workout


programs with more all-
out sets, such as our
original X-Rep program
(outlined in our first
e-book, The Ultimate
Mass Workout)? Back to
our esteemed colleague:

Now the argument


becomes volume or
intensity. Many will
argue either way. I say
use both. I go three
weeks on volume [like
the total-4X programs
in this e-bookPOF
or Direct/Indirect] and
then three weeks on HIT-style workouts [like the original
X-Rep program]. They each provide a benefit. The guys
Ive seen make progress on HIT had been on volume then
switched and made progress, gained for a while, and then
stopped making progress. Ive been using that three-week
alternating approach for quite some time and found that it
works really well.

Q: I train in a home gym, so I don't have cable


machines and the like. Is there a 4X mass
workout you can give me for a basic-gym setup?

A: Absolutelyand don't fret about not having a lot


of fancy equipment. You can make great gains with the
basics; you just have to be creative.

The 4X Mass Workout 41


Home Gym 4X Mass Workout

Workout 1: Chest, Delts, Triceps


Bench presses, 4 x 10
Decline flyes, 3 x 12
Incline DB presses, 4 x 10
Incline flyes, 3 x 12
Dumbbell upright rows or Rack pulls, 4 x 10
Dumbbell presses, 3 x 10
Seated lateral raises, 3 x 12
Lying extensions, 4 x 10
Kickbacks, 3 x 12

Workout 2: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves


Leg extensions (warmup), 1 x 20
Squats, 4 x 10
Sissy squats, 3 x 12
Leg extensions or Old-style hack squats, 3 x 12
Hyperextensions, 4 x 12
Leg curls, 3 x 10
Donkey calf raises, 4 x 12
One-leg calf raises, 3 x 12
Seated calf raises, 4 x 12

Workout 3: Back, Biceps, Abs


Chins, 3 x 10
Undergrip chins or Undergrip rows, 3 x 10
Bent-over barbell or Dumbbell rows, 3 x10
Bent-arm bent-over laterals
or Dumbbell upright rows, 3 x 12
Dumbbell curls, 4 x 10
Concentration curls, 3 x 12
Incline kneeups, 4 x 12
Full-range crunches, 4 x 12

42 The 4X Mass Workout


Note: If you dont have a leg extension machine, do
old-style hacks, nonlock style, instead. To do those you
elevate your heels on a 2x4, squat down and grab a
barbell, holding it behind your glutes. With the bar secure,
drive up to just before a knees-locked standing position.

If you don't have a leg extension, you probably don't


have a leg curl either. In that case you can use partner
resistance, towel around the ankles. Or you can purchase
elastic bands and hook them to a sturdy upright; at the
other end rig a cuff to go around your ankles, put a flat
bench in position, and you're ready to do leg curls.

If you don't have a way to do hyperextensions, do


barbell or dumbbell stiff-legged deadlifts instead.

Q: In The X-centric Mass Workout e-book you


list heavy straight sets on the midrange exercise,
heavy straight sets on the stretch exercise and
then finish with 4x10 on the contracted-position
exercise. You say that 4x10 is a density finisher,
but now you say it's a balance of power and
density. Which is itmostly density or a balance
of power and density?

A: It depends on where it falls in your routine. For


example, in this e-book you use 4x10 on the first big
midrange exercise. That's when it's a balance of power
and density. The weight is fairly heavy and the target
muscle is fresh.

As the target muscle gets more and more fatigued,


the density quotient goes up as the power factor goes

The 4X Mass Workout 43


Arnold's
favorite
full-range
POF biceps
program.

down. So the second and third exercises in a total-4X


program are more density than power. And due to fatigue
accumulation, the last exercise is much more density
oriented than power because you're forced to use lighter
weight due to major target-muscle fatigue.

Even Arnold had to use relatively


lighter dumbbells when he got to
concentration curls at the end of one
of his favorite biceps routines: barbell
curls, incline curls and concentration
curls, as pictured above. The fatigue
accumulation from five sets of barbell
curls and five sets of incline curls
made the last exercise predominantly
densitybut it worked!

It's the same with the programs


in The X-centric Mass Workout. The
power sets at the beginning fatigue the target muscle to
the max and also the nervous system. That makes the last
exercise, the contracted-position move, in 4X style with a
fairly light weight, predominantly density.

So in a total-4X program it's really only the first exercise


on which you get a balance of power and density. After
that density gradually gets more of the emphasis.

44 The 4X Mass Workout


Q: I'm an intermediate bodybuilder, but I like the
setup of the Basic 4X Mass Workoutmidrange
and contracted exercise only for each muscle.
Can I use it but add sets, like 4x10 on every
exercise or even 5x10?

A: Everyone's recovery ability is different, so by all


means experiment with different volume levels. As we
mentioned, many of the pro bodybuilders of the past used
5x12, and they did that on three to four exercises per
bodypart. They also used rests between sets of anywhere
from 30 seconds to one minute.

True, many of them were on steroids; however, they also


trained each bodypart two or three times a weekusually
on a three-way splitand with only one day off per week.
The Basic 4X Mass Workout provides more recovery
days, so if youre a drug-free bodybuilder with excellent
recovery ability, it's conceivable that you could handle up
to 15 sets per bodypart on the Basic program.

That said, why not add the stretch-


position exercise for each bodypart to
complete the full-range POF chain?
You could do 4Xor 3X or 5Xon
every exercise. As we said, stretch
overload is very anabolic on a number
of levels, so incorporating stretch-
position exercises should get you
some exceptional new growth. Here's
how that program would look with 4X
throughout (S: designates the added
Lat stretch:
stretch-position exercises): Dumbbell pullovers

The 4X Mass Workout 45


Full-Range 4X Mass Workout
Workout 1: Chest, Delts, Triceps

Exercise Poundage

Bench presses*, 4 x 10

S: Flat-bench flyes, 4 x 10

Cable crossovers, 4 x 12

Incline presses*, 4 x 10

Dumbbell upright rows* or

Rack pulls, 4 x 10

Dumbbell presses*, 4 x 10

S: One-arm cable laterals, 4 x 10

Lateral raises, 4 x 12

Lying extensions*, 4 x 10

S: Overhead extensions, 4 x 10

Pushdowns, 4 x 12

* Do one light warmup set with 50 to 70 percent of the weight you will
use for your 4X or 3X sequence.

4 x 10 and 4 x 12 means to do the exercise in 10x10 styleuse


a weight that you can get 15 reps with, but only do 10 (or 12);
rest 30 seconds, then do 10 more. Continue until you complete
the designated number of sets. If you get 10 reps (or 12 in a 4x12
sequence) on the last set, add weight at your next workout.

46 The 4X Mass Workout


Full-Range 4X Mass Workout
Workout 2: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves

Exercise Poundage

Leg presses*

or Squats*, 4 x 10

S: Sissy squats, 4 x 12

Leg extensions, 4 x 12

Hyperextensions

(flat back), 4 x 10

Leg curls, 4 x 10

Knee-extension

leg press calf

raises*, 4 x 15

S: Donkey calf raises, 4 x 12

Standing calf raises, 4 x 12

* Do one light warmup set with 50 to 70 percent of the weight you will
use for your 4X or 3X sequence.

4 x 10 and 4 x 12 means to do the exercise in 10x10 styleuse


a weight that you can get 15 reps with, but only do 10 (or 12);
rest 30 seconds, then do 10 more. Continue until you complete
the designated number of sets. If you get 10 reps (or 12 in a 4x12
sequence) on the last set, add weight at your next workout.

The 4X Mass Workout 47


Full-Range 4X Mass Workout
Workout 3: Back, Biceps, Abs

Exercise Poundage

Pulldowns*, 4 x 10

S: Pullovers*, 4 x 10

Stiff-arm pulldowns, 4 x 12

Bent-over rows*, 4 x 10

Bent-arm bent-over

laterals, 4 x 12

Barbell or dumbbell curls*,

4 x 10

S: Incline curls, 4 x 10

Concentration curls

or Spider curls, 4 x 12

Incline kneeups, 4 x 12

Full-range crunches, 4 x 15

* Do one light warmup set with 50 to 70 percent of the weight you will
use for your 4X or 3X sequence.

4 x 10 and 4 x 12 means to do the exercise in 10x10 styleuse


a weight that you can get 15 reps with, but only do 10 (or 12);
rest 30 seconds, then do 10 more. Continue until you complete
the designated number of sets. If you get 10 reps (or 12 in a 4x12
sequence) on the last set, add weight at your next workout.

48 The 4X Mass Workout


Q: I need some heavy lower-rep work or I don't
feel like I'm building muscle. Can I work heavy
sets into the 4X Mass Workout somehow?

A: One way is to do the first exercise, the big midrange


move, as a heavy pyramid, adding weight to every set
with two to three minutes between setsfor example
3 x 8, 6, 4. Then do the stretch- and contracted-position
exercises as 4x10 or 4x12.

Or you can do heavy training at every other workout. For


example, the POF 4X triceps workout on page 46 is:

Lying extensions, 4 x 10
Overhead extensions, 4 x 10
Pushdowns, 4 x 12

The next time you train triceps, make it a heavy power


day instead ("pyramid" means add weight on each set):

Lying extensions, 3 x 8, 6, 4 (pyramid)


Overhead extensions, 2 x 7-9
Pushdowns, 2 x 7-9

With 4X you rest 30 to 40 seconds between sets. On the


power workout you rest about two minutes between sets.
Also, on power day you need a few lighter warmup sets
before your work sets.

Power and density at separate workouts, as in the


10x10 e-book's heavy/light program or power/density
fusion with 4X training, as shown in this e-book. No matter

The 4X Mass Workout 49


how you slice it, using both power and density will build
your muscle immensity so you fill out your T-shirts with
vascularity-streaked mass fast.

Note: Subscribe to our free training e-zine at


www.X-Rep.com (upper left). It's muscle-building motivation
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50 The 4X Mass Workout


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Workout, Jonathan Lawsons legendary two-
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duplicate his incredible gains.

The 4X Mass Workout 51