Build Muscle Fast—at any age

Gym photo - Build Muscle Fast—at any age

If you’ve been following the latest muscle-building information over at, then you already know that many muscle-building myths have been shattered.

It used to be that people believed heavy weights and low reps were the only way to build muscle, and lighter weights with high reps were just for “toning.” Well, that’s a bunch of B.S…

Over the last 28 years, I’ve tried more than my fair share of training routines, some great and some not-so-great. In fact, I made some pretty amazing improvements when I started using the high-rep-set-first program outlined in the Anabolic Reload ebook I co-authored with Steve Holman.

However, after a while on that program, I began losing interest in my training. It was hard to enjoy the training, and if I’ve learned anything over the past three decades, it’s that if I’m not enjoying myself—even if it’s painfully taxing, then I simply won’t have the drive to push myself 100%.

Needless to say, I eventually stopped making progress on that program. Yet there’s been great feedback from others who love that method and have gotten incredible results with it, well into their 50s. Why the difference?

Researchers took about 100 randomly selected subjects and had them work out with various training protocols. Those with a so-called ACE-2 variant, or endurance gene (skinnier guys who have trouble gaining), had good results training with 15+ reps or extended tension times.

The subjects with something called an ACE-DD variant had decent muscle gains whether working out with heavy weights and low reps or lighter weights and high reps. However, they had their best results from the heavier training. [Colakoglu, M., et al. (2005). Eur J App Physiol. 95(1):20-26.]

So, since I seem to fall more into the ACE-DD group, I tend to get good results from both types of training but with better results from lower-rep, somewhat heavier training. Mind you, training heavy isn’t quite what it was 20 years ago, but that’s because I’m not getting any younger (and I sometimes just prefer the insane muscle pump of higher reps—sometimes).

And to be honest, while I like the feeling of heavy-ish weights, now that I’m well into my 40s, I simply don’t want to train ultra-heavy. Semi-heavy weights with an “intensifier” of sorts, on the other hand… That’s good stuff!

So, based on that, and with some help from my long-time training and business partner Steve, I designed a new training program similar to the 4X training method which has always been popular. This new one has you doing two sub-failure sets with 30 seconds between, then you go to failure on the third set. After that, you rest 10 seconds and fire out fast partials (X-Reps).

When we first started experimenting with X-Rep partials in the semi-stretch position, I got into the best shape of my life…

Jonathan Lawson's back after first X-Rep experiment - Build Muscle Fast—at any age

Now I’m working to get into similar shape, but this time, instead of adding those partial reps onto the last set, they’re done as part of a rest/pause add-on. Plus, they’re done with a quicker rep cadence to help maximize muscle fiber recruitment even further.

This latest routine is my new favorite. It’s set up for training three days a week, though it can be modified if needed. You can be in and out of the gym in under an hour easily, and it’s set up for max muscle fiber recruitment and hormone production… A good thing for guys my age, but you can use it to build muscle fast at any age.

The new program

The Anabolic After-40 Muscle-Size Manual gives you new muscle-building workouts featuring full-range (POF) training with moderate-weight density sequences plus rest/pause X-Rep partials. PLUS, you get 3 FREE bonuses (see link for details). Limited-time price of ONLY $15 ($100 value) HERE.

Anabolic After-40 Muscle Size Manual plus freebies

—Jonathan Lawson



  1. Just grabbed you at your elbow joint, “your not that big”

    • LOL! Now, THAT’s a great flashback. I can’t wait to try to pull that on my own son. I’ve tried it already, but he doesn’t get it… And explaining the joke just makes it even worse. Ha!