Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 47

X-traordinaryWorkouts.

com Presents

The Ultimate

POWER-DENSlTY
MASS

WORKOUT

Featuring the HEAVY+4X Method


by Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson

The Ultimate Power-Density 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 2009 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 Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

Contents
Introduction............................................................4

Chapter 1Force + Density for


Muscle Immensity.............................6

Chapter 2The 3-Way Mass Effect...................16

Chapter 3The Ultimate Power-Density


Mass Workout..................................20

Chapter 4Our X-Rep Power-Density


Mass Workout..................................30

Chapter 5Power-Density Q&A (includes


the Home Gym Power-Density
Workout)...........................................34

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

lntroduction
It all started when, after more than 40 years of cumulative
training between us, we got a sudden size surge of eight
pounds of new muscle in six weeks. We were somewhat
stunned, as that's unheard of for drug-free advanced
bodybuildersand even more unheard of for the two of us
who have different muscle-building requirements.
Steve is more of the slim ectomorphic type, while
Jonathan is more of a mesomorphsmall joints with full
muscle bellies, so
he looks more like a
competitive bodybuilder.
Steve responds more to
higher-rep, enduranceoriented work, while
Jonathan grows best
with heavier straight-set
workouts...
Yet we both got
Jonathan L.
pounds of muscle
using the exact same program, a
lighter-weight 10x10 routinebut that's not the only reason.
The other anabolic trigger was our shift in hypertrophic
emphasis and less heavy stress. Let us explain...
Steve H.

You see, before shifting to a 10x10-based program, we


had been using heavy Positions of Flexion, with straight
sets on the big midrange-positions exerciseslike incline
pressesas well as stretch- and contracted-position
moves, for every bodypart (more on that in Chapter 2).
That emphasizes maximum force output from every target
muscle. Then we made a radical change...
4

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

We shifted to 10x10, which is taking a weight that allows


20 reps, but only doing 10, resting 30 seconds, then doing
10 more and so on until you complete 10 sets in about 10
minutes. We had shifted to tension emphasis with more
workout density, or more work in less time.
That size-building shift allowed our bodies to
supercompensate from the previous all-heavy max-force
training we were doing previously. Plus, it expanded our
intramuscular endurance components andbam!we found
ourselves with eight new pounds of muscle from 10x10.
But our gains soon stagnated. We even noticed some
mass regression. Once we saw our results grinding to
a haltand it took us a while to come to grips with that
because 10x10 was still producing an outrageous pump
and burnwe figured out a way to morph it into something
with new edges and extreme mass-building power. We are
already adding new mass with itand that's happening
during our low-calorie ripping phase. Amazing!
It's basically a combination of heavy training with a quick
pump-inducing chaser, and it works! If you want to grow
like never before, the Power-Density Mass Workout is your
next rocket to BIG results.
Ready? Let's get growing!
Steve Holman and
Jonathan Lawson
www.X-Rep.com

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

CHAPTER 1
Force + Density for
Muscle Immensity
Startling mass gains can happen when you merge maxforce and tension-density at every workout because you
train both components of the key high-growth muscle
fibers. It's pure size-building firepowermax-force plus
endurance-component expansionthat can take your
muscle size to freakish levels when used for focused fourto-six-week phases.
It's in the programs
of some of the biggest
bodybuilders today
and many of the most
massive from yesteryear.
In fact, one of the most
impressive and iconic
bodybuilders of all time
used a form of it to
create one of the most
incredible physiques in
bodybuilding history...
If you read up on how
Arnold trained his big
compound exercises
during mass-building
phases, you'd see that
he was a proponent of

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

the forceplus-density
principle. He
would begin
by pyramiding,
or adding
weight, over
about five sets,
with the last
two or three
being heavy
One of Arnold's favorite workout-density techniques
all-out efforts;
was what he called strip sets, a.k.a. drop sets. He
then he would
would load smaller plates on a barbell so that when he
reduce the
reached exhaustion, he could strip off a plate or two
and continue repping. More intense work in less time.
weight for two
quick higher-rep
burnout sets. For example, on bench presses his reps
would go 15, 12, 10, 9, 7, 6. Then he would reduce the
weight and do one or two sets of 15 to 20 reps.
He got total max-force stimulation from the heavy sets
and tension/occlusion from the last two burnout sets.
That's the combo-to-grow method.
We've refined that to what we call Heavy+4x, and weve
found it to be one of the most effective mass builders
out there when used for short bursts. The reason is that
it triggers maximum force but also stacks it with loads of
workout density for extended tension...
What the heck is workout density? While researching
the 10x10 method, we discovered that Vince Gironda,
famous Hollywood trainer known as the Iron Guru, used
The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

that method on his clients for a few months at a time


to get exceptionally fast resultseven the Mr. Olympia
competitors he trained used it to build mass fast, with
etched-in detail. Vince said it worked so quickly because
of condensing more work into a given time frame...
Vince liked to start a trainee using about 60 seconds
between sets, gradually reducing that rest to 30 or even
20 seconds. He coined that size-building compression
concept workout density10x10 totally thrashes a
muscle in about 10 minutes. Talk about efficiency of effort!
We found ourselves
nodding in agreement
with Vince because
weve noted that we
always gain more
muscle and lose
loads of ugly fat every
spring when we begin
incorporating drop
sets and double-drop
sets. Those are prime
examples of ramping
up workout density...
A drop set is basically taking a weight to exhaustion,
reducing the weight and immediately doing another set
to exhaustion. Two back-to-back sets with a blowtorchburn effect. Drops are best on single-joint, or isolation,
moves, like cable crossovers for chest or leg extensions
for quads.

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

A double-drop is simply tacking on another set


immediately after the secondthree progressively lighter
sets in a row instead of just two. The double-drop is an
unbeatable almost unbearable way to up your workout
density, not to mention your growth hormone output.
(Arnold used that technique as well, calling it strip sets.)
Another way to ramp up workout density is with
supersets and tri-sets. Doing two or three exercises back
to back shocks the muscle from different angles. For
example, doing a set of decline presses for chest, then
following it immediately with a set of cable crossups (as
pictured below). That's somewhat different than a drop,
which is performed on the same exercise, same angle.
So are supersets and tri-sets better than drops and
double-drops? And what
about 10x10is that a
better density method than
all of the above? No, they
are all unique, which is why
we incorporate most of
those tactics into the PowerDensity Mass Workouts
Supersetting, such as moving
from decline presses to cable
crossups for chest, is an
example of workout density;
however, supersets are difficult
in crowded gyms. That makes
drop sets and double-drop sets
better alternatives.

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

(we don't include supersets and tri-sets in the first two


programs, as those are difficult to implement in a crowded
gym; in that case drops are best). Before we get to the
actual program, we need to lay out the key combo-togrow mass method you will use on the big midrange
exercises, like bench presses. Here's the drill...
1) Do two progressively heavier warmup sets; three if
you think you need it. Add some weight to each.
2) Now you attack two heavy sets to exhaustion, adding
weight to each of these sets as well. Your reps should be
nine and then seven, with 2 1/2 minutes between sets.
That allows you to generate maximum forceit's standard
heavy pyramid training.
3) After that you reduce to a lighter poundage, one you
could do for about 15 reps, and you do four sets of 10
reps with 30 seconds of rest between sets, a quick fiveminute burnout blast in 10x10 style, but with four sets...
Notice that you're getting max-force production on
the first heavy sets; then you follow up with tension and
workout density on the 4x10 sequence. Its a doublebarrelled mass-building effect targeting the important
compound, or midrange, exercise, which activates the key
fibers most conducive to growth.
Which fibers are those? New research suggests it is
not the 2B power fibers, as previously believed. It's the
fast-twitch 2As, which have both power and endurance
properties. A study reported on by Jerry Brainum

10

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

compared high-level bodybuilders with average college


students, which resulted in a startling discovery:
The study examined
single muscle fibers. Since
the type 2B fibers are the
muscle fibers most likely to
grow, it stands to reason
that the bodybuilders in
the study would have an
abundance of such fibers, or
at least more of them than
the other kinds of muscle
fibers. The reality was
that they showed a higher
portion of types 1 and 2A fibers, with a complete absence
of type 2Bs. [Eur J Appl Physiol. 103(5):579-83. 2008.]
The bodybuilders had almost no 2B fibers! Therefore,
optimal training for bodybuilders interested in size should
emphasize the 2A power + endurance fibersand thats
precisely what Heavy+4x training does.
In fact, you can make excellent gains using it on only
the Ultimate Exercise for each bodypart, with some minor
adjustments. Let's look at The Basic Power-Density Mass
Workout for those with limited time and/or recovery ability.
It will get just about any trainee growing at a rapid clip
thanks to the double-mass-building effect. (Note: We'll
have a more extensive version in Chapter 4).

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

11

The Basic Power-Density Mass Workout


Workout 1: Chest, Delts, Triceps, Abs
Exercise

Poundage

Decline presses
or Wide-grip dips
3 x 9, 7, 5-6
4 x 10
Dumbbell presses
3 x 9, 7, 5-6
Dumbbell upright rows 4 x 10
Decline extensions
2 x 9, 7
4 x 10
Incline kneeups 3 x 12, 10, 8
4 x 10
Warmup sets are not listed. Do two progressively heavier sets before
your power-pyramid sets. Use 50 and 75 percent of your first work-set
weight for 12 and 8 reps, respectively.
Rest about 2 1/2 minutes between power-pyramid sets; rest 30 to 45
seconds between and after 4x density sets.
Rep speed should be about 1.5 seconds up and 1.5 seconds down.
Weight stays the same for all 4x density sets; when you get the rep
number for all four sets, add weight at your next workout.

12

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

The Basic Power-Density Mass Workout


Workout 2: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves
Exercise

Poundage

Machine hack squats


or Leg presses
or Squats 3 x 12, 10, 8
Squats 4 x 10
Hyperextensions (flat back)
3 x 12, 10, 8
Hyperextensions (flat back)
or Stiff-legged deadlifts
4 x 10
Knee-extension leg press
calf raises
or Donkey calf raises 3 x 15, 12, 10
Machine calf raises 4 x 15
Warmup sets are not listed. Do two progressively heavier sets before
your power-pyramid sets. Use 50 and 75 percent of your first work-set
weight for 12 and 8 reps, respectively.
Rest about 2 1/2 minutes between power-pyramid sets; rest 30 to 45
seconds between and after 4x density sets.
Rep speed should be about 1.5 seconds up and 1.5 seconds down.
Weight stays the same for all 4x density sets; when you get the rep
number for all four sets, add weight at your next workout.

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

13

The Basic Power-Density Mass Workout


Workout 3: Lats, Midback, Biceps
Exercise

Poundage

V-handle pulldowns
3 x 9, 7, 5-6
4 x 10
Chest-supported
dumbbell rows
or Bent-over rows
3 x 9, 7, 5-6
4 x 10
Barbell or Dumbbell curls
2 x 9, 7
4 x 10

Warmup sets are not listed. Do two progressively heavier sets before
your power-pyramid sets. Use 50 and 75 percent of your first work-set
weight for 12 and 8 reps, respectively.
Rest about 2 1/2 minutes between power-pyramid sets; rest 30 to 45
seconds between and after 4x density sets.
Rep speed should be about 1.5 seconds up and 1.5 seconds down.
Weight stays the same for all 4x density sets; when you get the rep
number for all four sets, add weight at your next workout.

14

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

Basic Power-Density Mass Workout Reminders


1) Here's the ideal split for most trainees:
Week 1
Monday: Chest, Delts, Triceps, Abs
Tuesday: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Lats, Midback, Biceps
Friday: Chest, Delts, Triceps, Abs
Week 2
Monday: Lats, Midback, Biceps
Tuesday: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Chest, Delts, Triceps, Abs
Friday: Lats, Midback, Biceps
Repeat Week 1, etc.
Notice that legs get one workout per week, on Tuesday;
the upper-body workouts rotate over three days, Monday,
Thursday and Friday.
2) A good rep speed is 1 1/2 seconds up and
1 1/2 seconds down; always keep your form strictno
heaving or jerking the weights.
3) Rest 2 1/2 minutes between power-pyramid sets; rest
30 to 45 seconds between 4x density setsor as long as it
takes your partner to finish his or her set.
4) After six weeks on the Basic Power-Density Mass
Workout, back off the intensityuse the same workouts
with the same weights but stop all pyramid sets two reps
short of failure, and on 4x10, do 4x7. After that lowerintensity week 7, you can go back to the intense version or
move to another program.

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

15

CHAPTER 2
The 3-Way Mass Effect
You just saw a basic program using the Heavy+4x
method on key exercises. But what if you have more time
and/or are more advanced, looking for the biggest mass
boost possible? Enter Positions of Flexion...
POF is a mass-building protocol based on full-range
muscle stimulation, with its primary get-bigger trigger
being maximum force...
Max-force production via muscle team work with
the midrange-position exercise (heavy compound
movements, such as pulldowns, pictured below left).
Stretch overload, which has a significant max-force
componentplus, stretch overload has been linked to
hyperplasia, or fiber splitting (example: pullovers).
Tension/occlusion, or blood-flow blockage, which
has been shown to significantly increase size and
strength via endurance-component expansion, like
capillary beds (example: stiff-arm pulldowns).

16

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

All of those are critical components of developing any


muscle quickly and completely; however, max force is most
important; therefore the compound exercises, which hit
the majority of muscle fibers, get heavy work up front. But
stretch is something very special as well. In fact, an animal
study increased muscle mass by 300 percentthats
tripling a muscles sizein one month using only stretch
overload as the hypertrophic stimulus. Obviously, stretch
overload can amplify mass effects quickly.
So for maximum size effects, you should use all of
the above. And if you train intensely in each of those
positions, you ramp up key anabolic hormones...
Midrange exercises, like squats, presses, etc.,
trigger testosterone release.
Stretch exercises have been shown as one of the
only ways to produce anabolic hormone release within
muscle tissue.
Contracted exercises block blood flow for muscle
burn, which stimulates growth hormone release.
POF works! In fact,
it packed 20 pounds
of muscle onto
Jonathans frame in
only 10 weeks when he
first tried it early in his
training career. [For that
complete program, see
3D Muscle Building.]
The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

17

How about another example. Here's a 3-way POF


program for triceps...

Midrange.

Stretch.

Contracted.

Decline close-grip bench presses for midrange work.


Overhead extensions for stretch overload.
Pushdowns for tension/occlusion.
POF is efficient and effective. Jonathan's quick 20pound gain, as well as the fast results of countless others
who have used POF, show you the anabolic power of
max-force combined with full-range stimulation; however,
once your muscles gets used to that size stimulus, you
have to make a radical change to trigger new gains.
As we mentioned in the Intro, we got that when we
shifted to 10x10, which is taking a lighter weight that
would allow 20 reps, but you only do 10, rest 30 seconds,
then do 10 more, and so on until you complete 10 sets.
You completely blast the muscle in about 10 minutes...
When we moved to 10x10, we shifted to more of an
endurance-component focusshorter rests, lighter
18

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

weightsrather than max force. Sure, the last sets in a


10x10 sequence feel extremely heavy, but they arent. The
heavy illusion is due to fatigue accumulation. Therefore
10x10 requires less force output. That can be excellent for
hypertrophy every so often, as we experienced, but what if
you use both at oncea combined and balanced attack?
You would quickly build every facet of the muscle and get
bigger faster!
The program in the previous chapter contains only the
big ultimate exercise for each bodypart in the Heavy+4x
style, which can create good mass gains. But why settle
for good when you can go for spectacular by amplifying
every facet of growth?
To get at every contributing layer of mass, add stretch
and contracted-position exercises (POF). Here's how the
Ultimate Heavy+4x POF triceps program looks:
Midrange: Close-grip bench presses, 2 x 9, 7
Midrange: Close-grip bench
presses (10x10 style), 4 x 10
Stretch: Overhead extensions, 2 x 7-9
Contracted: Pushdowns (double drop), 1 x 10(7)(5)
A four-to-six-week phase of that combo-to-grow training
for every muscle will have your mass skyrocketing big
time. Plus, you'll add streaking vascularity and freaky
muscle detail, with full-blown pumps at every workout.
So let's lay out the entire program. It's time to get you on
the big-gain bullet train...

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

19

CHAPTER 3
The Ultimate
Power-Density
Mass Workout
You've got the basic principles of The Ultimate PowerDensity Mass Workout rolling around in your head, so now
it's time to outline a complete program that you can print
out and take to the gym. Before we get to that, however,
we need to clarify two important spark plugs in your massbuilding machine: the training split and repetition cadence.
Because each bodypart routine is severe, with a doublebarrelled mass attackmax force plus tension/density

20

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

once-a-week training for each bodypart should be ideal


for most trainees, especially if you're drug-free.
In the past we've discussed how training each bodypart
only once a week is only moderately successful for
many because seven days between bodypart hits is too
longthe muscle tends to recover after about four days,
achieve some growth and then regress. That leaves you
back at square one before you work it again. It's a classic
example of spinning your wheels, and it's a big reason
for the sluggish, sporadic gains many bodybuilders
experiencethey don't train intense enough to require
that much recovery time.
With this program, however, youre blasting each muscle
through its full range with Positions of Flexionplus,
youre using more volume (sets) in less time (density) on
top of heavy max-force sets. That multi-level trauma is
going to require seven days for complete recovery.
Plus, to complement recovery, we've structured the
training split so that there is indirect lighter work for each
muscle at another workout during the week, usually with
a 4x10 exercise that indirectly trains a resting bodypart.
That increased blood flow will enhance recovery from the
direct work earlier in the week, promoting growth...
For example, you train back on Monday and shoulders
on Friday. On Monday you do upright rows for traps
with the 4x10 method. That exercise indirectly works
shoulders, so your delts get blood flow on Monday to
boost recovery for Friday's all-out direct shoulder assault.

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

21

Here's the training split with the indirect effect indicated:


Monday
Back (indirect legs, biceps), Forearms (indirect biceps)
Tuesday
Chest (indirect triceps), Calves (indirect soleus), Abs
Thursday
Quads, Hamstrings
Friday
Delts (indirect traps), Triceps (indirect chest),
Biceps (indirect lats), Soleus (indirect calves)

Now for a few comments on ideal rep speed for maxmass gains. A new study just released compared doing
sets with a two-to-three-second positive and a two-tothree-second negativeabout three up, three downwith
sets using a power cadence,
which is one second up and
three seconds down. The power
cadence produced the most
mass in this study. [Int J Sports
Med. 30(3):200-204; 2009.]
Why would doing powertype sets build muscle more
efficiently? Muscle biopsies
suggest that it causes more
damage to more muscle fibers
than traditional reps, leading
22

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

to a greater degree of protein remodeling in the trained


muscle. In other words, the slow lowering caused more
muscle damage. But waitthe three-up, three-down group
lowered just as slowly, so what gives?
Our take is that the slow lowering produced equal muscle
damage in both groups, but the power-training group
used an explosive turnaround for the one-second positive
compared to the slower tempo of the other group. That
explosive jolt right at the semistretch point of the target
muscle activates significantly more fast-twitch muscle
fibers, as we explain in The Ultimate Mass Workout, the
original X-Rep manual, and many of our other e-books.
That's one reason end-of-set X-Rep partials are so
effective. At full-range exhaustion you lower the bar to the
semistretch point and fire out 10-inch controlled explosive
partial reps, such as near the bottom of an incline press or
chinup. You force the muscle to continue firing, activating
the myotatic reflex and getting more dormant fast-twitch
fibers into the action. In the above study, the controlled
explosion occurs on every rep of a power set.
So should you use the one-up, three down cadence
on every exercise for maximum mass gains? No. For one
thing, some exercises are more dangerous than others, and
that explosive turnaround could cause injurysuch as on
overhead extensions, a stretch-position exercise for triceps
that puts that elbows in a precarious position at the bottom
of the stroke.
Also keep in mind that coach Charles Poliquin has

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

23

said that the most underused mass-building technique is


varying rep tempo. In other words, different rep speeds can
have different mass-building effects, perhaps innervating
unique muscle-fiber bundles. You get that in this program...
The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout program
that follows has a suggested repetition tempo on each
exercise. For example, 3/X/1/0 means three seconds
down (negative), controlled explosion (X) at the semistretch
position, one second up (positive) and zero rest at the top
of the stroke. That's the classic power-training cadence
used in the study. [Note: Do not slam into the lockout
position on presses or squats or the arm's-extended
position on chins and pulldowns. Stop just before lockout
on those big midrange exercises to avoid joint damage.]
The other preferred cadence is 2/0/2/0. That means two
seconds on the negative, no pause at the semistretch
point, two seconds on the positive and zero rest at the
top of the stroke. That tempo is safer for stretch-position
exercises on which the target muscle is fully elongated
and is in a precarious position. You don't want to explode
at that extreme-stretch point for obvious reasons. A more
controlled turnaround is safer.
Okay, let's look at that program that will take your
physique to the next level of jaw-dropping mass
development...
Note: If you see an exercise you are not familiar with, you
may be able to find a description and start/finish photos at:
http://x-rep.com/xecution.htm.

24

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout


Monday: Back, Forearms
Exercise

Poundage

Deadlifts* (2/0/2/0), 2 x 9, 7
Chins* (3/X/1/0), 2 x 9, 7
Pulldowns (3/X/1/0), 4 x 10
Pullovers* (2/0/2/0), 2 x 7-9
Stiff-arm pulldowns (DD)
(3/X/1/0), 1 x 10(7)(5)
Bent-over dumbbell rows*
(3/X/1/0), 2 x 9, 7
Barbell upright rows
(3/X/1/0), 4 x 10
Reverse curls* (3/X/1/0), 2 x 9, 7
Reverse wrist curls (2/0/2/0), 4 x 12
Wrist curls (2/0/2/0), 4 x 12
* Do two to three progressively heavier warmup sets, 50 and 75
percent of your first work set for 12 and 8 reps. Then continue to
pyramid the weight on the listed work sets (add weight to lower reps).
4 x 10 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 four sets of 10 reps. If you get 10 reps on
all four sets, add weight at your next workout.
DD means double drop. Take a weight that allows 10 reps; reduce the
weight enough so you can immediately do 7 reps; reduce the weight
again and reach failure at 4 or 5 reps.

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

25

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout


Tuesday: Chest, Calves, Abs
Exercise

Poundage

Bench presses* (3/X/1/0),


2 x 9, 7; 4 x 10
Incline flyes* (2/0/2/0), 2 x 7-9
Cable crossovers (DD),
(3/X/1/0), 1 x 10(7)(5)
Leg press calf raises*
(3/X/1/0), 3 x 15, 12, 10
Standing calf raises (10x10 style)
(3/X/1/0), 6 x 12
Incline kneeups* (3/X/1/0),
2 x 10-14; 4 x 10
Full-range crunches, (2/0/2/0), 2 x 10-15
Rope cable crunches (DD)
(2/0/2/0), 1 x 12(9)(6)
* Do two to three progressively heavier warmup sets, 50 and 75
percent of your first work set for 12 and 8 reps. Then continue to
pyramid the weight on the listed work sets (add weight to lower reps).
4 x 10 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 four sets of 10 reps. If you get 10 reps on
all four sets, add weight at your next workout.
DD means double drop. Take a weight that allows 10 reps; reduce the
weight enough so you can immediately do 7 reps; reduce the weight
again and reach failure at 4 or 5 reps.

26

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout


Thursday: Quads, Hamstrings
Exercise

Poundage

Leg presses* (2/0/2/0), 2 x 9, 7


Squats* (3/X/1/0), 4 x 10
Sissy squats* (2/0/2/0), 2 x 7-9
Leg extensions (DD),
(2/0/2/0), 1 x 10(7)(5)
Stiff-legged deadlifts*
(2/0/2/0), 2 x 10, 8
Hyperextensions (flat back)
(3/X/1/0), 4 x 10
Leg curls (DD)
(2/0/2/0), 1 x 10(7)(5)
* Do two to three progressively heavier warmup sets, 50 and 75
percent of your first work set for 12 and 8 reps. Then continue to
pyramid the weight on the listed work sets (add weight to lower reps).
4 x 10 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 four sets of 10 reps. If you get 10 reps on
all four sets, add weight at your next workout.
DD means double drop. Take a weight that allows 10 reps; reduce the
weight enough so you can immediately do 7 reps; reduce the weight
again and reach failure at 4 or 5 reps.

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

27

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout


Friday: Delts, Triceps, Biceps, Soleus
Exercise
Poundage
Dumbbell presses* (3/X/1/0), 2 x 9, 7
Dumbbell upright rows
(3/X/1/0), 4 x 10
Incline one-arm lateral raises*
(2/0/2/0), 2 x 7-9
Lateral raises (DD),
(2/0/2/0), 1 x 10(7)(5)
Close-grip bench presses*
(3/X/1/0), 2 x 9, 7; 4 x 10
Overhead extensions
(2/0/2/0), 2 x 8-10
Pushdowns (DD), (2/0/2/0), 1 x 10(7)(5)
Barbell curls* (3/X/1/0), 2 x 9, 7
Undergrip pulldowns (2/0/2/0), 4 x 10
Incline curls (2/0/2/0), 2 x 8-10
Concentration curls (DD)
(2/0/2/0), 1 x 10(7)(5)
Seated calf raises (3/X/1/0), 1 x 10; 4 x 12
* Do two to three progressively heavier warmup sets, 50 and 75
percent of your first work set for 12 and 8 reps. Then continue to
pyramid the weight on the listed work sets (add weight to lower reps).
4 x 10 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 four sets of 10 reps. If you get 10 reps on
all four sets, add weight at your next workout.
DD means double drop. Take a weight that allows 10 reps; reduce the
weight enough so you can immediately do 7 reps; reduce the weight
again and reach failure at 4 or 5 reps.

28

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout


Reminders
1) Warmup sets are very important; they are part of the
pyramid progression on the big midrange exercises and add
to the cumulative max-force size-building effect. Focus on
feeling the muscle and use the same rep cadence indicated
for the work sets. Two progressively heavier warmup sets
should be sufficient for most compound exercises, 50 and 75
percent of your first work-set weight; however, on some
exercises, like deadlifts, you may feel more comfortable
with three warmup sets50, 70 and 85 percent of your first
work-set weight.
2) Pay attention and follow the rep cadence, or tempo,
listed for each exercise. Explosive turnarounds are only
included on the safer exercises; 3/X/0/1 means three
seconds down, explosive turnaround, one second on
the positive and 0 rest at the top of the stroke. For lesssafe exercises, or those that require more focus, like
concentration curls, a 2/0/2/0 cadence is suggested; that's
two seconds down (negative), 0 rest at the bottom, two
seconds up (positive) and 0 rest at the top of the stroke.
When in doubt, use a 2/0/2/0 cadence.
3) Rest 2 1/2 minutes between all work sets except 10x10
style sequences. On those you rest only 30 seconds. Also,
remember that there is zero rest between sets on double
dropsrest only long enough to change the weight.
4) Stay on this program for four to six weeks, then
move on to something less extensive, with the first week
being medium intensityno sets to exhaustion. There is a
recommended workout sequence you can follow at the end
of the Q&A chapter.

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

29

CHAPTER 4
Our X-Rep PowerDensity Mass Workout
As we mentioned in the Intro, we have different body
types, which means we each require a different training
emphasis for optimal mass gains. Jonathan thrives on
more max force, while Steve gets more size stimulation
from longer tension times and workout-density tactics...
That's not to say that we don't benefit from the other's
optimal mass-building style; however, we've discovered
that for best gains, Jonathan should major in heavy maxforce sets and minor in tension/occlusion; Steve, on the
other hand, should major in tension/occlusion and minor
in max force. What's interesting is that we both have been
making spectacular gains with our version of the PowerDensity Mass Workout that's listed in this chapter. Why?
It's a balanced attack that's good for both of us.

Steve (left) and Jonathan compare results.

30

Moving from a few


max-force sets to
tension/density and
then back and forth
again has us both
growing from this
amazing multifaceted
program. We're as
excited about this as
when we discovered
and implemented the

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

X-Rep technique in 2004.


In our program you will
see more exercises than in
the workout in Chapter 3.
One reason is that while we
follow the basic structure of
Power-Density, we generally
prefer to do two different
big exercises up front, one
for the first power-pyramid
sequence and one for the
4x10 density sequence,
instead of one exercise for
both.

We often
use two
different
midrange
exercises,
one for
the power
pyramid
and one for
the 4x10.

For example, instead


of starting our shoulder
workout with a pyramid on
a pressing exercise and
then following with the 4x10
sequence on that same
exercise, we will follow the
pyramid on a press with
4x10 on dumbbell upright
rows.
As we've said a number of times, variation is good
for size stimulation; plus, it's another way to keep our
interest high and perhaps involve more muscle fibers via a
slightly different angle of pull on the target muscle. That's
especially true on the above example, as presses and
upright rows are two very different compound exercises

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

31

for shoulders. It may not be quite so true on, say, leg


presses and hack squats or barbell curls and dumbbell
curls. Nevertheless, we're convinced that every little
change helps promote gains.
You'll also see a number of supersets and tri-sets.
Keep in mind that we train alone in a well-equipped
gym. There is no one else training around us. That
means we have the run of the place and the luxury
of setting up a piece of equipment that we can use
immediately after a particular exercise and no one will
get in our way. For example, a favorite density lat blast
is to go from undergrip pulldowns to dumbbell pullovers
to rope rows in a tri-set.
If you train in a crowded commercial gym, that will
be impossible. If you still want to follow our program,
simply use drop sets and/or double-drop sets on
a single exercise instead of supersetting multiple
exercises. In the above example you could do a double
drop on the undergrip
Cable
movements,
pulldowns, rest, then do
like rope
a drop on the pullovers.
rows, make
Eliminate the rope rows,
drop sets
as they are similar to the
quick. Just
move the
undergrips. Keep it simple,
pin up the
functional and doable, and
weight
you'll succeed in packing on stack.
new mass.
We haven't included repetition
tempo, as we tend to vary
that. We know from experience
32

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

Incline
one-arm
laterals,
medialhead
stretchposition
exercise.

which exercises are more apt to cause an injury with an


explosive turnaround, so we keep the rep speed slower
on those. On most exercises, however, our rep speed can
go from one up, three down to two up, five down.
We often like to give the negative, or eccentric, stroke
more emphasis, as that's what causes the most muscle
trauma. Muscle damage can remodel muscle tissue for
faster size increases, plus, it helps burn fat during the
recovery processyour metabolism kicks into a higher
gear to repair the damage over a number of days, and that
can torch more bodyfat 24/7. [For more on that, see The
Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout.]
You'll see (X Reps) after many exercises. That just
means we use end-of-set X-Rep partials, explained on
page 19, or an X-hybrid technique on the last set.
Okay, without further ado, here's our current PowerDensity mass workout that's manufacturing some
spectacular mass gains for us at the moment...
[Note: To see how our program is evolving, visit our
Training Blog at http://www.x-rep.com/xblog.htm.]
The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

33

X-Rep Power-Density Mass Workout


Monday: Chest, Calves, Abs
Exercise

Poundage

Smith-machine low-incline
presses (X Reps), 2 x 10, 8
Bench presses, 4 x 10
Tri-set
Wide-grip dips (X Reps), 1 x 8-10
High cable flyes (drop), 1 x 10(6)
Superset
Wide-grip dips (X Reps), 1 x 8-10
Low cable flyes (X Reps), 1 x 8-10
Leg press calf raises (X Reps), 2 x 12-15
Standing calf raises, 5 x 15
Machine donkey calf raises
(double drop), 1 x 12(8)(5)
Hanging kneeups, 1 x 15
Incline kneeups, 4 x 10
Tri-set
Ab Bench crunches (X Reps), 1 x 9-12
Full-range twisting crunches, 1 x 9-12
End-of-bench kneeups (X Reps), 1 x 9-12

34

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

X-Rep Power-Density Mass Workout


Tuesday: Back, Forearms
Exercise
Poundage
Parallel-grip chins (X Reps), 2 x 10, 8
Parallel-grip pulldowns, 4 x 10
Tri-set
Undergrip pulldowns, 1 x 8-10
Dumbbell pullovers, 1 x 8-10
Rope rows (X Reps), 1 x 8-10
Bent-over dumbbell
rows (X Reps), 3 x 8-10
Tri-set
Behind-the-neck
pulldowns (X Reps), 1 x 8-10
Bent-arm bent-over
laterals (drop), 1 x 10(6)
Shrugs (X Reps), 2 x 12, 9
Barbell upright rows, 4 x 10
Dumbbell reverse curls, 2 x 12, 9
Superset
Dumbbell reverse wrist curls (X Reps), 1 x 12
Forearm Bar reverse wrist curls, 1 x 8-10
Dumbbell reverse wrist curls, 4 x 15
Superset
Dumbbell wrist curls (X Reps), 1 x 12
Forearm Bar wrist curls, 1 x 8-10
Barbell or dumbbell wrist curls, 4 x 15
Dumbbell rockers, 1 x 15-20

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

35

X-Rep Power-Density Mass Workout


Wednesday: Quads, Hamstrings
Exercise
Leg extensions (warmup), 1 x 18-20
Machine hack squats, 3 x 12, 10, 8
Old-style hack squats, 4 x 10
Tri-set
Leg extensions (drop), 1 x 10(6)
Sissy squats (X Reps), 1 x 8-10
Leg extensions, 1 x 10-12
Hyperextensions (X Reps), 2 x 10-12
Hyperextensions, 4 x 10
Leg curls (double drop), 1 x 10(7)(4)
Leg curls, 1 x 8-10

36

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

Poundage

Heavy/Light Ultimate 10x10 Mass Workout


Friday: Delts, Triceps, Biceps, Soleus
Exercise
Poundage
Dumbbell presses (X Reps), 2 x 8-10
Seated lateral raises, 2 x 8-10
Tri-set
Incline one-arm lateral
raises, 1 x 10-12
Leaning one-arm lateral
raises, 1 x 8-10
One-arm cable lateral raises, 1 x 7-9
Forward-lean lateral raises, 4 x 10
Bent-over lateral
raises (drop), 1 x 10(8)
Dumbbell close-grip
bench presses (X Reps), 2 x 8-10
Decline extensions, 4 x 10
Tri-set
Rope pushouts, 1 x 8-10
Bench dips, 1 x 8-10
Kickbacks, 1 x 8-10
Rope pushdowns, 1 x 12-15
Preacher curls, 2 x 8-10
Dumbbell curls, 4 x 10
Incline curls (drop), 1 x 9(6)
Concentration curls, 1 x 8-10
Rope hammer curls (drop), 1 x 12(7)
Seated calf raises, 1 x 12, 3 x 12

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

37

CHAPTER 5
Power-Density Q&A
Q: There is no place to
do deadlifts in my gym.
How should I change the
Ultimate POF back day?
A: If you review our X-Rep
Power-Density Mass Workout in
Chapter 4, you'll see we don't do
deadlifts. We prefer to use more
direct exercises for midback.
That means we don't train legs indirectly, except for cardio
work. Were not competitive bodybuilders, so we don't
need huge legs that rub together from crotch to knees.
If you agree with our assessment, and you don't
compete, you can get plenty of development with one
direct leg workout a week and the residual work from
cardio, as we do. Here's how to modify the back routine
without deadlifts as part of the mix:

38

Chins*

2 x 9, 7

Pulldowns

4 x 10

Pullovers*

2 x 7-9

Stiff-arm pulldowns (DD)

1 x 10(7)(5)

Bent-over dumbbell rows*

2 x 9, 7

Shrugs*

2 x 9, 7

Barbell upright rows

4 x 10

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

Note that we
deleted deadlifts
as the first exercise
and added shrugs
near the end of the
routineyou can
use a barbell or
dumbbells. To repeat,
that means you get
no indirect leg work
during the week, but
for many people,
including us, that
works fine.

Dumbbell
shrugs.

Q: You have
bench presses
(midrange), incline flyes (stretch) and cable
crossovers (contracted) as the POF chest routine.
I feel like I need incline presses. My upper chest
sucks. Can I add those?
A: Absolutely. In fact, refer to our workout again: We
do Smith machine low-incline presses as our leadoff
exercise, pyramiding the weight. Then for the 4x10 density
sequence we do standard flat-bench presses.
If you're a big fan of heavy bench presses, as most
gym rats are, you can reverse that: Do the flat-bench
presses for your heavy power pyramid, then use barbell or
dumbbell incline presses for your 4x10 sequence.

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

39

Q: You've said Arnold used a version of the


combo-to-grow method, heavy sets pyramiding
the weight followed by lighter, higher-rep burnout
sets. I heard he also used Positions of Flexion. Is
that true?
A: Arnold used a lot of exercises, so he definitely
favored a multiangular approach in his training. If you look
at his workouts in his prime, you'll see shades of POF,
such as bench presses (midrange), flyes (stretch) and
crossovers (contracted) for his massive chest.
One bodypart that he did
make a conscious effort to
train those three particular
angles was biceps. His favorite
routine was barbell or dumbbell
curls (midrange), incline curls
(stretch) and concentration curls
(contracted). Perhaps that's
why Arnold's biceps are still
considered some of the all-time
bestthat and good genetics.

Arnold's unreal biceps.

One of Arnold's
favorite biceps
routines was
pure POF.

40

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

Q: If I have a stubborn bodypart or two, can


I add sets to the listed POF routines for those
bodyparts?
A: Yes, just don't get carried away. The best strategy is
to add a set to the power pyramid on the first exercise. In
other words, you do three progressively heavier work sets
instead of just two. Your reps should go something like 9,
7, 5-6.
You should balance that by also adding a straight set
after your double-drop on the last contracted-position
exercise. Here's how a chest specialization routine would
look with the above suggestions:
Cable flyes.

Bench presses*
(10x10 style)

3 x 9, 7, 5-6
4 x 10

Incline flyes*

2 x 7-9

Cable flyes (DD)

1 x 10(7)(5)
1x9

With those two additions you jolt


the target muscle with a bit more
max-force stimulation as well as tension/occlusion stress.
Q: I've seen a few bodybuilding methods that
end with high-rep sets or a bunch of sets with
short rests. All the sets before that pump work
are heavy. To replicate that, can I move the 4x10
to the very end of each bodypart routine?

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

41

A: The methods youre referring to are Eric Broser's


Fiber Damage/Fiber Saturation and Hany Rambod's FST7. Broser's FD/FS has you do a few high-rep sets with a
pistonlike cadence at the end of each bodypart workout.
Rambod has you do seven sets of an exercise with very
short rests. Both strive for a final full pump.
To mimic those styles you could move the 4x10 to the
end, like the following for triceps:
Close-grip bench presses*, 2 x 9, 7
Overhead extensions, 2 x 8-10
Pushdowns (DD), 1 x 10(7)(5)
Close-grip bench presses*, 4 x 10
That puts all the max force up front with the power
pyramid and the stretch-position exercise. The tension/
density techniques are lastdouble drop followed by the
4x10 sequence to finish.
For most phases we prefer the way we have it listed
max force, tension/density, max force, tension/density,
which is also how Arnold did it most of the timebut
switching it up for a phase every now and then can give
you some new growth. Variation, like order shuffling, is
usually a good thing for size stimulation.
Keep in mind that if you move the 4x10 to the end, you
will have to use less weight. It's a big compound exercise,
so that could compromise the effectiveness somewhat.
Yes, 4x10 is a tension/density technique, but when it's up
42

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

front you still get some max-force crossover stimulation.


You'll get a lot less of that if you move it to the end.
Also, keep in mind that one
Incline
reason Rambod has his trainees
curls for
do seven quick sets to finish is
biceps
to stretch the fascia, the fiber
stretch.
encasements that can constrict
growth. You'll get a similar FST-7
effect if you move the 4x10 to the
end; however, if you leave it up front
before the stretch-position exercise,
you will get a bigger pump earlier,
then you'll follow it with two sets of
extreme stretch sets. In our opinion,
that's even better for stretching the
fasciaa max-pump technique, like
4x10 on barbell curls, followed by
heavy sets of a stretch-position exercise, like incline curls
for biceps. You'll feel it!
Q: I train in a home gym, so I don't have cable
machines and the like. Is there a Power-Density
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.
Plus, in a home gym you have the luxury we haveyou
can superset and/or tri-set without anyone getting in your
way. Here's the program...

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

43

Home Gym Power-Density Workout


Workout 1: Chest, Calves, Abs
Low-incline presses, 2 x 10, 8
Bench presses, 4 x 10
Incline flyes, 2 x 8-10
Flat-bench flyes (drop set), 1 x 9(6)
Donkey calf raises, 3 x 13-15
One-leg calf raises, 4 x 15
Hanging kneeups, 1 x15
Incline kneeups, 4 x10
Superset
Full-range crunches (drop set), 1 x10(7)
End-of-bench kneeups, 1 x 8-10

Workout 2: Back, Forearms


Parallel-grip chins, 2 x 10, 8
Chins, 4 x 8
Tri-set
Dumbbell pullovers, 1 x 8-10
Undergrip rows (drop), 1 x 10(6)
Bent-over barbell or dumbbell rows, 3 x 8-10
Bent-arm bent-over
laterals (double drop) 2 x 10(6)(4)
Shrugs, 2 x 12, 9
Barbell upright rows, 4 x 10
Reverse curls, 2 x 8-10
Reverse wrist curls, 4 x 15
Wrist curls, 4 x 15
Dumbbell rockers (drop), 1 x 17(10)
44

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

Workout 3: Quads, Hamstrings, Lower Back


Leg extensions (warmup), 1 x 20
Squats, 2 x 10, 8
Old-style hack squats, 4 x 10
Tri-set
Leg extensions (drop), 1 x 10(6)
Sissy squats, 1 x 8-10
Hyperextensions, 2 x 10-12
Hyperextensions, 4 x 10
Leg curls (double drop), 1 x 10(6)(4)

Workout 4: Delts, Triceps, Biceps


Dumbbell presses, 2 x 8-10
Seated lateral raises, 2 x 8-10
Incline one-arm
laterals (drop set), 1 x 10(6)
Forward-lean laterals, 4 x 10
Bent-over laterals (drop), 1 x 10(6)
Close-grip bench presses, 2 x 10, 8
Decline extensions, 4 x 10
Superset
Overhead extensions, 1 x 8-10
Bench dips, 1 x 8-10
Kickbacks, 1 x 12-15
Drag or preacher curls, 2 x 10, 8
Dumbbell curls, 4 x 10
Incline curls (drop set), 1 x 10(6)
Concentration curls, 1 x 12-15
Hammer curls (drop), 1 x 10(6)
Seated calf raises, 1 x 10-12, 3 x 12

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

45

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 a 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.
Also, feel free to double drop where drops are listed for
more workout density and a bigger pump.
Q: When and for how long do I use the PowerDensity Mass Workout? And what program should
I go to after?
A: You should use it whenever youre zeroed-in on
gaining mass, recovering with good sleep patterns and
eating a fairly clean diet. Oh, and you must be able to
make it to the gym consistently four days a week.
Remember, the Power-Density Mass Workout combines
all the facets of hypertrophy into every workout; therefore
it is a very demanding program. That's why we suggest
you don't use it for more than a maximum of six weeks

46

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

and four weeks might be better for most.


After that you can go to either a 10x10-based workout
or heavy Positions-of-Flexion training. A very good
rotation would be:
4 weeks: The Ultimate 10x10 Mass Workout (or the
heavy/light version also listed in the e-program by the
same name)
5 weeks: The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout
6 weeks: Every-other-day Positions of Flexion (found
as Jonathan's Phase 2 Size Surge Workout in the 3D
Muscle Building e-book, or the POF Power Pyramid from
X-traordinary Muscle-Building Workouts.)
With smart training application, multifaceted mass
stimulation and frequent variation, you'll be hitting the
beach looking bigger and better than ever! See you there.

The Ultimate Power-Density Mass Workout

47