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Natural Mass:
Part 1 Positions of Flexion

Natural lifters simply cannot do 20 sets per body part, train for 2 hours and everyday. It is just not possible. So what's a natural lifter to do? Here is the famous POF system!

Natural lifters simply cannot do 20 sets per body part, train for 2 hours and everyday. It is just not possible. So what's a natural lifter to do? Well experts worldwide, and when I say 'experts' I mean real experts not people who think they are, I mean people who make livings off being so good at what they do and people who have actually changed the iron game such as Will Brink, Charles Poliquin and the late Dan Duchane, suggest the routines found in Ironman magazine are the best for natural lifters and the most common of these are based around positions of flexion.

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
Fri:A
Sat: Rest
Sun: B
Mon: Rest
Tues: A
Wed: Rest
Thurs: B
Fri:Rest
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
Fri:A
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:
Quads:
Squats 2x8-12
Sissy Squats 1x10
Leg extensions 2x8-12

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

Calves:
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

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

Workout B:
Lats:
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)

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

Traps:
Shrugs 2x8-12

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

Biceps:
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.

Buy an Ironman and get some of the great books written about POF or check out www.google.com and search for your free copy of the 10-week size surge program which has helped some gain 20 pounds in 10 weeks.

Until next time,
Callum


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