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How does muscle grow?💪🏽
📝I put together this post last year to explore how different training factors influence muscle growth, or hypertrophy. The most important takeaway here is to stick to the basics and get strong. Here are some brief explanations relating to the chart above:
1️⃣SAID principle: muscle grows with specific adaptations to imposed demands. If you demand your muscle to continually lift weights, it will adapt. The SAID principle is a simple and beautiful law that governs how our body works. Train heavy to get strong, and train hard enough reach the point of meaningful reps. You’ll want to push yourself to 1-4 reps left in the tank fairly regularly, but training failure is rarely necessary.
2️⃣Progressive overload: in order to continue to grow optimally, muscle should be progressively challenged. This can happen in a number of ways, it doesn't mean you need to always lift more weight. Overload can happen with more reps, more time under tension, and more volume. Progressing load can also happen in indirect ways, through manipulating range of motion and changing exercise selection in a methodical and planned fashion.
3️⃣Training volume itself is important, but there are a lot of people who are hitting more total sets and reps than they need to. Training volume should not exceed recovery. If you're getting sore for a week, you're doing too much. Research consistently shows powerlifters and strength athletes can get tremendous gains with relatively low volume. Volume certainly isn't everything.
4️⃣Lastly, exercise selection. People tend to overthink this way too much. Unless you've been doing this for 10+ years and you're absolutely shredded, you don't need to worry about what kind of press hits your inner or upper or outer pecs. Just get strong and optimize the bottom of the pyramid. As I mentioned above, there is benefit to he had by changing exercises, but you don’t need to do it very often.