What should you do if your training for size?
Whilst there are 100’s and 1000’s of different methods for gaining muscle, all GOOD muscle building programs will follow the same principles. Following these principles will near guarantee that you increase your muscle mass!
For resistance training, Volume refers to the amount of weight lifted, eg the reps x sets x weight during any given session, week, month etc. It is pretty well established that increases in volume will lead to an increase in hypertrophy. It is very important that volume is added in a logical, stepwise progression. Trying to drastically increase your training volume immediately can lead to significant overuse injuries. Building your volume can be done through increasing the weight moved per session or increasing the number of training sessions. Strategic increases and decreases are essential to provide your body with adequate recovery periods. Very long periods of high volume training can lead to overtraining or injury, so make sure you schedule some low volume weeks throughout your plan.
Motor unit recruitment
Your body is programmed to recruit the smallest amount of muscle mass required to perform the job at hand. If you are looking to stimulate the whole muscle and create maximal gains, you need to make sure you are doing 1 of 2 things. Either, lifting near maximal loads (Above 80% of 1RM), or lifting near failure. Powerlifters and Olympic lifters are examples of the maximal load method. They consistently stimulate higher threshold motor units by lifting heavy loads. Traditionally, bodybuilding has preferred the near failure method which involves taking the weight and lifting it until you cannot perform another rep. Both methods have their pro’s and con’s, through training with proper form is key to the success of either method.
Range of motion
Several scientific studies have shown that using full ranges of motion are beneficial for muscle growth. Whilst training in shorter ranges may allow you to lift bigger weights, the greater ranges can produce longer muscle fibres and greater levels of muscle activation.
Often the most overlooked component of muscle building, it is crucial that you provide enough energy for your body to grow. It takes a lot of energy to build and maintain muscle mass. Your body is always going to preference survival and if it comes down to it, your muscle mass can be broken down to aid energy for your vital organs.
Secondary to overall calories is protein consumption. Protein provides the building blocks for muscle. Providing enough protein is crucial for the recovery and maintenance of muscle mass. As a rough guide, around 2.5g per kg of BW will be sufficient for maximal muscle growth.
A great way to keep track of your energy consumption and protein intake is through meal preparation.
We want you to train hard, but smart. That means push yourself, as long as your doing the exercises right. Don’t be that dickhead swinging the 25kg dumbbells all over the place.
Don’t skip your cardio. Not only is it great for managing fat levels, it also does wonders for cardiac and respiratory health.
Respect your gym. Good habits begin in the details, put your weights back, clean up your sweat, show respect to everyone around you, the gym is a place of discipline.