It seems that each time that a new issue of a magazine, or a new book, is published with weight-training or bodybuilding tips, there is also a brand new set of training methods to follow. This makes everything very confusing, especially in bodybuilding for beginners. In this post, I aim to set down some training facts that are based in both the success of individuals that have applied them, and in sound scientific principles.
Training for Strength = Success in Reaching Training Goals!
In general terms, it can be stated that a large muscle equals a strong muscle. Why? If you think about it, the larger a muscle is, the more muscle protein, and hence more contractile elements, it contains. This means that a larger muscle is stronger and/or has more endurance than a smaller muscle.
Therefore, the ideal way to train for large mass gains, whether you are training naturally, or using anabolic steroids, is to train for large increases in strength over the long term. The heavy loads applied to the muscles in this type of training cause the most efficient increases in the elements of the muscle cells primarily involved in contraction.
In order to train for the fastest gains in size and strength, compound movements should be employed which bring into play a number of different muscle groups in the execution of the exercise, so enabling large training loads to be used, and the greatest amount of muscle tissue to be stimulated concurrently. Such exercises include the squat, deadlift, bench press, bent-over row, leg press etc.
These are also the exercises which are the hardest to perform, as compared with isolation exercises, which only target a single muscle or muscle group in isolation from the others surrounding it. This is the main reason why many people shy away from the difficult compound, or basic, exercises and gravitate towards isolation movements, which are easier to do, but what about results? Very little in the way of progress will be yours if you only stick to isolation exercises; you may get ‘toned-up’, but you certainly won’t build large muscles, if that is your primary aim.
In a nutshell, the effort you put in equates to the results that you get out of your training. This is why so few people reach their initial goals that they have in bodybuilding, simply because they are either uninformed, or not willing to put forth the effort required to put on a significant amount of muscle. The result is that so many give up training altogether, which is a real loss to them and to the future popularity of bodybuilding as a whole.
FREQUENCY & DURATION OF TRAINING
The processes involved in muscular growth and development derived from training may be divided into three distinct phases:
– Stimulation of muscle tissue via training.
– Recovery of body systems from the muscular damage and fatigue induced by training.
– Growth of muscle tissue (muscular hypertrophy) with resultant increase in strength and/or endurance such that the body is better able to cope with the training stress when it is next imposed.
As a result of this last phase, i.e. the growth and adaptation phase of the developmental process, your body has adapted to the training stress that has been imposed on it, assuming that you have allowed enough time to elapse between workouts to allow the process to be completed. There are also the provisos that your diet and sleep/rest habits are good outside the gym.
This adaptation means that your body will not continue to grow and develop if it is continually exposed to the same workloads over and over again, as it will soon be easily able to cope with this, and no longer have any reason to change and grow.
Therefore, you should always strive to increase your training intensity by employing different intensity techniques, and by increasing the workload in your training by using steadily greater poundages and/or more repetitions per set, and this concludes today’s bodybuilding tips for efficient mass training.