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Old 04-27-2014, 12:47 PM
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Default P.o.f training


Want to get HUGE? Here are 5 things you should include in your workouts to build extreme muscle mass.

So many bodybuilders hit the gym with one goal — to get stronger. A stronger muscle is a bigger muscle, right? To a degree, yes.

Training a muscle to exert more force over time will thicken the myofibrils, the actin and myosin strands in the muscle fibres, but they’re not the only hypertrophic constituent. There’s also the sarcoplasm, the muscles’ energy fluid. More on that later. First, let’s talk about the idea of heavy training.

Attacking a muscle with heavy weights is important, but ‘heavy’ is relative to you — and dependent on muscle fatigue. For example, you may struggle with 20 pounds (9 kg) on a certain exercise at the end of a body part workout, so 20 pounds is ‘heavy’ for you on that exercise at that moment — and it maximally taxes your muscle strength.

Perhaps a better way to put it is that the weights you use must be ‘challenging’ rather than ‘heavy’. And, yes, you should strive to increase them when possible, which may not be very often. If adding weight to exercises was easy and possible at every workout, everyone in the gym would be bench-pressing 800 pounds (363 kg) after a year of consistent workouts.
Also, let’s not forget that many big-bench pressers don’t have big, muscular pecs. There’s a lot more to building maximum mass than just getting stronger.

Low rep training Vs high rep training

Heavy low-rep training primarily thickens the myofibrils, the force-generating strands in the fibres. Powerlifters target the myofibrils, as well as nerve force, with low-rep sets to increase strength. As mentioned, the thickening of those strands does accounts for some growth, but a lot of the major muscular hypertrophy occurs in the sarcoplasm, the energy fluid surrounding them.

The sarcoplasm contains glycogen from carbs, the mitochondria, ATP from creatine, calcium and myoglobin, an oxygen-binding protein. That’s the reason that bodybuilders who train with higher reps, supersets and other long-tension-time techniques are generally more muscular than most powerlifters — their training increases the sarcoplasm.

Performing at least some sets with higher reps and/or short rests between sets expands the sarcoplasmic fluid. You should build the myofibrils as well, but the sarcoplasm is a major player in the development of maximum muscle size.

That’s exciting on a number of levels and leads us to five things you should include in most of your workouts to build extreme muscle mass fast.

1. Synergy. It’s also known as muscle teamwork, and you get it on the big, compound exercises. For example, on decline-bench presses your chest is the primary mover, but your triceps, delts and even lats assist. Multi-joint exercises are usually more natural movements than isolated ones. The body was designed to work best during synergistic exercises — what I call ‘midrange’ in Positions-of-Flexion mass training. Because of that, they usually involve more muscle mass.

2. Stretch. I often reference the animal study that produced a 300 per cent muscle-mass gain with a month’s worth of stretch-only ‘workouts’. You create exceptional size-building power by putting a muscle into a full stretch against challenging resistance, and it’s beginning to emerge as one of the major muscle-size builders. Exercise examples include flyes for chest, sissy squats for quads and overhead extensions for triceps. POF body part routines all contain a stretch move.

3. Continuous tension. This is best produced via contracted-position exercises in POF — usually isolation exercises like pushdowns for triceps, concentration curls for biceps and leg extensions for quads. Those moves put the target muscle into its contracted position against resistance and there is resistance throughout the stroke with no rest anywhere along it — or at least there shouldn’t be. The continuous tension produces occlusion, or blood-flow blockage, which triggers large gains in sarcoplasmic mass — if the tension time is long enough.

4. Hypertrophic tension time. Low-rep work gets you 20 seconds of tension time or less, which builds strength — myofibril thickness and nerve force; however, the optimal hypertrophic tension time is 40 to 90 seconds. Even the low end, 40 seconds, takes a while, and you’d have to do 30 reps or more beyond that to get the upper end of 60 to 90 seconds — either that or slow your rep speed.

5. Muscular fatigue. You must train the target muscle until it’s spent. In other words, you should do enough volume to reach the growth threshold. That can be different for different people — and even for different muscles. Short rests between sets can accelerate cumulative fatigue — as in the 4X mass method with its 35-second rests — and that’s a good thing for extreme-growth stimulation, especially in the sarcoplasm.

Be sure you cover the five mass-building keys most of the time, and at least every few weeks apply number 6: Change. That’s how you trigger bigger mass gains.
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Old 04-27-2014, 12:53 PM
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What is POF?
Well I have discussed this in previous articles but I'll go over it briefly again. POF was created by Steve Holman, Editor of Ironman. As a skinny hard gainer he was looking for the fastest way to grow. What he discovered was a myotatic reflex where as a muscle is stretched it then engages more muscle fibers than usual. Exactly what we need to do.

Therefore a POF routine has 3 positions which can be achieved in 2-3 movements for each body part.

Midrange Position- You're regular compound movements, the real mass builders.
Stretch Position- The muscle is stretched e.g. incline dumbbell curls.
Contracted Position- e.g. Concentration Curls.

The Routine
There are many ways to set up your POF routine I have included my current one which is producing great gains. It is modified slightly and I will explain as I go. No. of days per week: The ideal way to do this routine is every second day. So a two week split would look like this:

Mon: Workout A
Tues: Rest
Wed: B
Thurs: Rest
Sat: Rest
Sun: B
Mon: Rest
Tues: A
Wed: Rest
Thurs: B
Sat: A
Sun: Rest

And on and on ...
However my gym is closed of Sunday so this kind of split is out for me. I train as follows:
Sun: Rest
Mon: Rest
Tues: A
Wed: B
Thurs: Rest
Sat: B

Why only 2 sets?
Well the way it is explained is. Let's assume there are 100 fibers in the muscle you work. (Now really there are millions this is just so the numbers can be demonstrated.) During your first rep say you use 20 fibers, the next 27, the next 32 and so on. Then you fail at say 10 reps and have used 63 fibers out of 100. You do another set and it uses some of the 37 unused so at the end of that set you have used a total of 80 fibers. Now the problem is you probably won't use those other 20 no matter how many sets you do and this is why the 2 sets are optimal for size. I don't know how this stand up physiologically but it sound good all the same.

The workout themselves.
I will list mine, explain modifications and some alternate exercises for equipment some gyms may not have. I won't list warm-ups but 1-or-2 sets before each body part will do.(Note about warming up. I never stretch. And touch wood have never been injured. I find if I do stretch I do tend to get pains in my shoulders so I don't, simple. Also being 'stiffer' allows you to lift more weight than if you are loose.

Workout A:
Squats 2x8-12
Sissy Squats 1x10
Leg extensions 2x8-12

Stiff-legged deads 2x8-12
Leg curls: 2x8-12

Leg press calf raise (good stretch) 2x12-18
Standing calf raise 2x12-18

Upper Chest:
Incline DB Press: 2x8-12
Incline Flyes: 1x8-12

Lower chest:
Flat Dumbbell press: 2x8-12
Flat Flyes: 1x8-12

Close-grip bench or French Press 2x8-12
Overhead extensions (ropes on cable stack) 2x8-12
1-arm push-down 2x8-12

Workout B:
Chins 2x8-12
Pull-over machine 2x8-12
(NOTE: you should do regular pull-overs between the two however I fell the hit my chest a lot which I worked the day before and it hurts a bit. Substitutes to pullover machine: stiff arm pulldowns or under grip chins)

Behind neck pull-downs: 2x8-12
Bent-over rows: 2x8-12
Cable row: 1x8-12

Shrugs 2x8-12

Press (any type, I currently do Standing barbell in power rack) 2x8-12
Behind back cable lateral 2x8-12
Seated dumbbell lateral 2x8-12

Dumbbell curls: 2x8-12
Incline DB curls: 2x8-12
Concentration curls: 2x8-12

There you go. Each workout should take no more than 1 hour, maybe 1 hour 5 mins if you are a little slow.
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