FRI: Three Training Factors in Muscle Growth
Step one, talk to Coach Lenny.
Step two, eat.
Every human body will add a bit of muscle the first time they incorporate strength training into their routine. It’s usually not a lot, maybe three to six pounds over a period of a few months and it’s generally accompanied with fat reduction, as well. This muscle is typically unnoticed since it’s a few pounds across the entire body.
From there, the body tends to adapt and stop adding muscle. If you don’t eat, you won’t add muscle beyond this primary adaption to the stimulus. If you wish to continue to add muscle, you’ll need to eat. Assuming that you are eating at caloric level that will allow your body to add muscle, there are three key training factors you want to pay attention to if growth is the goal.
- Mechanical Tension – Simplistically explained as load. Going heavy and creating an overload in the muscle through tension. Think barbell lifts in the 1-5 rep range performed on a consistent basis with progressive overload. This is believed by most muscle experts (of which I am not) to be the most important consistent factor in continuing to add muscle. (i.e., 5×5 back squat @ 90%.)
- Metabolic Stress – Volume. The “pump.” The muscle filling with lactate, hydrogen, and other metabolites. As mechanical tension increases, metabolic stress goes down because we can’t do as many reps, so mechanical tension and metabolic stress are usually inversely related. To maximize metabolic stress, a session would need to be at reduced load, so think 8R sets and above. (i.e., 4×8 back squat @ 65%.)
- Muscle Damage – The eccentric. Slow eccentrics that focus on micro tears in the muscle that ultimately repair and result in increase in diameter over time. Tempo training to move slow on the eccentric, getting full ROM and make a complete mind muscle connection. (i.e. 3 x 40×1 tempo back squat @ 70%.)
Hit heavy 5R days on the big barbell movements as your foundation (they are the most effective, and are most functional). Eat more than you’re used to. Mix in some days at higher volume like 8R sets, hit some negatives, and least important but beneficial, incorporate some isolation training.
Hit us with your questions in the online classroom. Oh, and talk to Coach Lenny.
First, For Structure
5 Broad Jumps
50m Back Pedal to 50m Side Shuffle
Complete 4 rounds in 16 minutes.
Then, for Conditioning.
8 OH KBS
6 180 Jumps
8 Shoulder Taps
100m Run Every Other Round
3×12 Tricep Push Downs
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