3 Ways to Gain

It’s been said that the truly successful people out there have the perfect balance of science and anecdote. I have to say I’m inclined to agree.

In this group we all enjoy a good debate and discussion about training, nutrition, mindset and ‘supplements’ however I feel there are lots of things we don’t cover as well, such as the length of time required for progress, how to accurately create a training plan based on DUP, Block Periods and so on.

It would be great to have people put up suggestions regarding various topics and also the backing (both scientific/anecdotal) for their claims. This is so that knowledge can be shared and lessons can be learnt.

I will start with a brief snippet on the different ways to build muscle/strength and where I got the info from.

You can stimulate growth one of three ways:

1 – Heavy Lifting
2 – Constant Tension
3 – Volume/Cumulative Fatigue

How do they work?

1 – Heavy Lifting (as it sounds, Franco’s fav):

– Micro-trauma, a high force output leads to a high rate of protein degradation, meaning increased protein synthesis post training.

– Neural factors, you can recruit more muscle fibres/motor units more efficiently, meaning you can lift more weight progressively over time.

– Hormonal response is typically an increase of free Testosterone.

*Christian Thibaudeau speaks of this in detail in the book ‘Black Book of Strength Training Secrets’ well yea actually speaks about this in all his books to be fair.

2 – Constant Tension (pump training, Arnold’s fav):

– When you perform a strength/hypertrophy training exercise while starving the target muscle of oxygen through constant tension, several things happen: lactate production increases, hGH and IGF-1 levels (very anabolic hormones).

– Muscle is being stimulated finds itself in a hypoxic state (oxygen deprived), fast-twitch fiber activation is increased as a result, it has been said this is due to the type 1 fibres lack of activation because of the shortage of available oxygen to said target muscle.

– Sets lasting at least 30 seconds, preferably 40-70 seconds of time under maximal tension (to maximize lactate production).

*Check out Dr Squat (Dr Fred Hatfield) and his book ‘A Scientific Approach to Bodybuilding or any of his other books.

3 – Volume/Cumulative Fatigue (reps for days, Serge Nubrej’s fav):

– Volume work with short rest periods (90 seconds tops – this also helps increase IGF1 & HGH) typically will increase the number of muscle fibers being stimulated via the cumulative fatigue effect.

– Due to the moderate weights used they type 1 fibres become fatigued meaning more type 2 recruitment will occur to keep you pumping out the reps.

– The more total volume the more adaptation is required, meaning more muscle growth to keep up with the volume demands. Think of rowers and other athletes that have high volume outputs and their overall muscular size.

*This is mentioned in several of the books written/co-authored by Zatsiorsky, check out ‘Super Training’.

Usually you will end up combining al three of these method in some way shape or form over the years, but for those who didn’t know this is how muscle/strength typically is built. I’ve always used the Heavy Lifting Method,, however I got he best results when I had a high degree of TUT (constant tension) as well but like a true idiot I stopped with the maximal tension because it was hard going….

More fool me.

What knowledge are you going to share?


1 Comment

Filed under Fitness, Nutrition & Health

One response to “3 Ways to Gain

  1. Pingback: Easy on Paper… | RossFit P.T

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