By Chris Wilson, Head Strength Coach
It takes about seven full days to completely recover from maximum overloads on muscle groups. People like the late bodybuilder Mike Mentzer used to say that a workout program had to be designed to overload specific muscle groups on particular days, with adequate intervals of rest provided for every muscle.
He for one was very adamant about his clients not changing what he had set up for them, as they might become over-worked and possibly injure themselves.
A lot has been said about overtraining muscles over the years in regards to loads, reps, frequency and so on. Here is my take on this topic.
To achieve the greatest muscle gains possible, you must train with as high of intensity and volume of exercise as you can without over training. The key is to avoid over training in order to stimulate the muscle and not annihilate it.
I like the philosophy of less is more when applied to muscular gains.
If you do the most effective exercises with maximum effort in the gym then the time out of the gym devoted to eating and resting becomes your #1 limiting factor. Most elite level lifters and competitors will probably agree that the biggest obstacle for guys trying to gain muscle size is nutrition and getting proper sleep.
If you go back a few decades, a couple of methods for determining optimal workout load (which in turn maximizes and accelerates muscle gains to previous unattainable levels) were revealed from a gentleman named Kevin A. Pezzi, M.D.
Here are the two methods Dr. Pezzi suggests a person do to determine their optimal workout load when training with the heavy iron:
Method #1: This particular concept will give you instant insight as to whether you are over training. If for example you are a right-handed individual, your upper body on the right side should be greater than the left. This would be determined with ‘One-Limb’ lifting such as single leg squats, single arm dumbbell curls or single arm dumbbell presses as examples.
If you don’t see a strength increase on the dominate side of your body when employing Uni-Lateral or Asymmetric Training (and actually get weaker) after a predetermined period of time, then this is a clue that you may be over training.
Method #2: This concept allows a person to determine his/her optimal workout load and as well objectively evaluate such variables as (number of sets, reps, frequency of exercise, etc.) and its effects on your muscular development.
Here’s how this method works. Select an exercise for evaluation such as the standing barbell curl, for example. If you have been performing 4 total heavy sets for this exercise and you think you may be under training, try 6 total heavy sets for 2-3 weeks.
Now compare the results during this time period with the results for an equal period of time on the previous 4 total heavy sets (keeping an accurate training log of exercises used, number of sets/reps, dates of workouts, [intermediate, muscle specific, critical term recuperation] and miscellaneous factors such as lack of sleep, injuries, illnesses are of vital importance for making such comparisons).
If you find that your progress has accelerated from doing 6 total heavy sets as compared to the previous 4 then you were under training. Increase the total number of heavy sets from 6 to perhaps 8 (and no more) and repeat the process as described.
It is important to note that if at any time your strength or size decreases while the evaluations of the effects of optimal workout loads (i.e. 6 sets as compared to 4 sets, etc.) are being studied you are over training and need to immediately REDUCE the workload on the biceps to previously accepted workout loads.
Another variable to the above described method would be to substitute the one-dumbbell curl for the standing two hands barbell curl, performing a different number of sets and reps for each arm.
For example, for the next 2-3 weeks you might do 6 total heavy sets of say 6 reps each for the right arm and 8 sets of 4 reps for the left. Reverse sets and reps protocol for each arm after 2-3 weeks and continue on in the manner described for another 2-3 weeks. Continue to evaluate your response to the variable number of sets and reps.
Dr. Pezzi’s espoused method (#2) will work not only on the biceps but on any other major or minor muscle group as well. Generally, when using the method described (above) for evaluating training responses the number of sets would in most all cases never exceed 8 to 9 total heavy sets per a select muscle group. As a result, you will only be using one exercise per a select muscle group.
Dr. Pezzi suggests that it may take a few months to determine optimal workout loads.
Written by: Anthony Alayon
Best Selling Fitness Author
Web Site: www.HealthReporterDaily.com
I absolutely love bodybuilding. I have learned so many life lessons from bodybuilding. One of the things I rarely mention is how it can teach you to be disciplined. The fact that you have to follow such a strict diet and workout plan, really tests you.
Especially when you are low on carbs and body fat, you get to learn a lot about yourself. It’s been awhile since I’ve competed in a bodybuilding show but I wanted to look back on everything and think of some of the things I’d do differently if I had to do it all over again.
What mistakes did I make that I wish I would have done differently? So what I decided to do is make a list of the top 3 mistakes I feel I’ve made and list them here. I know that MANY bodybuilders have also committed these evil crimes lol. So let’s check them out now.
Mistake #1: Consuming Acidic Foods
I am guilty as charged. Back in my teens and early 20’s, I wanted to be super ripped. Now that I’m a little older, I still want to be ripped but the focus is more on my health. Every day it seems like someone I know is being diagnosed with some sort of illness or disease. Once I noticed a lot of people getting sick, I began to do some research.
I realized that a majority of people in the Western World don’t consume enough fruits and veggies. When we don’t get enough fruits and veggies, there is a good chance our bodies can become acidic.
This means our bodies are breaking down.
Without getting too scientific, I wanted to give a quick list of foods that are either acidic or alkaline. Acidic foods can cause you to not produce as much muscle mass as you’d like while alkalized foods give the body lots of nutrients and helps build muscle faster.
List of Alkalized Foods
Foods such as pears, peaches, apples, bananas, grapes, beans, sweet potatoes, sun flower seeds, tomatoes, wheatgrass, zucchini, collard greens, coconut, cilantro, chives, celery, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower and many more.
List of Acidic Foods
Mainly fried foods such as french fries, chicken wings, hot dogs, potato chips, grains, dairy products, processed meats and soda.
So make sure to incorporate alkalizing foods in your daily diet for optimal health and ultimately more muscle building gains.
Mistake #2: Not Doing Mobility Workouts
Back when I was hard core into bodybuilding, I never really focused on stretching or any dynamic movements. It was all your typical bodybuilding exercises such as biceps curls, bench press etc.
I remember when I first started training with a coach here in the Tampa Bay area that focused on kettlebell exercises, I found myself struggling to keep up. My body wasn’t used to these types of movements and I was getting sore in areas I didn’t know could be sore.
I really liked how the kettlebell workouts challenged me. Then I started doing some TRX workouts and realized how much of a total body workout you could get in very little time which is a huge bonus.
I am so used to working out 45-60 minutes per session. When I was only doing 15 minute workouts sessions, I felt like my entire body was burning in a good way. These workouts are all great for mobility and fat burning. You can always use this resource for over 100 ways to naturally boost your testosterone levels.
Mistake #3: Focusing Too Much on Workouts Instead of THIS…
I would always work out 6 days a week and only take 1 day a week off. However, I would also work 25 hours a week while in school. I would solely focus and base my results on how much I worked out.
However, I never took the time to rest like I should. I would sleep 6 hours a night. When I was in my late teens, it was easy. You have a lot more energy but looking back on what I used to do, I would have definitely slowed down a bit.
Resting is one of the most important things you can do. During rest and sleep is when our bodies recover. It’s when we can REBUILD the muscle we broke down at the gym and help the muscle come back stronger with new fibers. So that is one thing I would have done differently when I was bodybuilding.
So now that you’ve read my top 3 mistakes that most bodybuilders make, I encourage you to try and eat more alkalized foods, do more mobility movements in less time and get plenty of rest for optimal muscle recovery. I can only speak from my experience. It’s my hope that I can help someone with this information I just shared. Please feel free to share this with your friends and family on facebook if you found the information useful.
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Written by: Anthony Alayon
Best Selling Fitness Author
Web Site: www.HealthReporterDaily.com
I remember when all I used to care about was figuring out ways to build muscle. I would read all of the magazines and web sites in order to educate myself. I quickly realized that high testosterone levels were responsible for adding more muscle.
In plain English, testosterone is the hormone responsible for muscle. That’s why you see men naturally able to build muscle easier than women. Now, there are so many ways people suggest when it comes to building muscle such as taking supplements, doing this type of work out, sleeping etc. However, one thing I’ve learned is without eating the right foods, it can make building muscle a challenge.
I have done a lot of research and even wrote a book called “24 Hour T Fix” regarding ways to naturally boost your testosterone. In the book I go over all types of things to skyrocket your testosterone levels.
If you’d like to learn more about 24 Hour T Fix, click here now.
In the meantime, here are 4 foods that I feel can have a positive impact on your testosterone levels and make you feel more like a man today.
I’d say this food in particular is a favorite for most men.
Not only does it boost testosterone levels but it also tastes amazing.
I personally do enjoy meat on many occasions.
It’s best to incorporate a little bit of meat to help add protein to your diet as well. An 8 ounce steak cooked to perfection will get those testosterone levels buzzing.
I am a fan of red and black beans. However, there are many beans that can help boost your testosterone levels. In general, try to incorporate beans in your diet as they taste great and yield many other health benefits. Beans are low in fat and carbohydrates. However, they are high in fiber!
My wife typically makes them with rice and mixes the beans in and they make for a great side dish for a main protein meal such as chicken, fish or even steak. Now, let’s talk about the next food.
One of the healthiest foods you can eat is tuna. It is a great source of lean protein and yields many other health benefits. A majority of fish are high in Omega 3 fatty acids.
I remember back when I was bodybuilding and I’d do whatever it takes to add some muscle.
I’d eat canned tuna with egg whites because it was inexpensive and loaded with protein but now when I want Tuna, I prefer fresh tuna with my wife as it tastes much better!
I am a fan of just about any seafood. I love shellfish in particular. They taste great and are loaded with nutrients to keep your testosterone levels buzzing.
If you’re going to buy shellfish at the store, I’d suggest going to Whole Foods or some other grocery store like Trader Joe’s for the best quality.
It really depends on your location as to whether or not you’ll have access to Whole Food’s or Trader Joe’s or some other type of natural health food market.
So What Should You Do Next?
Now that you’ve discovered 4 foods to keep your testosterone levels buzzing, it’s time to take the next step. If you’d like a bullet proof resource that gives you 101 ways to naturally boost your testosterone levels, then check out 24 Hour T Fix.
It’s a great way for you to boost your testosterone levels naturally. You’ll discover lifestyle hacks, foods, herbs, spices and many other things to increase your testosterone levels.
If you’d like an even faster way to boost your testosterone levels, click here for the 10 second trick today.