Training Secrets for Gaining Muscle Mass
The first misconception to dispel is that there would be no increase in muscle mass if you did not increase strength. This is only minimally true. Hypertrophy, in fact, is obtained by stressing different constituent parts of the muscle and the interesting thing is that this process should not last for years and years, but for much less time, say around 18 24 months. Many bodybuilders get results very slowly. precisely because they believe that to increase mass you need to increase strength; but this is not the case, as proof is the fact that powerlifters are very strong but do not have particularly developed muscle masses.
Conversely, some bodybuilders who trained the "heavy training / light training" method have experienced large gains in muscle mass. This type of training, in fact, very well stimulates the various parts of which the muscle is made up.
The development of an extreme mass is given by a "set of elements including the prolongation of the time of muscle tension during the execution of the repetitions and the reduction of recovery times between sets."
When you understand why a muscle grows, you will then have to reprogram your training to get that muscle increase you so desire and, most importantly, quickly. We will therefore provide you with several examples and methods that will lead you to achieve the goal.
of bodybuilders consisted mainly of fast twitch fibers (white fibers), anaerobic, useful for power, which respond well to a workout with heavy loads and few repetitions.
More recent studies, on the other hand, have given very different results. These studies looked at the types of fibers in the muscles of a group of bodybuilders and the results were amazing. In the muscles of these athletes were found mostly slow twitch fibers (red fibers), aerobic, useful for endurance, which react well to training with medium-light loads and high repetitions.
Yes, you got it right; bodybuilders only had a small fraction of white fibers, so the optimal training for those who want extreme muscle mass gain will be to train the red fibers with the "strength + duration" method.
So let's see how this type of fiber is made, which has proved so important for muscle growth; muscle fibers are mainly made up of two elements: myofibrils and the sarcoplasm.
- myofibrils: they are filaments of actin and myosin which, through chemical processes, bind to each other and shorten, thus causing muscle contraction. They react well, grow and increase in number (hyperplasia) when subjected to intense training with heavy loads and low repetitions.
- sarcoplasm: it is the interstitial fluid that envelops the myofibrils and consists mainly of mitochondria, glycogen and ATP. Sarcoplasm increases in volume with repetition training that subject the muscle fibers to longer than normal tension and a decrease in recovery times between sets.
It is therefore evident that in order to obtain maximum muscle development, it is necessary to perform a training that takes into account both the power and the duration of the contraction.
It is commonplace that 8-10 repetitions are the ideal number for muscle development; this is true, but on the condition that they are performed very slowly, in order to maximize the sarcoplasm, which is the most constitutive part of the muscle fibers. Most bodybuilders make the mistake of doing the reps in about 2 seconds (1 second in the positive phase and 1 second in the negative phase), but doing so a set of 10 reps lasts a maximum of 20 seconds, time in to which only the myofibrils are solicited (which, as we have seen, are only a constitutive part of the muscle fibers). The repetitions performed slowly instead (1 second in the positive phase and 5-6 seconds in the negative phase), for a duration of the series of about 60 seconds, develop sarcoplasm, with the maximum benefits in terms of increase in muscle mass. In addition to a slow execution of the repetitions, it is also very important to know that to increase the muscles in an extreme way, the pauses between the series must be short: from 30 to 60 seconds maximum. Obviously using this training method the weights you will use will necessarily be medium-light, but there is no need to worry, years of experimentation have shown that this method works great. Moreover, research has shown that the short recovery between sets promotes the secretion of growth hormone, which greatly affects muscle growth.
Another technique for the development of sarcoplasm is given by the double and triple series that we will see later on.
It must also be said that not all muscles respond well to the same solicitation: the forearms, the abdominals, and the legs, for example - which are muscles oriented towards resistance efforts - respond very well to a solicitation that stimulates the development of the sarcoplasm, while other muscles such as the pectoral muscles - which are less suitable for endurance efforts - will respond better to a stimulus that is the right balance of a training stress between myofibrils and sarcoplasm.
After what has been said, it is clear that two different types of training are needed to develop muscles to the maximum, one to develop myofibrils and one to develop sarcoplasm.
- Incline bench press: 2-3 sets of 7-9 reps. + 5-6 partial repetitions
- Standing openings at high cables: 1 set of 7-9 reps. + 5-6 partial repetitions
- Parallel flexions with arms wide: 1 series of 7 reps. + 1 series of 6 reps. (double set) + 5-6 partial repetitions
- Openings to cables lying on the bench: 1 series of 7 reps. + 1 series of 6 reps. + 1 series of 5 reps. (triple set) + 5-6 partial reps
The partial repetitions they are nothing more than half repetitions to be performed, without any rest, at the end of the normal repetitions. Let's take an example of partial repetition with the barbell bench press exercise: establishing the entire trajectory of the movement divided into 4 parts, with point 1 when the barbell touches the chest and point 4 when the arms are completely stretched up, the partial repetitions consist of "performing movements that go from point 2 to point 3, that is, with the arms not completely lowered on the chest and not completely extended at the top; this is a half repetition or partial repetition.
There double series it consists of a series performed normally, immediately followed, without rest, by another series with a lighter load.
There triple series it consists of a series performed normally, immediately followed, without rest, by a second series with a lighter load, followed, still without rest, by a third series with an even lighter load.
The insertion of the partial repetitions, although it increased the time of muscle tension a little, thus stimulating the development of the sarcoplasm, but it served more than anything else for the stimulation of the growth of myofibrils.
The real stimulus of the sarcoplasm was given by the flexures to the parallels and the openings to the cables lying on the bench, performed with double, triple and partial repetitions at the end of the series to further increase the time of muscle tension. The volume of the sarcoplasm has increased a lot and so our athlete has gotten bigger in a short time: a fantastic thing. The insertion of the partial repetitions and the conclusion of the training of each muscle group with double and triple sets resulted in an optimal balance between development of myofibrils and sarcoplasm, for a large and rapid muscle growth.
Eccentric training with emphasis on the negative phase of repetitions
Like the double and triple series, the series with emphasis on the negative phase of the repetitions also produce, in addition to the development of the sarcoplasm, also an excellent development of myofibrils. Using this technique, excellent results have been achieved in compound exercises such as squats, bench presses and various lats pull-ups.
To perform a set with an emphasis on the negative phase of the reps, a relatively light load is used so that you can do the positive phase of the rep in 1 second and the negative phase in 6 seconds. The right weight to use is the one that allows you to perform about 7 repetitions in about 49 seconds.
Maintaining muscle tension for this long is an exceptional stimulus for the development of sarcoplasm; moreover, the negative (eccentric) phase so long (6 seconds) produces a "trauma" to the myofibrils which are thus stimulated to grow. Eccentric training also activates the metabolism and keeps it elevated for several hours after training, so that body fat is also burned. The only problem is that this type of training produces some soreness, but this is a small toll that you have to pay if you want to grow muscle and anyway (such soreness) is the signal that the method works. We have achieved the maximum, you increase your muscle mass and, at the same time, you become more defined.
We now report a training routine for the lats and the central part of the back, structured in order to obtain both the growth of myofibrils and the development of sarcoplasm.
- Lat machine pull-ups: 3 sets of 9-7-5 reps + 1 set of 7 reps. with emphasis on the negative phase
- Lat machine pull-ups with outstretched arms: 4 sets of 10 repetitions with the 4x method
- Barbell row: 3 sets of 9-7-5 reps + 1 set of 7 reps. with emphasis on the negative phase
- Lateral raises bent forward at 90 °: 4 sets of 10 repetitions using the 4x method
In the lats routine mentioned above, in 2 exercises - specifically the lat pull-ups and the barbell rowing - weight must be added in the second and third sets for the repetitions to decrease. In the last series, however, the weight must be reduced to be able to perform 7 repetitions with emphasis in the negative phase of the repetitions themselves. The rest between the series will be 2 minutes.
In the other 2 exercises - specifically the lat machine pull-ups with straight arms and side raises - bent forward at 90 °, the 4X method is used: same load and short rests between sets. This type of training is the best we have tried for overall muscle mass gain. A perfect balance to stimulate both myofibrils and sarcoplasm.
The 4X method involves the use of moderate loads, many sets and short breaks between sets and exercises. In particular, it is performed as follows:
- you use a weight with which you can do 15 repetitions and only 10 are done;
- rest for 30 seconds and do another 10 repetitions;
- rest for another 30 seconds and do another 10 repetitions;
- finally, after another 30 seconds of rest you try to do the last 10 repetitions.
- We used the term "you try to do"because, once fatigue has occurred, it shouldn't be possible to do all 10s. If you do all 10, it means that the next workout will have to increase the load a little.
- For the biceps, which are small muscles, we will do the 3X sets which are the same as the 4Xs but with one less set.
Training with the 4X method is particularly suitable for athletes close to the maximum individual growth potential. It is also suitable for athletes of a certain age because using light loads there are no traumas on the joints. Despite the use of light loads and the rapidity of execution (15 minutes) of this training, the red fibers are equally stimulated thoroughly (N.B. The training is short but the execution of 10 repetitions lasts about 60 seconds).
We have experimented with the 4X method on several athletes and the mass gains have been outstanding.
One last thing: almost all muscle groups need 3 exercises; in this way the muscle is trained in the 3 possible flexion positions. In this regard, we propose the following routine for the biceps:
- For the intermediate position: 4 x 10 barbell curl with 4X method
- For the stretch position: 3 x 10 lectern bench curl with 3X method
- For the contraction position: concentration curl with 3x12 dumbbell with 3X method
At this point our treatise on gaining muscle mass is finished. We sincerely hope that it will be useful in satisfying your desire for a muscular and defined physique and that this can help spread the validity of our methods., therefore suitable only for experienced bodybuilders, that is, those who have now passed the initial phase of bodybuilding practice and no longer find any benefit from programs for beginners and intermediates. After the initial and exciting results, in fact, every bodybuilder has experienced the bitter stalemate that led him to undertake different types of training almost always failing the goal. Among the most common mistakes that these athletes commit c "is to lengthen training sessions by adding exercises after exercises to their routine, falling inexorably into overtraining, or trying to increase loads in the vain hope of increasing strength, often getting serious They do not know that the right way is to increase the intensity of the training by decreasing the training time itself, by decreasing the pauses between sets and above all by radically changing the execution of the movements, as explained in this treatise.
For those who do not have sufficient training experience, we recommend that you first follow the programs that we report on our website www.foodcompany.it in the section "how to increase muscle mass". Only after performing these programs will you be ready for more challenging routines such as those reported in this paper.
As you have seen, we have not shown here complete training tables, but only examples of routines on some muscle group, precisely because we assume that those who follow these programs have sufficient experience to be able, once they understand the basic principles that here we report, compile complete training programs yourself. We could have done it ourselves, but we wanted to avoid considering also the large amount of variables that come into play from individual to individual and the fact that an advanced athlete is probably the best connoisseur of their physical and psychological characteristics.If you apply the techniques we have proposed here to the letter, you cannot fail. Good workout. . If even one of these factors is not applied to perfection, the desired results will not be obtained. Bodybuilding is a tough discipline that requires sacrifices and only those who apply will achieve the desired results.
Many athletes train like crazy but then let themselves go at the table eating everything they want; the result is an increase in body fat, fat that covers the muscles so laboriously developed with training. Other athletes do not get enough rest, have good nights going to bed very late and wake up early in the morning to go to work or to study : without the right hours of rest there can be no results because the body does not recover sufficiently.
Finally, the supplements. Some say, "What's the point of spending money on supplements when you can get the same substances from your normal diet?" The reality is that often the same quantities of substances cannot be taken from normal foods. Let's take creatine for example: to take 3 grams you need to ingest 1 kg of red meat, also ingesting 150 grams of fat contained in the meat itself. That's certainly not what it takes for good muscle definition!
Those who habitually take supplements know how important this aspect is and are happy to make this economic investment in their body rather than spending money on cigarettes and alcohol as many people do. Those are money thrown away!
Whatever anyone may say, a strong, muscular and defined physique has always been liked more than a fat one with a belly, not only to women but also to artists who in the past have used, as ideal aesthetic canons, muscular and sculpted bodies for their their works of art.
Well, we have really come to the end, all that remains is to wish everyone good results.
The article "Training secrets for "gaining muscle mass" was written to help you develop a muscular physique by following proven scientific bodybuilding strategies. Weight training is a very demanding physical activity; we therefore recommend that you consult your doctor and make all necessary medical checks before starting. Everything reported in this treaty is for informational purposes only and the use of the methods and trainings reported here is at your total discretion and responsibility.