Monday, December 9, 2013

Increase Muscle Size - Hypertrophy

In the world of fitness we talk a lot about fat loss and weight loss.  What about weight gain?  Increasing muscle size?  Getting Ripped?  The goal is different for different people.  Over the last couple of months, in my own workouts, I've been looking at hypertrophy and just getting stronger.  There is controversy as to which is the best way to accomplish this.  Most will tell you that their experience is what gives them the knowledge as to which route is the best when the goal is hypertrophy.  Once again, everyone is different.  In my experiences, there are three  main points to getting bigger.  Intensity, Volume and Time Under Tension or a combination of the three.

Intensity is crucial.  If you blow through your hypertrophy workout with no struggle, something is wrong.  We follow the +1 Rule.  Definition:  If you can perform one more rep than the prescribed reps, add weight.  If you don't know what your max is, find out.  It doesn't have to be a true 1RM.  It can be a 3 or 5 rep test.  You just need to know.  If you know your 1RM, then then we can play with things.  The lower the reps, the higher the intensity.  The higher the reps the lower the intensity, but here is where time under tension comes in.

Time under tension, in my mind, it is.  the muscle has to be under tension longer.  Some studies that showed maximum hypertrophy when the muscle is under tension for 70-90 seconds or more.  If we were performing 10 repetitions(which is a goal rep number for me), in order to hit 70-90 seconds, each rep duration would have to 7-9 seconds.  So, here is a great tempo for each rep.  Keep a 4/2/2 tempo.  The numbers stand for the movement of the exercise.  Essentric/Isometric/Concentric One problem with this is that your intensity cannot bee too high.  We usually start with 60-70 of your 1RM and go from there.  3 sets of  10 Repetitions
at a 4/2/2/ Tempo with 70% of 1RM is pretty tough.

Regardless of the program, I believe there are 3 main points to hit when you're looking to get bigger.  Intensity, Volume and Time Under Tension or a combination of the three are it.  If you don't see growth within your program over a 6 week span, you're doing something wrong.  Maybe design, maybe nutrition or a combination.  Let me know if I can help.  Give me a call here at MVP Performance Training.


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