By PJ Glassey, CSCS
In your first 7 weeks you will be doing the “7 Second” protocol. This method targets a specific energy system and muscle fiber type. It will develop strength as well as coordination. During this first phase your muscles will improve their “innervation,” meaning the nerves telling your muscles to contract are becoming healthier and more efficient. This makes you stronger without a significant increase in muscle fiber size[i].
During this phase women may begin to feel more toned and tight, and men may notice some improvement in muscle definition, shape and form. Muscle innervation must happen first, and hypertrophy (fiber size increase) can then follow. The hypertrophy stage won’t begin until the innervation phase has run its course, usually in about 8 weeks for men and 10 weeks for women[ii].
X Gym clients will fall somewhere within a Bell-shaped curve for improvement rates. A few will be on the far right side of the curve and may see visible results after their first four sessions! The few others on the far left side of the curve will have to wait two months or more before seeing changes.
If you’re in this “slow changers” group, you’ll become impatient around the 4th or 5th week and pretty frustrated that no visible results are happening. This is quite understandable because you’ve been working hard and would like a return for your efforts, but just hang in there and wait your body out. It will give in eventually and when it does, it all pays off. You can also move yourself out of that group over time by improving your metabolism as your muscle tissue changes.
The majority fall within the middle portion of the curve and begin to see minor changes within their first card (7 weeks), and even more marked results during their second card and protocol. Progress is constant, and within about 8 months goals are often achieved. Regardless of which group you are in, the results you will experience will be at least double those of conventional training.
Results differ from person to person so don’t compare yourself to someone else. You may have a friend who is at the right of the curve. You however, may be on the left of the curve. It is all based on your hormone levels, protein uptake ability, genetics, body composition, resistance to change, and personal and family history.
It’s the little things you will notice first, like groceries feeling lighter when you pick them up, or walking up stairs becoming easier. Enjoy this progress and focus on these small changes. They can be expected during your first 7 weeks as muscle innervation runs its course. Next, you will notice that your legs, arms and rear feel tighter and things “jiggle” less. You may even begin to see some size changes if you are a man.
If you are a woman, don’t worry about “bulking up”. Just as men don’t have the hormones to become pregnant, women don’t have the hormones to bulk up[iii]. Some women can, but it takes a lot more training and a regular steroid cocktail to do it.
Every woman who has ever come to us feeling as though they were “bulking up” was also dealing with a weight issue. They mistakenly assumed their clothes were getting tighter because of muscle increase, when in fact, it was due to a redistribution of their weight as their body changed. Women who gain weight at the X Gym are doing so because their food intake is increasing (whether it be conscious or not), along with the activity increase.
If you are a man, you are capable of adding considerable muscle mass to your frame. The hormone testosterone is your key to that. If bulking is your goal, we have a special plan for you to achieve it without drugs or elaborate supplementation. Just ask us for details.
Another benefit X Gym members get from the program is increased development of fine and gross motor skills. You will notice sports becoming easier and your coordination will improve. Your pain tolerance will also increase, allowing you to endure longer at tasks and sports you previously found too unpleasant.
Consistency is the key that unlocks the results and proper nutrition opens the door. You must stick to the twice-a-week regimen for proper consistency. If you miss an appointment, make it up at a different time. The twice-a-week frequency was created on purpose, based on the latest research and is vital to your rate of progress[iv].
Optimum nutrition allows your muscles to recover and gives them the tools to rebuild. They will change only as quickly as you allow them to by supplying them with the proper nutrients. Muscles are 75% water and 25% protein. This is why we emphasize both of them so much. You will get an individualized prescription for water, protein, carbohydrates and fat based on your specific metabolism if you complete the comprehensive fitness evaluation available at the West Seattle club (free to all members).
The combination of strength training and sound nutrition practices working together will give you the results you are after. The 21 minute workout by itself is not a weight loss program. It can be over time, because your metabolism will be increasing, but short-term reduction also depends on the other factors. We will do our part by training you with the weights and checking in with you on your nutrition. We will also supply you with the tools and formulas for success. How closely you follow those formulas will dictate how rapidly your results are realized.
In the beginning you will experience a few new sensations. Our protocols cause an endorphin high unlike other exercise programs. The high intensity nature of the program also reduces stress levels drastically. This can make you quite excited about the program and thus begins the “honeymoon” phase. If you follow the nutritional prescriptions included in the program you will also see muscular changes about the time the ‘honeymoon” period starts to wear off. This will give you renewed enthusiasm that often becomes addicting.
Your membership at the X Gym buys you a fitness system, not just a bunch of sessions. There is a big difference. Conventional trainers merely give you sessions (using the same system that Eugene Sandow developed in 1891). They might also give you advice on eating and cardio exercise, but even that will most likely be outdated by about 15 years. Our sessions by themselves are vastly superior to conventional sessions, but just are one just one part of an overall system, pulling from research as recent as this year!
This research tells us how to create our protocols so that muscles are worked more intensely and more safely than ever. It tells us how to pick the order of protocols so that all the energy systems and fiber types are affected for well-rounded fitness results never before seen in the industry. It tells us how to prescribe exercise for certain body types and metabolisms. It gives us the latest nutritional insights for optimum fitness improvement and weight loss. It creates a system that when followed closely, produces results that make all other protocols obsolete.
These claims might sound inflated or even cocky, but are backed up with black and white numbers and data from actual X Gym clients over the last 4 years and the “guinea pig” clients for the 5 years preceding that.
You will never be alone in your quest as long as you are with the X Gym . You will always have access to the best protocols and most recent information available. When you do reach your goals, you will have learned enough to go out on your own and maintain it with the tools you have acquired. It is our goal to create a lifestyle habit with every member that can be applied for life to live longer, healthier, and stronger with an unsurpassed quality. You get only one chance with the body you have, so give it what it needs!
[i] Komi, P.V. Training of muscle strength and power: Interactions of neuromotoric, hypertrophic, and mechanical factors. Int. J. Sports Med. 7:10-15. 1986.
[ii] Baechle, Thomas. Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning: Human Kinetics. P. 15, 1994.
[iii] For a more detailed explanation on this subject and research to back it up, see the article “Women and The Myth of Bulking Up”. You can get this handout from your trainer.
[iv]Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. (13):353-359-1999.