How to boost muscle growth? Learn more about the types of muscle fibers, the mechanisms of muscle growth and the main characteristics of training for hypertrophy! The article includes an example of the training program "10×3".
So, you want to gain muscle mass, but it's hard for you to understand the boundless ocean of training programs and various techniques aimed at stimulating muscle growth. In addition, we must remember that each person is unique: the one that helps build muscle, the other is ineffective.
However, there are common standards and principles, which are based on the lion's share of training "on the mass"; and although most use traditional methods of training for hypertrophy, you can always find an alternative way to the same, if not higher, results. In this article, we will talk about different types of muscle fibers, study the physiology of muscle growth and identify the most important characteristics for the hypertrophy of the training process. The final chord will be an example of a program aimed at maximizing muscle growth.
Before talking about the features of the training process for the mass, let's look at what types of muscle fibers exist.
Slow oxidative fibers are often called muscle fibers of the 1 type. These muscle fibers are first switched on and slowed down because of low activity of myosin ATPase (myosin has enzyme properties and in the process of reduction splits ATP into ADP + phosphate). 1 type fibers are distinguished by a high content of myoglobin, but glycogen stores are small in them, and therefore, mainly aerobic glycolysis is used for the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate (energy generation).
Muscle fibers 1 type are permeated with a huge number of capillaries and contain a lot of mitochondria, which explains their high oxidative potential. Due to these features, fatigue accumulates extremely slowly in 1 type fibers, and this makes them an excellent "tool" for work that requires stamina and endurance, for example, for long distance running.
Fast oxidative fibers, also known as 2 muscle fibers, are included in the work second. Like 1 type fibers, 2 type fibers are permeated with a large number of capillaries and are characterized by a high content of myoglobin and mitochondria. The key differences lie in the reserves of glycogen, which in 2 type fibers is larger than in 1 type fibers, and this makes them moderately resistant to fatigue.
In addition, 2 type muscle fibers have a higher contraction rate and differ from 1 type fibers with high activity of myosin ATPase. Due to these properties, fast oxidative fibers are ideally suited for work in which energy metabolism follows the path of both aerobic and anaerobic glycolysis, for example, for sprint races.
Rapid glycolytic fibers, or muscle fibers of the 2b type, use oxygen to a lesser extent, and the latter are included in the work. Fibers of the 2b type are permeated with fewer capillaries, they have fewer mitochondria and lower the content of myoglobin. Energy processes in 2b type fibers are completely dependent on glycogen, but despite its considerable reserves, these muscles get tired quite quickly.
The main advantage of fast glycolytic fibers lies in the powerful contractility and high activity of myosin ATPase, which makes them the most suitable for short-term high-intensity reductions requiring maximum power. It is this kind of work that we do during the strength training.
Active work starts in the muscles of the processes of adaptation and restructuring. The nature of the changes will depend on the type of physical activity, the type of muscle fibers involved, the duration of the load, the speed and duration of the contractions. Muscle growth, also called muscle hypertrophy, is a prime example of muscle adaptation and adjustment.
Muscular hypertrophy occurs mainly against a background of constant, anaerobic, high-intensity physical activity, similar to the one we encounter during strength training, lifting working weights. In addition, strength training stimulates neural adaptation, which leads to an increase in muscular endurance and a rise in strength, which ultimately leads to an increase in the size of muscle fibers.
Strength training causes an increase in the cross-sectional area of all types of muscle fibers without increasing the total number of muscle fibers.
It is proved that the age and sex of a person have a significant effect on the degree of muscle hypertrophy.
Distinctive features of training for weight
Strength training of high intensity is the best type of training activity for stimulating muscle growth.
The type of training program is largely determined by the level of physical training of the trainee. For example, if you are a novice in power training, you should stop at 2-3 strength training a week. At each training, you need to work out ALL muscle groups, since training the whole body stimulates a larger release of anabolic hormones than working only with the upper or only the lower body.
The more muscle fibers are involved in the work during training, the more muscular mass gain occurs. Despite this, experienced lifters and veterans of bodybuilding use 3-6-day split, made according to the principle of dividing muscles into main groups. To start further muscle growth, veterans need more than 2-3 sessions per week or a simple whole-body training, so they need to adjust their workouts to maximize the inclusion of muscle fibers and focus on a single muscle or muscle group.
To stimulate muscle growth, basic exercises are best suited. They include almost all parts of the body, and therefore activate more muscle fibers. The best basic exercises for hypertrophy are deadlift and squats, since they involve almost ALL the muscles of the human body. Other exercises that should be included in the training program for weight are the lifting of the bar to the chest, the bench press lying down, the press above the head, pulling up, push-ups on the uneven bars.
If you want to gain muscle mass, to exercise hypertrophy you need to use exercises with free weight. It would seem that it does not matter how to load muscles, but studies have shown that free weight, for example a barbell or dumbbells, is more effective than simulators in terms of activation and involvement of muscle fibers, since it involves more muscles during the exercise. However, beginners are encouraged to resort more often to simulators, as they reduce the risk of injury from improper performance to a minimum, and at the same time and accustom to the correct technique.
Weight, number of approaches and repetitions
For those who not only want to gain muscle mass, but also tend to increase muscle endurance, it is usually recommended to use a load of low and moderate intensity (50-75% single-peak maximum) in combination with an average training volume (from 3 to 6 approaches for 10 -20 repetitions). However, the shortest path to muscle growth is strength training with a load of at least 70% one-time maximum. For those who want to gain muscle mass and are eager for the growth of power indicators, it is better to use high intensity (at least 70% of one-time maximum) and a large amount of training load (from 3 to 6 approaches for 4-12 repetitions), which is perfect for solving such problems.
Both rapid and slow implementation of strength training movements leads to an increase in the cross-sectional area of muscle fibers of all types, but a high rate is better suited to stimulate the development of muscles, especially muscle fibers such as 2 and 2b.
You must constantly increase the load to stimulate the muscles in the processes of adaptation and adjustment, the result of which will be a set of muscle mass. Increasing the load can be achieved in several ways. You can increase the intensity of the exercise or increase working weight with an unchanged number of approaches and repetitions. You can raise the training volume by increasing the number of approaches and / or repetitions at a similar or higher working weight. In addition, you can vary the pace and speed of the exercise, shorten rest periods, etc.
Such training schemes, as 5×5 or 6×6, are quite suitable for mass work, because they combine high intensity and a large training volume. Scheme 10×3, developed by Derek Charleboy nicknamed "Animal", has much in common with them and leads to an increase in mass and strength. More information about the principles that underlie the training program 10×3, you can learn from the work "Power for the sake of attractiveness: training for strength and muscle mass."
The proposed training program 10×3 is an adapted version of the author's program. This 6-day training, designed exclusively for experienced and advanced lifters. One full cycle takes 12 weeks, which will require total dedication and considerable sacrifice, but the result is worth it.
- Morning cardio session: 30 minutes of low or moderate intensity
(the day that separates the best from everyone else)
- Morning cardio session: 30 minutes of low or moderate intensity
OUTPUT (if you want to work, limit 30-minute cardio session of low or moderate intensity)
Ready training programs can be found in the section: training programs for the masses.
In our body there are three types of muscle fibers: type 1, type 2 and type 2b. The best type of physical activity for stimulating muscle hypertrophy is strength training. Factors such as age, gender and level of physical training affect the degree of muscle hypertrophy in response to training load.
It is possible and necessary to change the characteristics of the training process in order to stimulate maximum muscle growth. In particular, we can connect a split-training, change exercises and use different kinds of burdens. We have the right to change the intensity and volume of the training load, vary the speed and perform compound exercises at a high rate, thereby constantly increasing the load on the muscles within the framework of one training program. Through the use of these techniques, strength training will lead to a continuous increase in the cross-sectional area of all types of muscle fibers.
Keep in mind that for a set of muscle mass, only one strength training is not enough. Nutrition is of enormous importance, and without a properly formulated diet, aimed at hypertrophy, you can train up to the seventh sweat all day long without getting the desired result.