Building more muscles is one of the struggles of many people who exercise in gym is how to build more muscles. Lots of us have suffered plateaus after the initial excitement seeing a bit of muscle on our bodies.
Some of you guys will be searching online for a programme that will get you more muscular, some will be on YouTube searching for the perfect exercise. Some will train 7 days this week or train even longer in the gym.
If the truth be known ALL the above will do is set you back further in your quest to building a more muscular body than before. Why and how do I know that? I have been there, worn the t-shirt as they say.
Ya sure there are some cool workouts in this or that magazine, but what you don’t know is what stage the athlete that is performing these workouts is at.
I train with some buddies in the gym from time to time, one it is nice to challenge myself against somebody and two it helps having somebody next to me watching my form. My buddies aren’t as advanced in their level of fitness nor experienced as I am so when they come to do a workout with me they cannot keep up.
Sure they might be able to lift heavier weights on certain exercises but really that is not the be all and end all. You have to be able to combine all the variables of the programme to make any progress. Otherwise any Tom, Dick and Harry would walk into a gym and lift heavy weights and that would be that!
Did you know these magazines are owned by supplement companies? Some of the athletes in these magazines well let’s just say they have a bit more of an advantage than the likes of you and me (You know what I mean)? I mean heck some of these workouts would floor a gorilla! What do you think it will do to your body?
I have tried to be as brief as possible and break down the information here into one article but I couldn’t really as I felt if I did I would leave you guys short.
So building more muscles fast when you have been training a while requires a few tweaks here and there and following protocols that you wouldn’t worry about if you were just starting out.
“The skills that got you into Egypt aren’t the same skills that will get you into the Promised Land” Dan Sullivan
Like a professional tennis player, in their 1st season they do really well. Big serve massive forehand and hits lots of winners from the baseline.
Their second season won’t be as well as by then his/her opponent has worked out their strengths and weaknesses. The element of surprise has gone and he/she will have to come out with new ideas.
No longer can that person keep hitting the same winners from the baseline, or keep serving ace after ace.
Their opponent can read the direction of the serve and of the shot. They are able to react that split second faster enabling them to get to the shot and get it back over the net.
They have studied videos of this newbie; they have played him many times over the season. The element of surprise has gone. That person will have to come up with new shots such as the drop shot or come into the net.
The same principle applies to our bodies. As our muscles adapt to certain stimulus we have to continually find new ways to force it to grow.
The more advanced you get in your workouts, the trickier it gets to consistently make new muscle gains.
“Artists get better by sharpening their skills or by acquiring new ones; they get better by learning to work, and by learning from their work”. David Bayles.
The most important factor that we need to do every time we train is…? TENSION!! I repeat, Create TENSION on the target muscle. Call it constant contraction of the muscle if you will.
You are not giving your body a good enough reason to say “Oh boy that was hard work”. “I sure don’t want to go through this again” if you are not training with tension.
To do this you need to use perfect form and leave your ego at the door. It might take a little bit of time to get there and wipe out the crappy old techniques but once you do get there you will get results faster and more frequently than what you have been experiencing.
Your body moves in patterns which are stored in the brain. The scientific term is called “Engram”.
The best example that I can give you with building muscle is doing a bent over rear delt exercise.
The rear deltoid muscle is a small muscle and so it is difficult to use a lot of weight.
Most people don’t know isolate the muscle so they use heavier weights with crappy form and/or because they have no mind to muscle connection.
Other muscles are being brought into it. What is needed is initiating with the target muscle.
So the body will fire up the muscles in no particular order the Rhomboids, Triceps, Lower Back, Hips and so on.
The good news is that these can be erased and replaced by new patterns as we start to learn proper form. This will result in more muscles with less weight.
Here is what you also need to do to build more muscle…
- Create tension on the target muscle – as discussed above to break down the muscle fibres.
Arching your lower back and pushing your chest out during dumbbell shoulder presses will do nothing to build your shoulders!
- Improve posture by strengthening/stretching weaker, shortened or imbalanced muscles – A tight muscle is a weak muscle.
Limitations in the range of motion are an indicator that muscles that move you into that position have lost the ability to contract properly and they can’t shorten.
If the muscles cannot contract properly then cannot stabilise the joint.
Since they cannot shorten the antagonist or opposite muscle cannot lengthen properly.
If the muscle cannot fire properly in the way they are used to the natural neurological response when the body senses instability it will tighten up as a protective measure.
- Stick to your prescribed programme. Don’t do an advanced programme if you are a beginner.
Progressive overload is the name of the game.
Focus on intensity and only add more volume if you can handle it with the same intensity
“The best workout is the one that you follow.” – Unknown
- Avoid ego lifting – This is a favourite of mine.
Using your bodyweight to assist you in doing triceps pushdowns so you can stack the whole weight will not stimulate your triceps to grow! Nor will winging the bar when doing bicep curls.
- Train with Intentions to create even more tension – Find ways to make the exercise harder not easier!!
Your body is already trying to make the exercise easier for itself so why on earth are you trying to do the same?
- Tempo is directly responsible for the training effect that you are after– Muscles grow better on the eccentric (negative) part of the lift.
The muscles contract (shorten) on this part of the lift. Slow down the eccentric part of the lift and bring the weight down under control.
The Biceps respond better to time under tension than weight selection. Remember 21’s?
Tempo is directly responsible for the training effect that you are after
- Overtraining has been blown out of all proportion – Training for 4 hours a week is not overtraining guys!!
Scientific definition of overtraining – Long term first decline in performance accompanying symptoms like disturbed sleep, irritability, change of attitude, perception of pain in the gym is lower.
- Plan an overreaching phase into your training programme –
Definition of Overreaching or overwork – means a short period of increased work that deliberately exceeds your abilities
- Stick to prescribed rest times – If the programme dictates 30 second it is 30 seconds for a reason.
Stick to it or you will be training with energy that you are not supposed to have which will hinder your progress.
Leave chatting with the hot chick with a cute butt until after your workout.
“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” Bruce Lee
Stay tuned for part 2 very soon. Look out for the email…