A Major One In Animals Is Which Allows Muscle Contraction Avoid Strength Plateaus in Your Weight Training Program for Muscle Building or General Fitness

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Avoid Strength Plateaus in Your Weight Training Program for Muscle Building or General Fitness

Anyone who has had some success with their weight training is always bombarded with the same question: How did you build that physique… high weight or high reps? Of course, most trainees who have been on a training plateau for months (or years) seek advice from those who have proven to be successful. There are two types of people who just can’t seem to stop gaining muscle: those with the one in a million genetics that allow them to put on muscle with any random training program, and those who have intelligently manipulated their training program with weight. keep their training dynamic and the muscle gains come. If you are one of those genetic freaks who answer everything, then this article is not for you. If you are a person who confidently hits the gym like an animal with a good nutrition plan, but still seems to be just spinning their wheels instead of making the progress you want, then this article will be extremely helpful.

Before we get into manipulating your weight training to avoid training plateaus, three important points should be made:

1. 99% of trainees are over-trained for volume and under-trained for intensity. More is not always better.

2. The human body will respond to any acute stimulus, but quickly adapts to maintain homeostasis. The workout that worked wonders for the first few weeks is sure to stall if changes aren’t made.

3. To keep the body adapting positively to our training efforts, we must:

  • increase the intensity of the training stimulus
  • or

  • change the training stimulus all together

While the above three principles are essential to program design, the following points should also be considered in designing any weight training/fitness program…

All or nothing principle

Muscle fibers fire on an all-or-nothing basis—the size or strength of the contraction is dictated by the number of fibers that fire simultaneously. Heavier weights activate more muscle fibers/reps. (although this is not the only means of influencing the amount of fibers exhausted during a workout) The more fibers exhausted, the greater the overload, the greater the overload the greater the gains.

There can be too many good things

There is such a thing as too good; with increasing amounts of overload in a given workout and decreasing amounts of recovery time, there is a point of diminishing returns. The average trainer will see that things are working well, and in an effort to keep the gains coming, they reason that if a little is good, then a lot must be better, so they add more sets and reps and use heavier weights. heavy. Most people are constantly flirting with exercise because of this. Actual weight training is only a stimulus for muscle growth…..muscle grows when we rest. To be efficient, we need to perform enough work, but not too much to send the message that the muscles will grow and change in response to weight training training. We need to create maximum overload with a minimum requirement for recovery capability to achieve maximum benefits.

It’s all about the CNS!

Our central nervous system controls the muscle groups of every body part we train, yet little attention is paid to the huge effect this has on recovery. Anyone who has had a great weight training session one day, only to be disappointed the next, can attest to the fact that there is an aspect of recovery ability that is independent of the body part trained during the previous workout.

We’ve covered a lot of important points about muscle physiology and training…so what does this all mean in the context of an actual workout??? For example, imagine you’ve just had the best leg workout ever and you feel great. You even hit a personal best on a set of ten-rep squats. Fired up for the next workout, you try to tackle the gym with the same enthusiasm the next day – only to find that your bench press has dropped by about 20%! Common sense would tell us that if we’ve just trained our legs and are going to train our chest the next day, then we’ll be fine – even if the leg workout was very intense. The problem with this logic is that the CNS controls the ability of these muscle groups to contract. As stated above, muscles contract according to an all-or-nothing principle – the more fibers that contract, the stronger the contraction. The CNS, having been stressed during an intense leg workout, is still recovering and is unable to fire all those muscle fibers needed in the chest for maximum strength. The consequences of this situation are extremely important: a fatigued CNS will not be able to generate the load required to cause an overload in the target muscle. Translation: IT WILL NOT GROW! This illustrates the very reasons that most people do not experience the progress with their weight training that they should. Your diet can be great, you can rest a lot, but you still aren’t gaining because of a dysfunctional training protocol that doesn’t allow for enough recovery.

We’ve all been in this situation before and wondered endlessly about the cause of the sudden drop in strength….Was it the diet? Maybe stress? Or maybe you just forgot to wear your lucky underwear? The answer, of course, is that all other things being equal (and of course you didn’t forget your lucky underwear), the CNS is still fatigued from the previous workout. If our chest muscles are capable of pushing 20% ​​more than our CNS will actually allow on this particular day, it’s no wonder that chest training will be counterproductive… So that a muscle to grow, it must be overloaded, in order to achieve overload we must contract the muscles against heavy weights and these contractions are controlled by the CNS. If the CNS has not recovered from the day before, we cannot hope to have a chest workout that will produce the desired results. We’d be much more apt to take a full rest day and train chest (or whatever the next scheduled workout is) when we’re actually able to do it productively. Of course, the reasoning of more serious trainees is that if they weren’t strong on chest day, then they just need more chest work. Then add extra sets, reps, and maybe an extra day of training during the week – this only contributes to the problem in the first place, ensuring that with all that extra hard work we’re comfortable, at best. It should also be noted that this is a cumulative problem, the deeper we dig into our ability to recover, the harder it is to get out.

So now that we have identified the problem what do we do now???

Unfortunately, there is no one answer to this question, but there are some general strategies for manipulating your training program to keep the gains coming. The most basic rule here is that the human body responds very quickly to changes. It is not adequate, however, to simply change the training in an arbitrary manner – we must have a systematic way to manipulate our weight training exercises to produce the desired results. Training an exercise from a different angle, or changing the order in which the exercises are performed in a workout are both good ways to achieve this goal in the context of your more general weight training plan. This is not enough, however to avoid a training plateau – the overall volume and intensity of training must be systematically conveyed.

Volume, intensity and overload explained

With the countless ways in which the words volume and intensity are thrown around in muscle magazines and popular weight training and fitness books, the lack of consensus on exactly what these terms mean is not surprising. So you had a tough workout – was it high intensity? or was it high volume? The official definition of exercise volume is the total amount of work that is performed during exercise; take all the sets you performed and multiply the weights x reps….add these numbers together and you have your total training volume. Intensity is determined by the percentage of the maximum of a repetition in which the exercises are performed; The higher the percentage of one-rep max in a set, the higher the intensity. It should then make sense that there is an internal balance between volume and intensity. If you are performing heavier sets at a higher percentage of a rep-max, then you will necessarily do fewer reps and the overall volume will decrease. Similarly, with a ton of sets and reps we won’t be able to train as the bulk increases and the intensity drops.

Volume and intensity cycling keeps the gains coming by keeping the CNS out of balance. Our CNS is lazy by nature – the first time we perform and exercise we use more muscles – each time a successive exercise is performed, the CNS “learns” how to contract that muscle more efficiently by the way it recruits muscle fibers for it. the contract. Many strength gains, therefore, are due to the CNS becoming more efficient, rather than the muscles actually growing. When the CNS becomes more efficient, the same weights, sets, and repetitions that caused an overload in previous workouts will not do so indefinitely. Hence the basic rule of overload: To keep the profits coming in, we must either increase the intensity of the stimulus (use progressively heavier weights), or change the stimulus all together from:

  • applying different exercises
  • changing the angle or repetition rate of existing exercises
  • (most importantly) changing volume and intensity over time in a planned and systematic way

The most profound way to change the nature of the training stimulus is to change the volume/intensity of the training – this way we are ensuring that any adaptations are due to muscular gains and not a CNS that has learned how to do more work with less. muscle fatigue. Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for achieving this, but as a general rule, workouts should be organized into two training phases lasting 4-6 weeks. Phase I is the higher volume training lasting 4-6 weeks, then after a one-week “break-in” period, begin to increase the weight and intensity while decreasing the training volume during phase II training. Furthermore, within the individual phases of your training, variations in the exercises themselves, the pace of the repetitions, the angle of execution, etc. should be used further to keep your body guessing (and winning). Most every popular training system is compatible with this; during the high volume phase German Volume training works extremely well, while any high intensity protocol like heavy duty or otherwise will work great.

So now you know that the “secret” to building muscle is really just intelligent program design. Think twice before jumping on the latest fad workout band or wasting time trying the latest workout in a magazine as described by a pro-bodybuilder. The best training protocol is dynamic and custom designed for the trainee’s goals, lifestyle and schedule. While many people respond well to a new training program, the lack of planned volume and intensity cycling to keep workouts productive inevitably leads to a training plateau. Those who have been and continue to be successful in this game have become experts at manipulating their weight training and fitness training to keep the progress coming.

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