Jan 13 , 2020

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Training Program for Muscle Gain

Training Structure during Muscle Gaining Phases:

  • Training structure I find is even more important here, it needs to be periodised, needs to have progressive overload, and needs to have mainly compound lifts.
  • From a basic standpoint – weights, reps, sets one of these variables should be increasing week by week in order to track your progress – i.e. if you do 2 sets of narrow bench for 10 reps week one, then week two should be 2 sets of 11 reps, or 3 sets of 10 reps etc etc….
  • see your strength and muscularity improve if you keep up this pace!
  • You should definitely be focusing on compound lifts here as they use the most muscularity and you will see your strength improve in a surplus, so there’s no better time to focus on the big lifts – Squats, Deadlifts, OHP, Bench press etc!
  • Definitely target strength work and hypertrophy – to maximise muscle tissue growth!
  • Effective de-loads will be important as well (I recommend one every 4-5 weeks) particularly in more advanced lifters.

 

Example 1:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Newbie

Upper Body (4-5 exercises 8-12 sets, rep ranges 6-12)

Lower body

(4-5 exercises 8-12 sets, rep ranges 6-12)

REST/Active Recovery

outdoor walking/mobility work/stretching

Upper Body

(4-5 exercises 8-12 sets, rep ranges 6-12)

Lower body

(4-5 exercises 8-12 sets, rep ranges 6-12)

REST/Active Recovery

outdoor walking/mobility work/stretching

REST or Active Recovery i.e. outdoor walking/mobility work/stretching

Example 2:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Intermediate

Upper Body Push

(6-8 exercises, 3-5 sets per muscle group, rep ranges between 6-12, incorporate heavier weights in lower rep ranges/lighter in higher)

Upper Body Pull

(6-8 exercises, 3-5 sets per muscle group, rep ranges between 6-12 incorporate heavier weights in lower rep ranges and lighter in higher)

Legs (Push + Pull)

(6-8 exercises, 3-5 sets per muscle group, rep ranges between 6-12 incorporate heavier weights in lower rep ranges and lighter in higher)

Upper Body Push

(6-8 exercises, 3-5 sets per muscle group, rep ranges between 6-12, incorporate heavier weights in lower rep ranges/lighter in higher)

Upper Body Pull

(6-8 exercises, 3-5 sets per muscle group, rep ranges between 6-12, incorporate heavier weights in lower rep ranges and lighter in higher)

Legs (Push + Pull)

(6-8 exercises, 3-5 sets per muscle group, rep ranges between 6-12, incorporate heavier weights in lower rep ranges and lighter in higher)

REST or Active Recovery i.e. outdoor walking/mobility work/stretching

Example 3:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Advanced

Total Body Push

(8-10 exercises, 3-5 sets per muscle group, rep ranges between 3-12 incorporate heavier weights in lower rep ranges/lighter in higher)

Total Body Pull

(8-10 exercises, 3-5 sets per muscle group, rep ranges between 3-12 incorporate heavier weights in lower rep ranges/lighter in higher)

Total Body Push

 

(8-10 exercises, 3-5 sets per muscle group, rep ranges between 3-12 incorporate heavier weights in lower rep ranges/lighter in higher)

Total Body Pull

(8-10 exercises, 3-5 sets per muscle group, rep ranges between 3-12 incorporate heavier weights in lower rep ranges/lighter in higher)

Total Body Push

(8-10 exercises, 3-5 sets per muscle group, rep ranges between 3-12 incorporate heavier weights in lower rep ranges/lighter in higher)

Total Body Pull

 

(8-10 exercises, 3-5 sets per muscle group, rep ranges between 3-12 incorporate heavier weights in lower rep ranges/lighter in higher)

REST or Active Recovery i.e. outdoor walking/mobility work/stretching

 

  • For heart health it is advisable to continue with some LISS (Low intensity steady state cardio) – warm up and cool down – approx. 20 mins per day to keep yourself ticking over.

Strength Training and Hypertrophy – Totally Separate or Optimal together?

  • Basic principles first
  • Hypertrophy is the process of stimulating muscle tissue growth through periodised, structured, progressively overloaded training – hypertrophy training is primarily done to INCREASE MUSCULARITY AND MUSCLE TISSUE (if you want to get technical, there are two types of hypertrophy – sarcoplasmic hypertrophy i.e. increased muscle glycogen storage and myofibrillar hypertrophy – increased myofibril size)
  • Strength training – is the process of becoming more efficient and effective at recruiting muscle tissues in a synergistic fashion to generate MORE strength outputs for specific movement patterns
  • Here’s an epiphany moment….if you do additional hypertrophy work to work on building more muscle tissue…..you’ll have more muscle tissue to recruit for heavier loads….
  • Therefore – strength training and hypertrophy are not mutually exclusive….if anything there are incredibly cohesive.
  • The principle of progressive overload, periodisation etc are prominent in both!
  • Hypertrophy improves strength training and strength training improves hypertrophy – therefore it is optimal to train them together or to do periods of training incorporating both!
  • Let’s take an example… you are struggling with your bench press – you’ve reached a plateau…you’ve done all the variations of bench press you can possibly think of, heavy negatives, pause reps, more reps, less reps etc etc
  • It’s your lock out that is preventing you from competing your lifts…
  • Where’s the weak point in this chain? Let’s say it’s triceps… therefore if we do additional hypertrophy work coupled with strength work on our triceps i.e. heavy tricep extensions, skullcrushers, tricep dips et…, we can build MORE muscle fibres, MORE actin and myosin (contractile proteins) which will contribute to overall STRONGER TRICEPS – but we continue with our bench protocol and include the tricep work as additional accessory work – then we will eventually see the lock out portion IMPROVE and your plateaus busted!
  • This can be applied to all areas, squats, deadlifts, overhead press ANY MOVEMENT YOU CAN THINK OF!
  • Additionally if you are then looking to get a bit bigger and put on mass, if you’ve done a strength phase you can take your %’s to build your hypertrophy program and use a higher load to stimulate more growth….
  • IT’s not rocket science guys, but trust me…. It works!!!


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