Men’s Muscle Building Reps & Load

For most men, gaining lean muscle is the common goal for their workouts. But gaining lean muscle isn’t always as simple as lifting weights and eating protein. If you’re not lifting the right weight at the right reps and sets, then your chances of packing on inches on your arms or chest may be diminished.  For this article, I will explain the right way to go about men’s muscle building training for muscle hypertrophy, specifically for men.

Most people are aware that when it comes to building lean muscle, resistance training is the best form of exercise you can do. But what most people wouldn’t be aware of is the underlying physiological process that causes the body to build more muscle tissue. This being – An increase in muscular tension (force) provides the primary stimulus to initiate skeletal muscle growth (hypertrophy). By placing mechanical stress on the musculoskeletal system, the body triggers signaling proteins to activate the genes that stimulate the synthesis of protein. This muscle growth is a result from repeated damage to muscle fibers during the eccentric phase of resisted movements. This damage provokes an anabolic effect within the musculoskeletal system causing the myofibrils (part of muscle fibers) to thicken and increase in numbers. Furthermore, the more time under tension that you expose your muscles to during training, the greater the anabolic response. Although quite technical, this is the physiological process of building muscle.

Now that you have a better understanding of the physiology of gaining muscle, it is important that you also understand the training protocols that will help best induce these physiological effects.

Low Reps, High Load

This form of training is good for building muscles. Research has shown that this form of training compared to high reps, low load is far more superior at increasing muscle fibre thickness (hypertrophy). Low reps is defined as 1-5 repetitions, whilst high load is defined as 80% of 1 RM. Personally speaking, some people’s genetic make up responds better to this form of training, laying down significant lean muscle tissue. However for the most of us, our body will respond better to another form of training – moderate reps, moderate load.

Moderate Reps, Moderate Load

This form of training is by the best training protocol for those wanting to pack on inches around their arms, chest or legs. Research has shown that this form of training significantly promotes muscular hypertrophy, even moreover then that, that occurs in low reps, high load training. Moderate reps is defined as 8-12 reps, whilst moderate load is defined as 50-80% of 1 RM. The secret to the success of this form of training is because it allows you to lift moderately heavy weights, without fatiguing too quickly. It provides a perfect balance for time under tension and mechanical stress on the muscles. One of the immediate benefits of this form of training is that it provides a significant muscle pump, meaning your muscles fill with blood, more then they normally would, making them appear larger, fuller and firmer. Although this effect is short lived, research has shown that this effect causes both an increase in protein synthesis and a decrease in protein catabolism.

High Reps, Low Load

High rep, low load training causes a significant depletion of glycogen within the muscles. If you’re goal is to lose weight, then this is a great benefit, however for those wanting to build lean muscle, this is a negative. High reps, low load training will still cause a hypertrophy effect, however the overall impact is far less then that of moderate reps, moderate load or low reps, high load training. Personally speaking, this form of training is best for individuals who are significantly overweight and are new to resistance training. If you’re accustomed to resistance training and simply wanting to increase your muscle mass size, this form of training is not for you.

About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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