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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Building More Muscle - Derek

Preparation for our contest is underway! My goal at this stage is simple : gain weight. As much muscle as possible of course, but I want to number on the scale to go up.

Routine wise, it was back to the total body heavy weight training. Being the creative person I am I tried to alter/improve on the previous routine and this is what I came up with.

There are 3 variables I employ with a weight gain routine such as this: Frequency, Volume, and Intensity.

  • Frequency refers to how often you work a muscle group in a given week
  • Volume refers to how many sets and reps you do for a muscle group per workout
  • Intensity, in this case, refers to how much weight you use relative to the maximum amount of weight you are capable of using.
When training to gain weight, I increase the frequency of my training to nearly everyday for most muscle groups, and I follow a High intensity program (low volume and as much weight as possible). I increased the volume slightly for this routine compared to my last total body one
which improved my results, and caused problems I will mention below.

Traditional High Intensity programs follow low volume AND low frequency, but I have found my method to work very well for me. I also make the adjustment of training total body every workout rather than separating muscle groups because the more muscle you stimulate in a single workout, the greater your Growth Hormone and Testosterone release will be. (These are natural steroids your body makes in response to training).

WARNING: While this training has worked very well for me,
mixing High Intensity training with high frequency is a recipe for injury. The reason volume and frequency are normally kept low is to allow not only your muscles but your joints enough time to fully heal. I tend to recover quickly so I push the limit on these variables, and by the fifth week on this program tendinitis began to plague me in several joints.

The Lesson Here: If you want to gain muscle, a program like the one I've listed may work wonders for you. Just be careful and pay very close attention to your form and how your body feels. If anything hurts, back off. I would not recommend following a program like this for any more than 4 weeks at a time.

P.S. Eat your Beans & Greens!



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