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10-Week Size Surge: Review by Jonathan Lawson, IRONMAN Jul '96
|The headline on the ad says, 'He Gained 63 Pounds of Muscle in Only Four Weeks.' I immediately thought this claim had to be concocted by some ad guy to grab attention; it wasn't actually fact--or was it?|
After I read further, I realized that this amazing feat did happen--in 1973 during the Colorado Experiment--and that the book being advertised contained training information related to this research.After I read the ad, I still had my doubts, but I just couldn't get over the thought of my body with 60 extra pounds of muscle, so I spent the $9.95 for a copy of IRONMAN's Bulletin #1: 10-Week Size Surge-A Crash Course for Packing on Muscle Weight.
Once the manual arrived, I read it thoroughly and decided to do my own weight-gain experiment. I followed the suggested steps almost to the letter, and after following the 10-week program-with a few different exercises to suit my preferences--I recorded the following gains:
January 6, 1995
Bodyweight: 191 pounds
Bodyfat: 11 percent (according to the Accu-Measure calipers)
Arms: 16 3/4
Waist: 33 inches
Thighs: 25 1/2 inches
Squats: 205 x 8
Bench presses: 200 x 10
March 20, 1995
Bodyweight: 209 pounds
Bodyfat: 10 percent
Arms: 18 inches
Waist: 32 inches
Thighs: 27 inches
Squats: 335 x 7
Bench presses: 290 x 6
At the end of 10 weeks I had put on more than 18 pounds of muscle with a drop in my waist measurement, and my entire physique was thicker and more dense. I was amazed. Let me emphasize that there were no drugs involved, no trick photography and no preshrunk tape measures. Just hard training and a regimented eating schedule. While I believe that sticking with a version of the Size Surge Diet outlined in the book certainly accounted for some of my new mass, in my opinion the routines get the majority of the credit. I've never tried anything like them before.
The 10-Week Size Surge training program is divided into two high-intensity phases. Phase 1 is a three-days-per-week full-body routine that's designed to stimulate your natural testosterone production. It's an innovative program that has you work most bodyparts twice per week-on Monday and Friday. The exceptions are calves, arms, abs and heavy deadlifts, which you train only on Wednesday. Work sets for each bodypart totaled two to four, with one to two intense sets per exercise.
Most of my workouts during this phase were about an hour, although some did go as long as an hour and a half when my energy level dragged. Even when I was feeling under the weather, however, my power always seemed to be there during this routine, as my poundages went up consistently. I got stronger at almost every workout.
I also got bigger during the first phase, but most of my size gains came when I entered phase two. Here I used a split routine designed to bring more muscle fibers into play. The routine is a modified Positions-of-Flexion program that provides plenty of recovery time between your high-intensity training sessions. I experienced a lot of soreness at first, but as I adapted to POF, my strength started to climb again and my muscle mass seemed to improve almost daily.
By the end of week 10 I looked a lot more like a bodybuilder. Although I did decrease my bodyfat percentage, I didn't get cut, but my goal wasn't to define my physique. I wanted to get as big as possible as quickly as possible, and I accomplished this without adding any extra fat. By putting on 18 pounds in 10 weeks, I proved to myself that building muscle quickly is possible--if you give your all to training and eating correctly for set periods of time. I honestly think giving yourself a deadline, like 10 weeks, really helps you put more effort into every workout which makes progress easier.
At this point, I'm going to try to pare down my bodyfat while building even more muscle in hopes of competing in one of the IRONMAN Naturally contests this summer. The routine I'm going to use next is a version of the Supercompensation Routine from POF Update #1: Compound Aftershock. I was very impressed with the POF routine in Size Surge, so I thought I'd keep the momentum going with this routine. It's a program that has you work each bodypart directly only once a week, but you use up to 12 sets for each. I figure that this will not only give my muscles something new to deal with, but it will also burn a few more calories every day. I'm also going to start aerobic work to peel off some more fat.
I learned a lot about how my muscles respond during these 10 weeks. For any bodybuilder who's interested in adding some solid size quickly, I recommend you get a copy of 10-Week Size Surge and conduct your own experiment. It's very exciting to be able to add so much visible new muscle in such a short time.
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