Progressive Overload – What you should know

Increasing the weight you lift may not be the best method of Progressive Overload…even though that’s what you’ll read all over the Internet. I know because that’s all I found.

….is there a more effective method of progressive overload?

….let’s take a analytical view

…by increasing your BB Bench Press (example: 200 lbs x 6 reps) by 5 lbs, you will increase your workload by 5/200 or 2.5%

….by increasing your reps (with the same weight) by 2, you increase the workload by 2/6 or 33%

….by increasing the number of sets (example: 4 sets of 6 reps) by 1, you increase the workload by 1/4 or 25%

As you can see, increasing the weight is the least effective method of progressive overload and will cause a plateau in a short period of time.

Increasing reps and/or sets will create a greater overload on your muscles causing more growth. (Watch Tom Platz do a leg workout.)

You can’t continue to add reps and/or sets beyond 4-6 weeks though and this is where you change exercises or increase the weight and start all over.

Start at 10 sets per body part per week, then add 1 set per week and stop when you get to 20 sets. The rep range can be from 6 – 30 depending on the body part.

For years, I tried increasing the weight and nothing else and got nowhere. The weight I lifted stopped going up after a few months. And I did not grow much.

Now I practice High Volume Training and really like the results.

Checkout GVT or German Volume Training. It’s difficult but it’s very effective at building muscle.

Training Frequency for Maximum Muscle Growth

This question is asked a million times on the forums/fitness websites…”How often should I train body parts?”

I had wondered if 2x per week was optimal. I never thought so but never had proof until now.

**** Look at male gymnasts….they train everyday… some 6x per week. They’re arms are incredible.

male gymnast arms

**** How about crosfit athletes? They train the same body parts everyday. Female crosfit athletes have big legs.

female crosfit muscular legs

I ran across an article the other day that tested muscle growth in 2 groups of men. One group resistance trained 1x per week while the 2nd group trained 3x per week. Both groups trained for 12 weeks with each performing the exact same workout and the exact same number of sets. The 2nd group did less sets per day but worked out more days.

The results were interesting to say the least. The first group (worked out 1x per week) gained 1 lb of muscle while the 2nd group (worked out 3x per week) gained 4 lbs of muscle in 12 weeks.

A lot of people say muscles need 2 or 3 days to grow/recover. I don’t believe that’s true. I think it’s more like 24 hours. The microscopic tears in the muscle are repaired rather quickly. It’s not like when you cut yourself or strain a muscle. That’s a lot of damage.

Here’s more proof….(http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/h95-038#.Vtcc3fkrJpg)

Muscle protein synthetic rate (MPS) was measured after heavy, resistance training and here is what was discovered. Muscle protein synthesis increased 50% 4 hours after training and 109% at 24 hours. At 36 hours muscle protein synthesis was almost back to normal.

So it looks like 24-30 hours maybe optimal recovery. I found it hard to believe it takes 2 or 3 days for muscles to recover/grow.

Let’s put it to the test. I’m going to squat 4-5 days a week. I’ll measure my legs before and weekly. Let’s see if they grow faster than 2x per week.

…stay tuned.

 

Squats Vs Leg Press and Full Range of Motion

OK…I want to talk about two subjects that are very controversial…

  1. Squats or Leg Press for massive legs
  2. Full range of motion or partials?

I read/hear this controversy all the time….Squats or Leg Press????

Which is better for building leg mass?

Most people say SQUATS are the “King” for legs but how do we know this is true? Well…bodybuilders do squats right? Yes, some do but not all. I know Dorian Yates did not. Dorian had hip surgery that prevented him from doing barbell squats. He used the leg press and hack squats. His legs were huge. I’m sure they were others too. So the reality is Squats are not necessary for large leg development.

Dorian Yates legs

Squats are draining because you use way more muscles than the leg press. If you want to focus on leg development then why not only work your leg muscles and not your whole body? Makes sense right?

What about Full Range of Motion? Is it necessary for maximum muscle growth?

This one is easy to find the answer….just watch some of the professional bodybuilders doing squats, leg presses, shoulder presses, bench presses, etc. Rarely do you ever see a bodybuilder doing full range of motion. They mostly do 1/2 or 1/4 ROM at best.

So full range of motion is a myth for optimal muscle growth.

Here is a great video covering these two topics. I learned something today!!!

Easy Way to Measure Food Portions

It can be a pain to constantly measure or weigh food portions….4 oz meat…1 cup of rice, 1 cup of green beans, etc.

…BUT there is an easy solution.

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Fresh Starts 1 Cup Chilled Lunch Containers with Removable Ice Pack at Amazon.com

These are Fresh Starts 1 cup containers. These make measuring food very easy. I usually eat 1 cup of most foods like chicken, rice, cottage cheese, green beans, etc.

1 cup of chopped chicken or any meat is 4 oz.

I just fill one with a meat, one with a veggie and one with a fruit or cheese and throw them in my lunch bag. No weighing or measuring.