Winter Mass Part 2

The real deal on how to get big!


Muscle hypertrophy is triggered by breaking the muscle tissue down in such a way that when it repairs itself, it increases the overall size of the muscle by increasing the muscle fIber’s volume. Whereas increasing muscle strength is due to the strengthening and thickening of the protein strands of the muscle fIber itself. While both sound the same, they are different and unfortunately require different stimuli to trigger the specific repair process. To explain this in layman’s terms, the analogy of building a stronger house versus a bigger house should do the trick. Which would you rather have: a 4,000-square-foot house made of wood two-by-fours (hypertrophy) or a 2,000-square-foot house made of concrete (strength)? Bigger is better—unless you need the strength. If you lived in the hurricane capital of the world, South Florida, perhaps concrete is not a bad idea. Over time though, it is possible to have that 4,000-square-foot house that is stronger and bigger because the concrete base of the 2,000-square-foot house can be built upon. You likely wouldn’t build upward on a structure that couldn’t support it. This is why our program has both elements. Build it strong. Then build it big. At the root of all training is the concept of muscle recruitment. That is, the ability for the brain to process information, for example, how many reps and how much weight, and then how many fibers and which kind should do the work. Each muscle comprised several different fiber types and as many as a few hundred thousand fibers. To hit all of them and make them grow is quite a challenge. Fibers that generally perform slower, more endurance-like tasks, are typically smaller and not called upon during heavy-lifting exercises. Consequently, those faster fibers, while larger in size and more utilized in heavy lifting, are not often used during slower, more steady, longer-duration-type activities. This means that the body preferentially recruits muscle fibers based on the type of stress placed upon them. And in turn, it means that to activate them all, we need to use a variety of exercises, tempos, sets, reps, and loads to eventually require every fber of every muscle to work and grow. As we said before, quick results are not going to happen, but you can control your outcome.

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