Training for athletic performance is very different from training for increasing muscle volume. Ironically, many athletes these days desperately want bigger muscles, but what is constantly holding them back is unsuccessful attempts to increase the maximum in their one rep max (1RM).
Most gym users would like to have muscles like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, but can bench press more than 120kg. They constantly strive to increase their one-rep max and overlook many effective training techniques for muscle hypertrophy. If your main goal is big and impressive muscles, then this article is for you.
Heavy weights are not that important if you want to get bigger.
After all, the goal should be to injure the muscles in the gym and then enable them to grow with good nutrition and recovery. Within what weight you are currently lifting, it does not affect the result as much as it seems to most people. So the question arises, how strong do you need to be?
Let’s take a close look at this problem. Most people want to lift huge weights and there is a reason for this, as it’s a great thrill to lift a huge weight and set a personal record within serious exercises.
As for heavy basic exercises such as squats, bench press, deadlifts and the army press, there shouldn’t be any major heights here at all to strive for. But is there a minimum?
Many experts are constantly encouraging athletes to lift more of their own weight. For example, 1.5 × a gym users own body weight is required within the deadlift for beginners. Many non-competitive athletes strive to get stronger for better health, joint functioning and bone density and they look at increased strength as an indicator of their progress. And naturally, many want to become stronger in order to satisfy their own levels of pride. If you look at the process from a health point of view, will you live longer if you bench press 180kg in one set and not 130 kg? Perhaps. This is worth contemplating, but this moment should come when you are already quite happy with your results. Returning to the pursuit of size, will the constant progression of the load increase the size of the muscles? If you’re an advanced athlete, then no.
Sure, it helps to stimulate the nervous system and release testosterone and growth hormone, but research shows that high reps and sets produce a very similar hormonal response.
Lee Haney said that you need to stimulate the muscles, but not kill them. If you are already at the level where the muscles look pretty impressive, then you have succeeded in creating the foundation. And if you strive for the further gain in muscle mass, now is the time to apply other methods!
The myth of progression
Usually people refer to progression as weight gain, which is used in exercises with the same number of repetitions. There is no controversy here, but many do not understand that weight gain is not the only way to progress. Imagine a typical 10-rep set in a bodybuilders workout. Before adding 5-10% of weight next week, consider these options as well:
- Add volume of movement. Increasing your range of motion will increase your time under load with the same weight. For example, standard deadlifts or partial squats with greater amplitude.
- TW Temp Change Of course, it is much more difficult to lift heavy weights using slow negatives in every rep and set. Pause repetitions, 4-second negatives and other tempo changes will create more stimulation for muscle hypertrophy. This is especially effective for bench exercises.
- Long set methods, such as the rest-pause method, ladder sets and 15 reps or more are just a few ways to increase the working load without increasing the weight itself.
Again, if your main goal is muscle growth, you need to change your mind-set a little. The concepts of “big” and “strong” muscles quite often overlap, but in many ways they are not the same thing. If you desire to gain muscle size and definition at the same time, this is sometimes near to impossible even with the correct diet and training programs. Luckily this is where the help of supplement agents come in. In our store you can find many beneficial supplements that can help you to overcome this issue and gain lean and defined muscle mass such as with Winstrol oral, or using Testosterone and Trenbolone together, this will provide huge results.
How to increase muscle volume?
If you’ve built up strength over a long period of time and now want to build muscle like a bodybuilder, here are 4 strategies that will work.
Focus on the brain-muscle connection
Many people do not know how important it is to create a mental connection with the weight that is being lifted. These are such exercises as the bench press dumbbells with very large weights, while trying to adhere closely to the correct technique, so as to “feel it burn within the chest muscles”.
In truth, you can use lighter weights and increased mental focus to achieve the similar results. You can press dumbbells that are two times lighter than your normal and after over twice the amount of reps, you will notice that the muscles have increased more than ever. The main goal should be to make yourself feel like the dumbbells are much heavier than they actually are. At the same time, you will feel the same muscle pain, as after doing the exercise with heavier weights. The same rule applies to split squats, breeding dumbbells while lying down and swing dumbbells to the sides.
Use high volume weeks
Sets of 6-8 reps will not work if you do them all of the time. They become excessive and the nervous system responds less and less to this training method. In this case, of “high volume” means more sets and more reps within the same exercise.
You can take any basic exercise and add more reps, with a decreased rest pattern. You can also simply do 6 sets of 10-12 reps with less rest. Something more advanced and complex, for example, the “Gironda” 8 x 8 program, or German volumetric training 10 x 10, or ladder approaches in which you use no more than 70% of your 1RM.
Again, it’s important to remember what our main goal is. These workouts are for muscle damage and fatigue, that is in order to induce muscle growth during the recovery period.
Use burning sets
Even during the heavy training weeks, after your last working set, reduce the weight to 60% of your 1RM. Complete 1 set before muscle failure. You should get somewhere between 15-20 reps. This is a great finishing chord for a workout, but more importantly, burn sets dramatically increase lactic acid levels and also stimulate a large release of growth hormone from the pituitary gland. This technique can also be adopted for the more advanced athlete as “drop sets” meaning that after your last working set, you do 60% of your 1RM and after failure, do another set at 40% of your 1RM and finally after fatigue, you can perform a burnout at 20% of your 1RM. This will ensure that the muscle is fully fatigued!
This is a very simple rule, do not live in captivity with your training programs.
It’s easier to think of your workout routine as a pile of paperwork on your desk that needs to be completed before the end of the day. Papers that are still on the table indicate the work in progress. The point is this, if you work out and complete your sets without the mood and concentration, you feel pain in the joints and, in principle, you do not get any result from the training apart from sore joints, so then there becomes no point in doing the exercise. Everyone has workouts that we don’t “perceive” to be good, but many think that we need to complete such a bad workout even if you don’t feel anything in the target muscles.
This is a real sign of training maturity when you can make changes to your program and do what your body needs at this moment. This could be, for example, replacing dumbbell lunges with a French press. When you feel fine in the day squats why not do 1 or 2 additional sets? Take full advantage of the moments when you feel great, but remember that there may be times when the opposite is true and with this, changes can be made by either reducing the working load for better techniques or training another muscle group until you can adopt the correct method of the recovered muscle group.
Training intuitively means that sometimes you have to ignore the weights you lift and focus on the basic pattern and stimulation as in tip # 1. Don’t even count the repetitions. Act strictly in accordance to the sensations and burning that you feel. Even the incredible Arny once stated that he starts to count his reps from the moment of his muscle fatigue! This is why you might occasionally see a veteran bodybuilder come to the gym and do light weight isolation workouts. As this valuable idea ensure that the muscle is worked on, regardless of the number of reps of the amount of weight which is being lifted. Remember in these situations, train smarter not harder!