Comprehensive summary of strength training for muscle growth
Resistance training is essential to fitness sports for gaining muscle mass and keeping the body fat-free. Muscle growth is mainly an increase in the cross-sectional area of muscle fibers and fast type 2 muscle cells have about 50% more growth potential than slow type 1 muscle cells. Therefore, the optimal strength training program for hypertrophy involves concentric, eccentric, and isometric muscle work in multi- and single-joint movements.
A well-designed strength training program includes adequate stimulus and progressive overload and is species-specific and individually tailored. The overload principle, where the load is higher than the muscle used at each training session, is essential for maximum muscle cell activation and growth. In addition, the neural load and total load should be considered to ensure optimal muscle growth.
According to the supercompensation theory, in a single exercise, a muscle should produce a stimulus to the body large enough to cause a momentary decrease in force production capacity. After a recovery period, the muscle's performance is restored to a new level. If exercises are performed too frequently or not frequently enough, supercompensation will not occur.
When designing an optimal strength training program for hypertrophy, the intensity, volume, frequency, choice of movement, and sequence of movements should be considered. The intensity refers to the magnitude of the load applied concerning the maximum of a single repetition. Hypertrophic strength training is most effective on 60-85% of 1RM
The volume of a strength training exercise is often calculated as sets multiplied by reps or sets x reps x load. The recommended repetition range for a single movement in a strength training exercise is 6-12 repetitions when the goal is to increase muscle mass. For beginners, sets are recommended at 1-3 sets per movement; for the more experienced exerciser, more sets are recommended.
Muscle growth appears to increase linearly with increasing volume, but higher volume does not increase muscle growth after a certain threshold. The recommended intensity is 70-100% of the maximum load, depending on your training background. Your training should use various loads to activate all muscle cell types. In glute training, for example, the gluteus muscles are 50% type I muscle cells and 50% type II muscle cells. Short repetitions with a high load and long repetitions with a low load can activate different muscle cell types.
In conclusion, designing an optimal strength training program for hypertrophy involves considering the intensity, volume, frequency, choice of movement, and sequence. To induce muscle growth, a well-designed strength training program includes adequate stimulus, and progressive overload, is division-specific and individually tailored, and the overload principle should be applied. In addition, various loads should be used to activate all muscle cell types. Finally, the supercompensation theory should always be considered when planning the frequency of exercises.
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