Learn what supercompensation is and how to use it to customize your training cycle for maximum results.
Author: Jason Maxwell
Not a day goes by until I feel an irresistible desire to take cold iron in my hands. To feel the pressure of the grooved neck of the loaded bar is my main drug, and I think that's yours too. Fortunately, hard work is bearing fruit – and we have scientific evidence to that. Today it is quite normal to go to the gym and bring myself to exhaustion and pain. At the subconscious level, you understand that you will inevitably become bigger and stronger, and "overtraining" is as much a deception as the stripper's chest (and even more deception than her attention during a private dance).
If you train in good faith, you will receive a reward. And all this thanks to supercompensation.
This is the phase that is the result of hard training and intensive recovery – a period when you are stronger and larger than what was originally (that is, compared to the original functionality). In practice, this means gaining a serious muscle mass in a few weeks.
At each training, there is a destruction of muscle fibers, depletion of key nutrients and, of course, fatigue. This leads to a drop in functionality. From this starting point, your body will recover, increasing the synthesis of muscle protein to rebuild muscle tissue, pulling you to the original level as quickly as possible. If the recovery is normal, a period of supercompensation occurs, during which your functionality exceeds the original level. This means that your muscles grow faster than before.
All this comes from training to training, but in order to achieve maximum hypertrophy, you need to break supercompensation into separate phases – microcycles.
Use of microcycles for supercompensation
Usually, microcycles are used to bring you closer to a specific goal: in our case, to hypertrophy. Usually, it takes an 3-4 weekly period, during which the training is repeated three to six times. Famous examples of microcycles – German volumetric training and training Smolov Junior. Each of these microcycles lasts 4 weeks and pursues a clear goal.
For maximum supercompensation, you need to train for wear so that your functionality is temporarily reduced. This is called overload. With the right approach, you will feel tired, weakened and, perhaps, even appear to yourself less at the end of the microcycle. The key point is to train to the limit. Pain and suffering in the simulator will soon justify itself.
The simplest way to achieve overload when working for hypertrophy is to lift the training volume week after week. It's easy to do, once a week, adding one approach to each exercise. Thus, you will push your body beyond the limits of its capabilities, forcing it to carry out more work. However, in the end you will reach the limit, the body can not cope with a greater load, and you will feel weak. It's good. This is overload. If you did everything right, it will take from three to six weeks.
Many people confuse overload with overtraining. There is not much in common here. If you are overtrained, you constantly feel weakened and tired, and for a full recovery months go by. True, I've never heard of a powerlifter or a bodybuilder who overtrained, but I heard that this happens to triathletes. During the overload from overtraining you are separated by a very fine line.
As soon as you get to the overload, magic begins. The training volume is automatically reduced by 50-70%, and the intensity is increased by 5%. For example, if you crouched down with 100 kg and 5 did 10 approaches in the last week of the overload phase, you should reduce the volume to 2 sets by 10 and increase the working weight to 105 kg (or even more). Such unloading lasts a week or even less.
The goal of increasing intensity is to continue to generate training incentives, despite the dramatic reduction in volume required for recovery. From the graph (above), it is clear that recovery is the first step to supercompensation. In fact, it is absolutely necessary if you want to quickly pump up muscles and harvest a rich crop in every muscle building microcycle. And once the recovery has such importance in the phase of supercompensation unloading, it is not superfluous to recall some of the methods of recovery – sleep and nutrition.
Sleep and nutrition – this is the Yin and Yang of your training program. You've heard about this a million times, and therefore remember one more time for sure it will not hurt. Here's what you need to know about recovery in the phase of supercompensation unloading:
- Sleep at least 7 hours every night.
A set of muscle mass is careful planning, and only then action. Train at the limit of possibilities, use the phase of supercompensation unloading, and your efforts will be rewarded. Here is your game plan:
- Increase the volume until you reach the overvoltage
It's time to succumb to addiction, put your hands on the cold iron and make an overload with your fetish. If you have any questions or concerns, leave them in the comments. We will discuss.