By: Steve Holman
Q: I’m interested in building up my body. I’ve been visiting some workout forums and boards on the Internet, and lots of people are recommending your quick-start workout. Can you explain why it’s so good? Is it for me? I want a new body, but I don’t want to look like the Incredible Hulk or anything.
A: The Quick-Start program has you beginning with a two-week break-in routine, using the basic exercises, like squats and bench presses, for one to two sets each. It’s a full-body workout that takes about an hour on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and it’s geared to upregulate your nervous system and coordination quickly so you can start building muscle immediately after your two-week “learning” phase. Then you move to something more intense to accelerate your gains.
In week 3 you graduate to the Fast-Mass Workout and follow it for six weeks. It’s based on two important muscle-building concepts: max force and extended muscular tension, each of which builds muscle along a different pathway to accelerate muscle growth.
You take the break-in workouts, add an isolation exercise for each muscle group, and move to a split routine—dividing your body over two workouts—with each session lasting about an hour or less. Rotate the workouts over three days per week if you can’t train four times:
• Monday and Thursday: Thighs, calves, chest, triceps.
• Tuesday and Friday: Shoulders, back, biceps, abdominals.
The exercise you add for each muscle is a continuous-tension isolation movement, like leg extensions. Even so, you don’t do it with a normal two-seconds-up/two-seconds-down cadence. You go much more slowly: three seconds up/one second hold/three seconds down. That builds muscle and strength along another pathway, as recent research has demonstrated.
A study found that trainees could build significant muscle with lighter weights—if they used a slow cadence with continuous muscle tension for longer sets. The subjects performed no other exercise. Nevertheless, with only a few sets of continuous tension, about one minute per set, they got impressive muscular growth—much faster hypertrophy than the researchers expected.
In the Fast-Mass Workout you combine the longer tension style with the max force of the basic compound moves, which gives you a quick recipe for a major physical transformation. It’s a double dose of anabolic ammunition.
Will you look like the Hulk? Only if you’re genetically gifted. Very few individuals have the potential to build “incredible” muscle size; however, you will rocket toward your individual genetic potential with the Quick-Start Workout. That means you’ll have a muscular, attention-grabbing physique sooner rather than later.
Copyright ©2016 Iron Man Magazine (virtually reprinted with permission)