Thanks to the Internet, there’s an enormous amount of information available on gaining mass and strength training. However, a lot of that information comes from the opinions and anecdotes of individuals, rather than from the more valuable knowledge gained by working with thousands of people. So what you are going to read are actual facts and not hype.
When coming to gaining mass, it comes down to three basic techniques.
- High Intensity
- Progressive overload
- Variable frequency
High intensity: High-frequency training is actually working out the same muscle groups multiple times throughout the week, and at fewer sets per session at that. Muscles grow larger in response to high-intensity overload. This is a very simple element of human physiology that has been in operation for (according to anthropologists) over three million years…before fancy exercise equipment, before training “systems” and before nutritional supplements.
Muscles adapt to stress by increasing in volume so that it can handle the extra amount of stress. Whenever you do a high intensity and demanding workout, a message is sent to the central nervous system that the muscles cannot sustain the stress and more muscles are needed so new muscles appears. After the new muscles appear, you can again increase the intensity and the process will repeat itself.
Progressive Overload : When you go to the gym and you decide to do triceps with say 15kgs of 10 reps, its great but when you continuously do the same without increasing the weight then there will be no increase in muscles mass. This is the reason why overload must be progressive. You have to slowly push yourself by increasing the weight little by little.
This is one of the most overlooked aspects of bodybuilding. Many will just follow the same routine and then complain that they are not gaining mass.
If you are looking to maintain and not increase the muscle mass and strength then you can follow the same routine without progressive overload.
Variable frequency: High intensity and progressive overload are both important but you cannot have both. This is because after each workout you need to have adequate amount of rest before pushing your body physically.
Say you workout 3 days a week; Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It is useless because it is a fixed training and you cannot have fixed training and progressive overload simultaneously because your body cannot tolerate it. You need rest after workout and if you do not take proper rest then you will have muscle injuries, illness and if you manage to go through them then at one point you will stop improving.