In order for your muscle building efforts to be fruitful, you need to know the key principles of hypertrophy. It's easy to say that bodybuilding is art and science at the same time. Symmetrical muscles and proper posturing are the artistic aspects, but what about science?
The scientific term for muscle growth is hypertrophy, which means as much as an increase in the size of muscle cells or muscle fibers. This is what many athletes aspire to. But you have to train properly. Otherwise it will be difficult to maximize muscle growth. You will see: some methods are much better than others. Understanding what modern research reveals about successful muscle building is the first step in successful mass training. Getting bigger and stronger is not just a physical task. Above all, your brain needs to work a lot. Take a look at these seven key training variables that you need to understand in order to successfully build muscle.
1. Focus on the intensity!
Intensity is often misunderstood. Most people think it refers to the effort of how hard training is required. In truth, the weight is crucial. The intensity is undoubtedly the most important training variable. To stimulate muscle growth, you need to overload your muscles. Therefore, the weight must be increased appropriately and systematically over time. Since the intensity is a measure of the weight, it can be expressed as a percentage of the maximum weight. The latter describes the weight you can do on a good day and in a correct technique with a maximum of one repetition (also known as 1RM). That way, you can express weights in percent, while 1RM has 100 percent as the base value. If your 1RM is 100 kg on bench press, 70% is 70 kg. According to research, exposure to less than 65 percent of maximum weight is not significant enough to promote hypertrophy. How much weight you use depends on your training goals. Phrases with many repetitions (15 or more) are less effective. Train with sets that have a moderate number of reps (6-12) to train for maximum muscle gain. The percentage should be 65-85% of the 1RM. Low repetition rates of 1 to 5 Reps have been shown to be the most optimal way to develop muscular strength.
2. Focus on the volume!
By "volume" is meant the total number of repetitions, sets and weights in a training session. High-volume multi-sentence programs are superior to practice exercises when it comes to building muscle. Although the exact mechanism is not known, high-volume workouts increasingly produce hormonal reactions (in particular, the release of testosterone and growth hormones). For hypertrophy, "more" seems to be better, and high-volume training boosts hormonal responses better. Units with 3-4 sets per exercise have shown that they can effectively build muscle. You should gradually increase the volume in your training and build in enough recovery periods to avoid overtraining.
3. Focus on the selection of your exercises!
Both multi-joint training and lumbar workouts are useful for building muscle, but the first option is better as it requires more than a single pair of joints during a particular exercise. For example, bench presses require the shoulder and elbow joints and their "connected" muscles. Undoubtedly, such "multi-joint exercises" achieve a greater mass of muscle, provoke a higher hormonal response and stimulate the nervous system much more intensely. Perform it at the beginning of the workout when the energy level is still high. It is important for you to integrate both types of exercises into your program. Different workouts can irritate more muscle fibers. The muscles generally work in different angles, planes and positions. Therefore, you should vary the choice of exercises to use this feature of the muscles for your purposes.
4. Focus on the right length of breaks!
The breaks are probably the most overlooked variable in muscle building training. The rest period between two sets must be adapted to your training goals.
For maximum strength development, you should have a rest period of 3 to 5 minutes to recover sufficiently for the next set. A moderate rest period of 1-2 minutes provides the best benefits for hypertrophy. You do not have to measure your break times between sets with a stopwatch, but you should keep it to a minimum and realize how important these effects are for building muscle.