Welcome to the first part of this muscle building philosophy series!
In these articles I am going to cover the laws and principles of building quality muscle mass. Live by these and you will be well on your way to building that chiseled, muscular, Greek God statuesque body of your dreams!
PART ONE: THE LAW OF INTENSITYIntensity – the amount of effort exerted by the muscles on each given set of each given exercise.
In order for the muscles to grow they must perceive the stress placed upon them in the gym as a threat to their survival!
Re-read that line!
Therefore it is only logical that in order to achieve 100% of your potential growth, you must train with 100% intensity. When you enter the gym, it should be as if you are going to war.
The plain reality is that you will not make significant increases in muscle mass and strength unless you train at a level that is at (or very close to) your maximum potential effort.
Although instead of “100% intensity“, I should more accurately say “100% controlled intensity“. The goal here is not to completely annihilate your body until you can’t get out of bed in the morning. You will be putting forth a large amount of effort every time you train, but obviously this falls within certain limits. The idea of 100% intensity is simply this…
Every set that you perform in the gym must be taken to the point of 1 rep short of concentric muscular failure.
Concentric Muscular Failure – The point at which you are unable to complete an additional positive repetition of a given exercise despite your greatest efforts.
For example: you are performing bench press. Your spotter helps you un-rack the weight, the first few reps you complete pretty easily, but it gradually gets tougher then you get to the point where you lower the bar to your chest and even though you are pushing with 100% effort you can’t budge the bar. So your spotter helps you re-rack the weight. You have just successfully trained to concentric muscular failure. Your goal is to get to the point 1 repetition before this!
If you are completely new to weight training then it will definitely be a good idea to ease yourself into the gym and gradually build up your training intensity. The goal here is not to kill yourself, but to safely push your body to its limits. It is very important that you always utilize proper form and make sure that your joints and connective tissue are not being stressed too heavily or compromised.
Once you have learned the proper form for each exercise and have given your body a chance to adjust, you can then begin to stretch your limits a bit. It will also be difficult to mentally deal with the discomfort that is associated with training to failure when you first start out. So begin slow, and progress gradually, train smart but don’t be afraid to really push yourself if you want to put on some serious muscle mass!
There you have it! The first law to building muscle! Train HARD, PUSH yourself, and FORCE that muscle to GROW!
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