What’s up, everyone! Welcome to another Full Affect Fitness article! Today I will be giving the most effective information for your very own muscle gain how-to! There are 3 main concepts to this topic, all of which I will be talking about in this article! Below is a list of these 3 concepts:
- Training Volume
- Exercise Selection
- Progressive Overload
Volume Volume Volume:
The main driver of hypertrophy (muscle gain) is the amount of training volume you are putting on your muscles. This because it has been shown to have a dose-response relationship with hypertrophy. The more volume you apply, the greater the gains.
However, this is dependent mainly upon one key factor, which is your ability to recover. In order for you to continue growing muscle, you need to be able to recover from the training you are doing. This is why you cannot simply do 70 sets per muscle group per week and expect to receive extraordinary gains!
Volume is the main driver in hypertrophy because it is the amount of training stimulus you are applying to your muscles. It is the reason you are giving your muscles to grow, and it must be a balanced approach. If you give your muscles too little reason to grow, they won’t be forced to adapt and grow bigger. On the flip side of this, if you give your muscles an overwhelming training stimulus, they won’t be able to properly recover which will prevent long term gains!
So just how much training volume should one be looking to use? Well typically, between 10 and 20 sets per muscle group per week of training volume between 5 and 30 reps within 4 reps of failure is enough training stimulus for your muscles to grow. This isn’t a set in stone number, it is a rule of thumb. It may vary depending on one’s personal circumstances. It may also progress/change throughout a program as a training variable you can manipulate to suit your goals.
Exercise selection is huge when it comes to any training you do! In relation to hypertrophy, it is crucial for ensuring you are receiving training volume in the most optimal way, and to work around and take into account your specific circumstances. Let’s explain these concepts in further detail below!
As I said above, the 10-20 sets rule of thumb is for direct work to a muscle group. Exercise selection plays a part in this as you must choose the exercises and number of exercises that will allow you to achieve this volume.
For example, a bench press is a targeted chest exercise. Meanwhile, a standard bench press is not a targeted triceps exercise. However, if you performed a close grip bench press, it then becomes a targeted triceps exercise.
When it comes to exercise selection and working around your specific circumstances, this is in regards to any injuries you may have or exercises that you personally respond better to.
For example, someone may have a shoulder injury, so instead of a bench press, they might perform a machine press if it helps alleviate any pain. Always seek medical advice for injuries! Another example may be someone not responding well with a dumbbell row, so they might choose to use a machine row that they can more optimally benefit from!
Now that we know how important training volume is, and guidelines on actually implementing it, it is time to discuss how we progress from this starting point! This is where the progressive overload principle comes into play! Progressive overload means gradually increasing the amount of training stress you are putting on your body over time. This is important for one main reason!
As you train, your body becomes accustomed to the work you are putting it through. Much like you need enough volume to give your body a reason to change, you also need to continually increase this volume over time to give your body a reason to change after it has already received a certain degree of training stimulus.
I made a whole article explaining what progressive overload is, and I will link it below. However, the main methods of progressive overload include increasing the amount of sets, reps and weight you are using. These aren’t the only methods of progressive overload, however. There are more minutia ones that I explain in my previously mentioned article!
All in all, gaining muscle is actually a very simple process. It is not easy to build muscle, it requires effort. However, the process of actually gaining it is simple. To sum things up, make sure you are using enough training volume for your body to grow, while not exceeding recovery limits. Ensure you are picking exercises that are suited for you and your goal. Lastly, don’t get complacent with training, you must continue to give your body a reason to adapt!
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Until Next Time,
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