Did you catch my post from 2 days ago? In it, I laid out Arnold’s Golden 6 workout – go get it if you didn’t already.
To continue the Arnold theme, today I want to delve into 3 things Arnold got right back in the 70’s. 3 things that were questionable at the time, but we now know to be true. But do you know them yet? Here we go…
(1) GETTING A PUMP HELPS TO BUILD MUSCLE
A criticism that often comes from people who only ever use low rep ranges (like the 5×5 workout people) is that a pump is merely cosmetic i.e. it just looks good, but it does nothing to build muscle.
That’s simply not true. And Arnold knew it back in the day – though he didn’t know how or why it worked.
A muscular pump can and does contribute to muscle growth stimulation.
Here’s the reason: Muscle growth is a defense mechanism. If the body isn’t perceiving a threat coming from the environment, it isn’t going to add any new muscle.
The pump occurs when liquid rushes into the muscle cells in order to transport fuel and oxygen. Muscle cells then SWELL in size, which is seen by the body as a THREAT i.e. a threat to the actual integrity of the cell. So to compensate, the body increases protein synthesis levels (muscle growth).
You get a great pump with my free THT training – taking a set to failure between the 8th and 12 rep generates a great swelling/pump.
THT will tell you the best exercises to use, the best rep ranges, the right number of sets to do, the best training frequency – everything you need for the best gains ever in the shortest amount of time! Don’t worry, there’s no spam, no BS. Download the full workout below.
(2) OPTIMIZE YOUR MIND-MUSCLE CONNECTION
Arnold used to say that he visualized each muscle as he worked it. Now we know why it works! These days we call it the Mind-Muscle connection. Arnold said…
The weights are just a means to an end; how well you contract the muscles is what training is all about.
Arnold would see and feel the muscle working as he contracted it. I agree whole-heartedly! Stimulating growth is not about trying to always lift the heaviest weights.
The weights are a means to an end – that end being great quality, high-intensity contractions. It’s called ‘Feeling the muscle, not the Weight’ and I wrote about it here.
Anyway, this visualization has now been shown to improve and help maximize muscle fiber recruitment. Electromyography (EMG) tests show higher muscle activation when trainees visualize the muscles working as they were training. Fascinating stuff! Again…Arnold got that 100% correct.Here are 3 amazing muscle tips that Arnold got right in the 70's! Click To Tweet
NOTE: Scientific testing (EMG) has revealed the 12 best exercises for all body parts. You will maximize muscle activation levels by using these 12 exercises. I put the list with evidence for you below. Pop in your details below to get it (zero spam policy).
Thanks! Here's what you wanted. Enjoy...
(3) CYCLE IN SOME HEAVIER WEIGHT/LOW-REP TRAINING CYCLES
Again, in my THT training, we take time to increase weights, lower the rep range and focus a little more on increasing strength.
Every so often, Arnold would pick an exercise, like the bench press, increase the weight and test his strength in a very low rep range. He would, of course, be trying to set a new personal best in this exercise.
Why is that important?
We want growth (hypertrophy). Right? But what we really want in the long term is CHRONIC HYPERTROPHY.
Chronic hypertrophy means that you don’t just gain muscle for a few months or even a year. It means that your training should be structured in such a way that you keep gaining over the long term.
In my opinion, this involves using the following training cycles:
- Targeted Hypertrophy
- Mixed (a mix of hypertrophy and strength adaptations)
THT has this well covered as we train in the following rep ranges:
- Hypertrophy – 8-12 Rep Range (for 10 weeks)
- Mixed Strength & Size – 6-8 Rep Range (for 10 weeks)
Why bother with the mixed phase if you only want to train for growth? You always have to get stronger to add more muscle. In other words, you need to be adding more weight to the bar over time (but small increases work best – not loading up the bar and going heavy all the time).
Switching between these phases means the bigger you get, the stronger you get, the bigger you get, the stronger you get, the bigger you get, the stronger you get….you get the idea
If you haven’t already started THT training, go get it today and begin. You WILL see gains fast – I promise!
I think that will finish my Arnold theme for a little while, guys. Any thoughts or comments, let me know below 🙂
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You probably don’t know how many calories you need, or how many grams of protein, carbs or fat you need (based on your personal stats)…BUT I DO. Then I can take these numbers and create an exact meal plan for you to hit those numbers spot on! You’ll know what foods to eat and even when to eat them. All you have to do…is do it. No thinking involved. If you’d like me to take care of this for you, see the Get Me Shredded option on my Coaching Page here.
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I always get a pump. Feels like I didn’t achieve anything without it!
Hey Mark, my wife and I have been (very gratefully) following your guidance and your workouts since mid-2011. I recall reading at the time that you discouraged soy products (e.g. tofu) as muscle building protein sources. In fact, you said it actually has a detrimental effect on muscle gains, though I don’t recall why.
Has anything happened in the scientific research world that has changed your opinion about soy proteins?
@Justin. No changes, buddy. In fact, my latest post on it was about a study showing that soy taken post-workout was no more effective than just drinking water. Whey, in contrast, shot up protein synthesis levels a lot. Here it is https://musclehack.com/omg-this-protein-powder-is-no-more-effective-than-water/
Hope that helps.