Guest post by Todd Boyer
When you do a search online for Muscle Building Secret, you’re more likely to run into Muscle Building Myths.
Yes, there is good advice out there. In fact I’ve learned a significant amount about muscle building online. Here’s the caveat–you had better have your hip waders on, because you’re going to have to work your way through a lot of crap.
I love old school training techniques. That’s what I grew up with. It is the foundation of what I know about the topic of fitness. Over the years things change. They evolve. Theories are updated. Science debunks old ways of thinking.
The simple fact of building muscle remains unchanged. Lift a heavy object. Lower the heavy object. Repeat.
When it comes to lifting weights, there are no secrets. Building muscle just takes hard work, and some knowledge:
Reps – For nearly fifty years the the gold-standard has been to do 8 to 12 repetitions of an exercise. There is nothing wrong with working in this rep range, but will it get you where you want to go? The issue at hand is that in order to lift a weight 8 to 12 times means that the weight is not as heavy as it should be for greater muscle gains.
Varying the number of repetitions based on the amount of weight used will see greater increases in muscle size and strength. Read on for more explanation.
Sets – The old stand-by is to complete 3 sets of each exercise. Is this bad advice? Keep in mind that the number of sets completed should be directly reflected by the number of reps performed. That number can be estimated using a calculation of your 1-rep maximum lift. For instance, to use a medium weight (75% of 1RM) for 8 reps, then 3 sets may be appropriate.
By increasing the amount of weight used, and doing fewer repetitions, the number of sets are increased.
The total number of repetitions will be approximately the same. However, the total amount weight moved will be more in total.
Weight – The principal here is not complicated–lift more weight, build more muscle.
**Note – In the following example we will assume that the amount of weight is based on the calculation of a 1 rep max (1RM) of 248 lbs.
If you were to squat 200 pounds for 3 sets of 8, the total number of pounds moved would be 4800. If you increased the weight to 211 pounds (85% of 1RM) for 5 sets of 5 reps, the total amount of weight moved jumps to 5275 lbs.
That’s roughly the same number of reputations, but an increase of 475 lbs. more moved in the course of that one exercise. More weight equals more intensity. More intensity builds more muscle.
When it all comes down to it, there is only one secret to muscle gain–Intensity. Find ways to increase the intensity in your workouts by lifting heavier weights, and you will see the muscle gain that you are looking for.
About the author
Todd Boyer writes to inspire and motivate people about diet and exercise at PhitZone. Todd’s passion is to help people reach their physical fitness goals.