You join the gym, and after 5 minutes of your first day of training, while you prolong the rest of your series with an unfocused look and the sweat dripping down your back, the big question rumbles in your ears: «…how do I gain muscle mass…»
- 1 Keys to gain muscle mass
- 2 Increasing Muscle Mass
- 3 Hypertrophy Training
- 4 Adjust the intensity and volume
- 5 Rest between series
- 6 Increase load under pressure
- 7 Exercise Tempo
- 8 Training for Failure
- 9 Apply Rest & Pause
- 10 Multi-joint exercises
- 11 Isolated Exercises
- 12 Exercises with your own body weight
- 13 Maintain concentration
- 14 Related Entries
Keys to gain muscle mass
At this point I believe that it is clear to everyone that in order to increase your muscle mass three fundamental things are necessary. These are the variables that we will «play with» and depending on how well you adjust each one, your goal will be closer:
Training + Nutrition + Rest
On this occasion we will focus on the first variable: Training. Without a proper stimulus, it is very difficult for the rest to «go well»…
Increasing Muscle Mass
It is quite normal that if we fail in any of the previous variables, to want to compensate in the others. This is not how it works. We must consider it as a whole. However, within each one, we can mimic and attend to which protocols or recommendations to seek to maximise them.
You can find many sources of information related to increasing muscle volume, however, it could be said that «there are different ways of reaching the same goal».
If you want to gain muscle mass, focus your training on that. And here the fundamental point revolves around aesthetics.
Equally, if you want to compete in powerlifting or weightlifting, your training would revolve around performance, without looking at the aesthetic side.
Adjust the intensity and volume
For the first we refer expressly to the load used in the exercises, i.e. the % of our RM. This would of course apply to multi-joint exercises. The second refers to the number of sets and repetitions. As a rule, the relationship between the two variables is established according to the following table:
|Objective||Charge (on 1RM)||Repetitions||Series|
A high volume is not compatible with a high intensity
Rest between series
The 60-120s range is considered to be the most appropriate, as established by Brad Schoenfeld and his team as the most optimal rest period for muscle growth.
Increase load under pressure
Make use of «advanced training techniques», such as Biseries, Superseries, «Drop Sets», … the machines will be more comfortable and it will be easier to apply these techniques (removing disks quickly). If we «fail» it will not be the same to do it in a machine, than if we have the bar loaded on top…
Try a descending series in press…
The «tempo» is the mode of execution of the exercises. One of the main benefits will be to promote Stress Work (TUT), it also allows to control Metabolic Stress and Mechanical Stress. One repetition can be divided into 4 phases: Eccentric – Final – Concentric – Start
The fraction of time of each of the phases or transitions will generate a certain stimulus.
- Eccentric phase: We take the bar out of the support and keep the arms stretched out. Start lowering the bar until it reaches the chest. We count mentally 4.
- End: We touch the chest. We count 2 from the moment we touch our body until we push the bar
- Concentric Phase: This is the most complicated phase, and where we have to «squeeze». We count 1 until the sweep reaches the starting point.
- Start: We have reached the starting point. We count mentally 1 before starting the 2 repetition.
Control the weight, don’t let it control you
Training for Failure
Muscle failure should not be the norm. On the other hand, «touching» the failure, or punctually reaching it, could be totally feasible. This aspect is less critical in weight training, and likewise in descending series or applied to secondary muscles or isolation exercises. Reaching the failure by squatting, may leave you KO for the rest of the training…
«Abusing» muscle failure can leave your Central Nervous System fried, reducing our ability to generate the right stimulus…
Apply Rest & Pause
Instead of reaching the failure, «stop» before it happens. Between 1 or 2 reps would be enough (failure-1 or -2). At that point, release the bar/dumbbells, take a 15-20″ deep breath, and pick up the exercise where you left off.
This technique will help to prolong the exercise and complete each series
- Warm up with an empty bar(realiza alguna serie de 15-20 Bradford Press).
- Add weight to the bar (approximation series), until you reach the target load (75% of your RM) for the effective series.
- Mark a number of series (3) and repetitions (12x).
- In the first series you won’t notice the fatigue, but the fatigue will appear in the middle of the second series (between the 6-8 rep). Release the bar before you can’t lift it. Air intake lasts 20″. Put the bar back on your shoulders and continue the series.
- If you are forced to stop before the last rep, apply the same principle.
- Finish the last series. Possibly you will apply the Rest&Pause before the second one.
The basis of the training routine should be the basic or multi-articular exercises, these manage to recruit a very high amount of muscle fibres, so that the stimulus is much higher. They are also the ones that will produce the most wear and tear, both in terms of substrates and general fatigue.
In addition, the hormonal factor comes into play: these movements are characterised by a high release of testosterone and growth hormone
We must not forget that we are «bodybuilders», therefore, these exercises involving smaller muscles are necessary. Work from all possible angles, add modifications to the exercise, use if necessary a half stroke, increase the congestion of the muscular area…
You won’t improve your biceps’ «peak» if you only do squats…
Exercises with your own body weight
They are often overlooked or underestimated. But the truth is that they generate very powerful stimuli in the face of hypertrophy. In order to maximize the TUT, it performs each repetition in a slow and controlled way. Moreover, you can always add intensity by means of ballast (discs, dumbbells, ropes…).
Again, «tempo» will be used to achieve this premise
Avoid by all means any distraction in each series of rest, your mind must remain «focused». As long as you remain
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