The whole bodybuilding orthodoxy is responsible for misleading many lifters out there.
Whether it’s deliberate or not, I don’t know. But there’s more money to be made by NOT talking about this issue.
Mike Mentzer used to say…“If you don’t rest enough, you don’t grow enough.”
He was right. Every bit as important as the workout itself, is the rest period between training. In fact…and this is damn important…
The rest period IS the growth period.
Let me repeat, the rest period between workouts IS the growth period. Training and rest produce growth – this is a 50/50 game.
STEP 1: Intense training causes muscle damage and impairs the muscle’s ability to function (you’re weaker)
STEP 2: This stimulates protein synthesis (the repair and build up of more muscle mass)
STEP 3: Re-modeling and muscle-building takes place. And it takes time! (important point)
STEP 4: Allow the process to fully complete before starting at step 1 again – Intense training
STEP 5: Repeat steps 1-4 for continual gains in size and strength. Period.
Let’s take this into the real world…
Let’s say you did 7-10 sets for a particular muscle like the biceps.
And let’s say that afterwards I measure your expression of IGF-Ia, MGF, strength levels, muscle soreness and muscle fiber damage for a week after the training session.
Immediately after the workout, muscle fibers will be damaged and you will be significantly weaker than before the workout.
48hrs later, your maximal force output (strength) will still be impaired (you’re weaker) and markers of muscle fiber damage will still be elevated…meaning you still have not recovered and produced the growth stimulated by the workout.
It will be the 6th or 7th day before things return to normal and your perception and soreness is gone. You can now train that muscle again and you should be a little stronger. Train again too soon and you’ll interrupt the re-modeling and growth process and make no gains. This is overtrainining.
Under-recovering = Overtraining
If you don’t take the time to understand this concept, you enter the ranks of the “knuckleheads” in the bodybuilding world who actually think that more is better.
Yes, you can do less sets and train the same muscle again sooner. And I recommend that.
1-3 sets per bodypart will allow you to recover/grow and train again 48hrs later. More sets means more time for full growth production.
Those of you on my free THT training routine know that we train in 2 cycles every 10 weeks:
2 sets per muscle group. Train the full body in each workout. Train every 48hrs.
Around 8 sets per muscle group. Train 2-3 body parts in each workout. Train 5 days a week in a 5-day split, giving each muscle a full week of recovery/growth time.
PRO BODYBUILDERS AND “MORE IS BETTER”
Oftentimes the “more is better” mindset is promoted by pro bodybuilders. But they have 2 factors going for them that you don’t:
Couple superior genetics (here are the genetic factors) with years of steriod use and you get those freakishly big physiques. Steroids speed up the recovery/growth process so that you can train the same muscle more frequently and even use higher volume.
For us natural, non-steroid atheletes, their advice simply won’t work for us. You’ll overtrain (under-recover) and make no progress. Your muscles may even get smaller (atrophy).
In fact, just recently when watching one of Lee Priest’s videos, where he recommends higher volume and frequency, it was certainly interesting to see some of the comments Look at this…
2 guys above both lost muscle training so much and so often. I’m not surprised. How can anyone expect to gain when you don’t allow your body the time it requires to repair and grow?
So I wanted to get this message out to you guys before 2017, so that you can train correctly in the new year and make the kind of gains you’ve desired for so long.Click here to see a 5-step process for best muscle gains Click To Tweet
So if you want my workout and haven’t yet downloaded it, grab it below. It’s free and has the correct volume-to-frequency balance all taken care of. All you have to do is train!
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Why do people believe they can just train and train and train more and grow? *scratches head* Good post Mark.
Overtraining is usually about the syndrome that takes place after not recovering properly for a longer time period. Usually has other symptoms associated (lack of energy, altered psychological state etc.).
The term usually employed for the short-term losses Mark describes is overreaching. Not that it makes any of the article’s arguments false.
@Ulysses. Yes I’m talking about an inadequate recovery period between workouts here as overtraining.
This would differ from longer recovery requirements, which I call systemic recovery. I factor the need for full systemic recovery into my THT training by advising a week off after the end of every 10wk training cycle.
But point taken.
Hi mark I’ve got the body’s pace app on my iPhone but when I put in THT it doesn’t find you…
@Shane. Try searching for MUSCLEHACKER. Or ‘Targeted Hypertrophy Training 3-day’ or ‘Targeted Hypertrophy Training 5-day’.
That should get it.