The Art Of Muscle Building – 7 Principles Of Training
Some people see faster success in the gym than others.
While there are such factors that influence our muscle growth that we can’t control, like genetics.
There is a proven blueprint to increase our muscle growth and see results in the gym. Here today I want to share with you the insights that I got from paying literally thousands of dollars for a fitness certificate.
I’ll share with you the 7 principles that made all the difference for me, and for the hundreds of people that I trained.
Trends come and go, but principles stay.
Principles are fundamental truth that have passed the test time and are the foundation for a system.
If we accept the truth and apply these immutable laws in our training, we’ll skyrocket our success.
1 – Principle of the Effective Stimulus
Our body only adapts if the pain of staying the same is stronger than the pain of change. Our training sessions should be hard enough to start change, but not too hard to inflict damage.
Our bodies don’t want to build muscle and we have to force them to put more protein structures into their muscles.
I recommend you to train with a rate of percieved exertion of about 8-9.
Which means that you can barely do one more clean rep voluntarily.
This holds true for beginner and advanced, the beginner won’t necessarily injure himself as his brain will tell him to stop long before the advanced one.
Our training should be a training, focusing on developing our strenghts and obliterating weakness.
Trying to get better day by day.
2 – Principle of the individual load
Everyone is different.
Depending on our age, sex, genetic, health history and our weightlifting experience we also have to train differently.
This not only means the amount of the weights that you put on the machines, it also means the frequency of our training and the duration.
For most people it makes sense to train about 1 hour.
If the training takes longer than 1.5 hours it might be too taxing for our central nervous system.
It also might even decrease our ability to build muscles, by using protein as an energy source.
Which means the training is not an effective stimulus.
Everyone should follow basic principles, yet apply slight variations for their individual goals and history.
3 & 4– Principle of Variation
These are two principles, as variation must be applied in the long-term and in the short-term.
If we train the same way, we stay the same.
One, we must change 1/3 of the exercises atleast 2 months in every training cycle.
Especially if we’re not making any progress regarding our exercise weight.
And two, we must structure our training long-term, this is also called periodization (pirioudeisäischon).
We can’t go all out all of the time, we have to implement methods that vary the intensity and frequency of our training.
Ideally we plan our goals and training style 6 months in advance. Yes, you heard it right.
Having three phases in this structure: Build-up, Performance and Recovery.
In every of these phases the repetition range, exercise selection and frequency heavily differs.
While such a proficient planning is not necessary for a beginner.
These tactics should be planned and implemented if we’re advanced gym goers, looking to fulfill our potential.
5 – Principle of specificity
The reason marathon runners are not packed with muscle, is because jogging for long distance is putting more strain on the cardiovascular system, than on the muscle structure.
Our body only adapts, to what it needs to.
This means that we have to pay special attention to our repetition range and how we structure our training units.
I recommend training with about 6 to 12 repetitions, 2-3 sets and about 6-8 exercises if our main goal is to improve muscle growth. We should strive to improve our weights over time, not our repetitions.
If we do 100 push ups it won’t change our physique, if we do 10 push ups with ever increasing weight on our backs it’s a different story.
Progress of the weights is key.
6 – Principle of regular training
No one gets big from one training in the gym.
If we want to see progress we have to train regularly. If we train once in a week, we may be able to see progress as a beginner and if you’re an advanced lifter you may be able to maintain your muscles like that.
But it’s never enough to make progress.
Always train more than twice per week, if you’re serious about getting results. If you’re an advanced lifter and want to see progress: Aim for atleast 3-4 times per week.
Depending if you still see progress or not.
7 – Principle of supercompensation
The first principle was about the effective training stimulus.
But as we all know, the muscle growth happens in the recovery. Training itself is an immense stress for our body.
What makes exercise healthy are actually the couple hours following the work out.
Allow yourself atleast 48 hours rest of the muscle part after training.
Training twice per week on consecutive days is not as effective as having rest periods between those two days, and splitting them out evenly over the week.
These were the 7 training principles that have helped me boost my muscle growth.
In a short recap:
The principle of the effective stimulus, which makes sure that our training is truly training.
The principle of the individual load, which emphasizes the fact that we’re all individuals, while following principles, we still need a slightly different training.
The two principles of variation, which makes us understand that we train the same, we stay the same.
The principle of specificity, which explains that our body only adapts to what it needs to.
The principle of regular training, which states that we have to be committed atleast twice per week.
The principle of supercompensation, what truly matters is recovery and it’s relation to stress periods.
Principles are laws that have passed the time and have been followed since generations.
Why not apply this proven blueprint to our own life?