Despite what you might see on YouTube, there is a right and not-so-right way to use your X3 Bar . Follow the program as suggested, and you’ll reap bigger rewards, sooner. This 9-step guide to getting started with X3 includes everything you need to know to get the most out of your X3 workout.
1 – Before Beginning, Watch The X3 Videos
X3 hosts both workout program and nutrition videos on their website, and you should watch both before beginning. The 12-week workout program is suitable for everyone, no matter your goals or where you’re starting from. Want to lose weight, strengthen muscle, get lean or build bulk? This program offers just what you need.
We all think we know how to perform a bicep curl or a front squat, but for most people, doing these movements with heavy resistance bands is brand new. The videos help ensure you’re using the correct form, which is not only key when it comes to safety, but necessary for realizing the best possible results.
Dialing in your nutrition is also non-negotiable. No matter your workout, you won’t lose weight if you’re consuming too many sugars, and you can’t build muscle with insufficient protein. Watch the X3 nutrition videos for a simple, science-backed guide on what you should be eating and when.
2 – Complete Each Set to Failure
So you’ve watched the videos on proper form, but how many reps and sets should you do? Easy. With X3 it’s just one set of reps performed to failure. When you can no longer complete full repetitions, continue with as many partial reps as possible until complete fatigue. Translation? Keep going until you cannot move the bar an inch.
Because X3 is founded on variable resistance, everyone and anyone can work to fatigue, no matter where they’re starting from. For some, that means fewer reps with the lightest band, while for others, reaching failure happens after 20 or more reps with the heaviest band.
Pushing yourself to failure is key for triggering the hormones that will speed your muscle growth.
3 – Maintain Constant Tension
With weight-lifting, you get a very brief break between reps when the joints lock out or the weight returns to its resting point. With X3, you maintain constant tension. Never let the bands go slack at the bottom of a movement and never lock out your joints at the top of a movement. This might be different from what you’re used to with traditional free weights, but that’s just one benefit of working out with X3.
Maintaining constant tension not only improves form and prevents the bands from slipping, but it increases the total time spent under tension to induce a hypoxic environment and stimulate greater muscle growth.1
4 – Move In a Slow And Controlled Manner
We can also increase time under tension by moving in a slow and controlled manner. Each repetition is far more effective when performed at a cadence of 2 to 3 seconds up and 2 to 3 seconds down. There are no points given for speeding through your reps and completing your workout sooner.
Moving slowly also requires your stabilizing muscles to do more work. Strengthening your stabilizing muscles improves overall bodily function and allows you to do more work. It also strengthens the core more effectively than sit ups.2
5 – Always Start With The Lightest Band
You can’t rush greatness. No matter how strong you think you are, begin with the lightest band then work your way up from there. Starting light keeps your workout safe by giving you the opportunity to perfect your form. Keep in mind, you also want to maintain sufficient time under tension. Thus, it’s far better to perform 20-30 reps with a light band, than just 5 reps with a heavier band.
As a general rule of thumb, you should be able to complete 15 reps minimum with your chosen band. When should you move up? Only when you can complete 40 slow and controlled full repetitions with good form, while maintaining constant tension.
6 – Move Down in Resistance if Needed
Some people lift to build ego, others lift to build muscle. If you’re training with the X3, you’ve already decided that functional results are worth more to you than the number on the plate. So, if you find you cannot perform even 15 reps with a particular band, switch to a lighter band.
Don’t compromise on form, don’t speed up, don’t take pauses in which you let the band go slack. Performing each rep as suggested, and reaching at least 15 reps, is far more important than which color band you’re using. Again, it’s all about maintaining time under tension.
7 – Center Your Weight on the Ground Plate
In any exercise which involves the ground plate, ensure your body weight is centered over the middle band channel. The band should be aligned with the midfoot for most exercises. For calf raises, align the ball of the foot over the center of the band channel, not at the edge of the plate. There’s no need to let your heels drop off the edge of the plate between reps.
Centering in this way ensures a stable and safe set up. You’ll be able to push and pull against greater resistance, and yet still feel your core firing up for additional stability.
8 – Maintain a Firm Grip
Except when performing the front squat, always keep your wrists straight and maintain a firm grip. This means your wrists should be flat, and your forearms aligned with the back of your hands. Why? The goal is not to work the wrist joint, but the muscles of the arms. Bent wrists fail to transfer power from the grip to the body’s strongest muscles.
Never use a suicide grip. This is when your thumb remains on the same side of the bar as your fingers. While some people feel this helps keep their grip relaxed and their wrists straight, it’s unsafe – and weaker. Humans have opposable thumbs for a reason. Wrapping the thumb triggers the neuromuscular system to fire up for greater strength.3
9 – Stay Consistent And The Gains Will Come
No exercise program will benefit you if you can’t stick with it. If you follow the X3 Bar workout program as suggested, you’ll eventually be working out 6 days per week. Each of us has at least 20 minutes a day in which we can fit this in. Doing the workouts daily provides the necessary total volume for muscle growth.
According to research, muscle recovery takes place between 24 and 36 hours.4 So by alternating push days with pull days, your muscles will be fully recovered by the time they are targeted again. Working out each major muscle group 3 times per week offers maximum results. At the end of the 12-week program? Repeat.
X3 Safety Tips You Shouldn’t Ignore
Keeping your joints and your body safe lets you stay consistent with your workouts for the best results. The following safety tips shouldn’t be ignored:
- Always consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program.
- Inspect your bands for damage before each use. If your band appears damaged, please contact customer service to confirm whether it is still safe to use.
- Never use X3 on slippery, unstable, or rough surfaces.
- Before putting tension on the band, make sure the band is fully seated in the hooks.
- Never step off the ground plate or let go of the bar while there is tension in the band.
An incredible amount of research and testing has gone into the development of the X3 Bar. The workout program, the movements, and the suggestions regarding the number of sets, reps, speed and form have been well thought-out. If you aren’t getting the results you expected, read through these tips one more time. The X3 Bar works best when used as directed.
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