What is the science behind muscle gain? Visit any(good/scientific) fitness channel on YouTube, read a scientific journal or magazine, ask any physiologist/ kinesiologist/physiotherapist or any trainer worth two dimes, all will tell you same thing. Keep Changing your Workout. Why? Because when you perform a movement for a long time, your body inhibits the movement pattern and this reduces the strain on the muscles. Reducing strain on muscles means they are being challenged less, which reduces their progress. How?
Let’s Find Out:
When we workout, our muscles undergoes microscopic trauma, which causes tear in muscle fibers. Our body repairs them, in turn, making them bigger and stronger. This is called hypertrophy.
There are two types of Hypertrophy, Myofibril Hypertrophy and Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy.
Myofibril Hypertrophy: In simple language, Myofibril Hypertrophy is repairing of component cells and tissues which suffered trauma during weight training and workouts. Myofibril Hypertrophy actin and myosin contractile proteins increase in number and add to muscular strength as well as a small increase in the size of the muscle. Myofibril Hypertrophy happen when you train with medium weights for 8-12 repetitions. Myofibril Hypertrophy is best for athletes who require strength burst for a short duration of time. Professional weight lifters and strength athletes use this type of training as it the best way to provide progressive overload.
You can use Myofibril Hypertrophy for training bigger muscle parts like back and legs, as they have low density of motor units.
Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy: Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy is basically increasing sacroplasmic fluids in muscle to increase their size, but no increase in strength. This technique is used by many bodybuilders who concentrate on size rather than strength.
You can use Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy while training smaller muscle size like arms, fore-arms and calves, as they are high in motor units and recuperate quickly. Key is to use lighter weights for higher reps.
But what you need to understand is, you cannot gain only muscle or strength. These two types go hand in hand and cannot be seperated.
So, How To Train?
You have mix these two techniques in order to gain maximum strength and size. Progressive overload is the mantra. You have to keep increasing weight and repetitions, without sacrificing form. Here are a few pointers that you can start immediately.
- Intensity: Control the weight while bringing up (concentric) movement and while bringing down (eccentric) movement. It may surprise you, but eccentric movement puts more stress on your nervous system than concentric movement, thus causing more stress on muscles.
- Change Repetitions: Keep changing the repetitions. Sometimes go heavy, like a one rep max or 3×3 workouts. Some day do 20 repetitions of a movement and feel your muscle burning. Always keep your mind and muscles guessing.
- Change intervals: Keep changing time interval between your sets. This will help you shock your muscles and thus improve neurological control of your brains. This will help you increase strength in a very short time. Stuck in a plateau? This technique is also great for breaking plateaus.
Remember, you should keep progressing, but do not sacrifice your form. In this case, means don’t justify the end. Be safe. And now, switch on to your BEAST MODE and destroy the weight room.(not literally, though!)