Mar 19 2018 0 Comments
Hypertrophy and Strength Gains
Hypertrophy and strength training are essential components of life for anyone who frequently reads this blog. If you are into this blog, I assume you would love to gain both strength and hypertrophy. Well, guess what? Over the course of this blog we are going to look into two major keys for muscle growth that are overlooked almost every time. We will look into both of these variables and how you can use them to grow larger and stronger muscles.
Major key number one; intramuscular tension
The intramuscular tension refers to the effort of the muscle necessary to produce a certain force output. Tension present in the muscle is hugely important. Thus, the higher the intramuscular tension, the higher the rate of protein degradation and subsequent amino acid uptake by the muscles. You have to understand that muscular tension is not the same as feeling the burn or the feeling of muscles tiring. Lots of people believe that a slow contraction puts a greater amount of tension on the muscles simply because they feel a burn or a tensed sensation. This is simply not true. During every concentric contraction AKA overcoming or lifting a load with more acceleration, will always produce a greater degree of intramuscular tension. In an eccentric contraction AKA lowering a weight, it's the opposite. The less acceleration you allow, the more intramuscular tension there will be.
Always lift the weight up as quickly as possible and lower the weight as slowly as possible. This will lead to the most intramuscular tension.
Major key number two; total time under tension
Total time under tension is vital for muscular hypertrophy and is the factor responsible for the quantity of stimulated hypertrophy. A greater volume of work will stimulate more hypertrophy while more physical work will lead to a greater total protein degradation. Tension influences the rate of protein degradation and will lead to more adaptation as long as you give your body the time and materials it needs to recover properly. Total time under tension also refers to the cumulative time under tension for all sets of an exercise, as this has much more of an effect on muscle growth than the time under tension per set. This explains simply why you must do more sets when training with heavier weights and lower reps for the time under tension for each set. Therefore, in order to maximize strength and hypertrophy gains you must increase the Total Time Under Tension by adding more sets to your workout.
Quick tip before leaving
Be mindful of your movements in the gym. Connecting your mind to the working muscle is so important. Making sure you are mindful of the tension within the muscle during each rep and each set. Also, you should be able to draw a connection to the total time that muscle is under tension and when you lose tension within a given rep range or set. Best of luck, let the gains begin.