Quick question: What’s more important to gain muscle mass, the amount of weight you lift or the amount of natural anabolic hormones your body releases in response to muscular stress (as is the case when performing a set)?
The answer to that question is very important, since it can make the difference between a successful workout program and a bodybuilding routine that keeps you looking the same year after year.
Some feel that as long as you continue to lift heavier and heavier weight, you are going to build muscle mass fast.
Others say that in order to gain weight in the form of muscle, you should focus on training techniques that will force the body to release large amounts of anabolic hormones in the body, especially testosterone, growth hormone, and insulin, amongst others.
I’m not going to beat around the bush…in order to gain weight from your bodybuilding workout program in the form of muscle your body’s own anabolic hormones are going to have a bigger impact on muscle mass growth than lifting heavier and heavier weight.
You can lift all the weight in the world, you can be stronger than a bull, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going to have large muscles.
How many people do you know who can bench press hundreds and hundreds of pounds, yet their chests are flat as a board?
How many individuals have you seen that squat a ton, and in good form, yet their thighs lack any kind of real muscle mass?
How many powerlifters have you seen who can lift a building, yet they don’t have the same muscular development as a bodybuilder that is only half as strong?
However, one of the many reasons why anabolic steroids are so powerful and work at gaining muscle is because those that use steroids are literally injecting extra amounts of anabolic hormones.
And many steroids aren’t even that effective at building strength, but they sure can make you grow.
If you have been using a workout routine that mainly focuses on strength and lifting heavier and heavier weight, without taking into account other factors that will signal the body to release its own hormones, then you may have noticed that you really aren’t gaining the type of muscle you know you should be.
Many tests have proven that those that focus on using bodybuilding techniques that signal the body to elevate its own anabolic hormones see a greater gain in muscle mass than those that focus on resting for long periods in order to be able to lift more weight.
A test conducted in 2005 called “The impact of metabolic stress on hormonal responses and muscular contractions” is one such test.
To make a long story short, use workout techniques that cause an accumulation of waste products (like lactic acid and hydrogen ions) in the muscle while you are exercising it.
This is the “burning” and acidic sensation you feel when you are hitting a muscle.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Lifting heavier and heavier weight is important, but that shouldn’t be the main focus of your workout program.
Your priority should be:
1) Cause a build up of these waste products and burning sensation in my muscles in the shortest amount of sets, exercises, and time necessary.
2) Attempt to lift at least a couple pounds heavier than the time before.
That way you get the best of both worlds.
When your body senses this type of build up and stress in a muscle being trained it signals to release additional anabolic hormones……and the more anabolic hormones you have being released by your body the more muscle you are going to gain.
…And isn’t that why we workout in the first place?
Copyright (c) 2006 Jonathan Perez