Prabal gupta

 | 1 minute to read



Some say that the best way to build muscle is to blast your muscles once a week with lots of exercises, sets and reps. A typical routine might be like chest on Monday, back on Tuesday, shoulders on Wednesday, legs on Thursday and arms on Friday. While some people get decent results with this type of routine, there are better options available. In fact, working a muscle more frequently has been shown in a number of studies to increase the rate of muscle growth. In one trial, subjects who trained a muscle three times a week-built muscle more quickly than the ones training it once a week. When a team of scientists compared studies that investigated training muscle groups once, twice or three times a week, they concluded that “the major muscle groups should be trained at least twice a week” to maximize growth. Why is hitting a muscle group twice a week or more a better way to build muscle than hitting it just once a week? Protein synthesis – a key driving force behind muscle growth – is raised for a day or two after you train. But it’s back to normal a couple of days later. And simply creating more muscle damage doesn’t appear to make the rise in protein synthesis last any longer. What’s more, the rise in protein synthesis after training peaks earlier and returns to normal more quickly in trained versus untrained individuals. The upshot of which is that there’s a smaller overall change in muscle protein synthesis in advanced lifters. In other words, when you train a muscle group directly only once per week, the muscles might spend a few days “growing” after the workout. But if you leave an entire week between training each muscle group, you’re missing several additional opportunities to introduce growth. In short, anyone with average genetics who wants to gain as much muscle as they can in the shortest time possible will get better results training each muscle group at least twice every seven days. I know that two workouts a week might not sound like much. But, as long as your program is set up right, you can still make decent progress lifting weights twice a week. If you’re able to train 4-5 times a week, then the menu of effective routines becomes much larger. Training more often means that you can divide your body into two or even three separate compartments, and still hit each muscle group twice a week or more. The higher frequency of training works well if you have the capacity to recover from the stresses of training five days a week for two weeks out of every three. Not everyone can do it, so approach with caution. It’s often said that beginners should avoid split routines and stick with full-body workouts that involve working each muscle group three times per week. As long as the training program and diet are set up correctly, beginners can still make good progress on split routines that involve training 4-5 days per week. In much the same way that beginners can make impressive gains using a split routine, anyone who has moved past the beginner stages of training can still add a substantial amount of size by working their whole body three times a week. How Many Sets Should You Do And How Many Reps You Should Go For? The more sets you do – up to a point at least – the faster your muscles will grow. However, there is a point at which doing more sets becomes counterproductive. Ten sets per muscle group per week may be twice as effective as five sets. But, it doesn’t necessarily follow that 20 sets is going to be twice as good as 10. In other words, there’s a theoretical “optimal” number of sets per muscle group, above and below which gains in size will be slower than they otherwise would be. The precise location of this “sweet spot” will depend on your genetics, the length of time you’ve been training, your age, the type of exercises you’re doing, your diet, as well as other sources of stress, be they physical or psychological, that you have going on in your life. As a rough guide, 10-12 sets per muscle group per week is a good starting point. Then, you can adjust the number of sets upwards or downwards based on how your body responds. Any increase in weekly training volume should be done gradually. So if you’re currently doing, for example, around 10-12 sets per muscle group per week, then bump that up by around 25% to 13-15 sets per muscle group. So don’t get crazy adjust things based on the body’s response. High or Low Reps for Muscle Growth? When it comes to reps, we often think that training with light weights and high reps builds muscular endurance, but makes little contribution to gains in size. Heavy weights and lower reps has been thought to be “best way” to build muscle. However, lifting heavy weights isn’t the only way to put a large number of muscle fibers under tension. Training with lighter weights and higher reps generates a large amount of metabolic stress, which has also been shown to increase the activation of muscle fibers. So the fact is it’s possible to build muscle with higher reps and lighter weights doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a good idea to do so. As higher reps and lighter weights won’t lead to superior gains in size or strength. So, lower reps and heavier weights wins as far as gains in strength are concerned. But again, as long as you train hard and push yourself, heavy weights, medium weights and light weights can all be used successfully to build muscle. Should You Go Fast or Slow to Grow? How fast (or slowly) should you perform each repetition? Extremely slow training speeds offer no significant advantage compared to simply lifting and lowering the weight under control. Some exercises are better suited to faster lifting speeds than others. You wouldn’t want to do dumbbell curls with a fast lifting speed, and a clean isn’t really a clean if you’re lifting the bar slowly. Bodyweight movements such as dips, push-ups, inverted rows and chins, as well as most single-joint exercises, are better done at a slightly slower speed. But for pretty much every other exercise, the proper rep speed for gaining size is to lift the bar with as much force as you can. Then simply lower it under control. There is no need to count the number of seconds it takes to complete each repetition. So just focus on moving the bar and forget about everything else. How Long Should You Rest Between Sets? As a rule, longer (2-3 minutes) rest periods work better for muscle growth than shorter rest periods lasting 60 seconds or less. Shorter rest periods (60 seconds) also appear to blunt post-exercise muscle protein synthesis compared to rest periods lasting 5 minutes. However, there’s also research that shows no difference in muscle growth with rest periods lasting 30 seconds versus 2.5-3 minutes. So, what should you do? Other than saving time, shorter rest periods offer no muscle building advantage over long rest periods. In some cases, they may well put the brakes on muscle growth. So, I’d suggest taking several minutes of rest between sets of multi-joint exercises that work large muscle groups, such as squats, rows, deadlifts, leg presses and so on. You can take a shorter rest between single-joint exercises that work smaller muscles, such as dumbbell curls, lateral raises and press-downs. MORE SORENESS MEANS MORE GROWTH?? It’s often said that muscle growth is the result of muscle damage. Building new muscle is all about damaging the fibers that you start with. “It’s your body’s response to the muscle damage you inflict during a workout that leads to muscle growth.” Shatter your muscles with lots of sets and reps, the more damage you create, the better. As a result, the muscle will adapt by making itself bigger and stronger. Crushing your muscles every time you train seems like a highly effective way to train, mainly because it leaves you feeling sore the next day. It “feels” like it’s working. But But But… Increase in muscle soreness doesn’t necessarily reflect an increase in muscle damage, and a decrease in muscle soreness is not always the sign of less muscle damage. That said, while muscle damage isn’t a requirement for growth, it may accelerate the process. But even then, more damage doesn’t actually mean faster growth. If a link between muscle damage and muscle growth does exist, then that’s likely going to be a sweet spot between “too much” and “not enough” damage. A training session that forms part of a program designed to stimulate muscle growth will sometimes leave you feeling sore the next day. But that very same training program will sometimes include workouts that do not produce the same level of soreness. Although feeling sore and stiff for days might be satisfying, but but but there is no guarantee that muscle is going to be built any faster. MAKE A HABIT OF KEEPING A WORKOUT LOG- Before you even set foot in the gym it’s vital that you know exactly what you’re doing when you get there. If you’re serious about gaining muscle, its highly recommended to keep a training log. As the most important benefit of a training log is that it will force you to face facts. “CONSISTENCY IS THE BEST WAY TO MAKE SOME SERIOUS GAINS’’

Mohit Chouksey

great one

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