1. First principle – repetition in the performance of the exercises.
2. The second principle – proper work-rest ratio.
3. Third principle – a constant and gradual increase of the training intensity. In bodybuilding, this increase is characterized by strength gains. In other sports, this principle is implemented by increasing the duration (volume) of the workout, while in a third– by doing two, three or even five workouts a day.
4. Fourth principle – the principle of the specificity in every sport. I.e. the particular specifics of every sport is taken into consideration and the appropriate type of workouts is done.
With factor No. 7 we fulfilled principles 1 and 2. Principle 4 has already been discussed in detail. Principle 3 is up to you.
Main principles of bodybuilding that you should follow in your muscle mass building workouts in order to maximize your results:
Progressive intensity training – a gradual increase in your strength parameters;
Constant tension method – it consists of performing all repetitions in an exercise set without pausing at a given point in the exercise. This means, for example, when doing bench presses, there should not be a pause with your arms extended to the maximum reach – something often encountered in gyms.
Peak contraction method – this method is not a must, but it is recommended. Choose one movement per muscle group with maximum tension at the endpoint by contracting (tensing) as much as you can and hold the contraction for 1 – 2 seconds at the last couple of repetitions. Movements of this kind include concentration curls for the biceps; cable pull-downs for the triceps; cable crossovers for the pectorals, etc.
On “De-Adaptation in Physical Training” according to Some Authors
Specialized magazines often offer methods for “breaking a plateau” (adaptation to a program or set of movements) by constantly changing the training program every 2 – 3 months. Actually, the only factor that determines how much muscle mass you gain in the training process is intensity. The intensity in bodybuilding is determined solely by strength increase. Not by changing the exercises or by changing the training density (performing the sets with shorter rest periods between them), or by any other “methods”. Bodybuilding is a 100% resistance (anaerobic) sport and intensity here is synonymous with strength growth. Besides, by using a particular set of exercises over a long period of time, you develop the very mind-muscle connection that advanced bodybuilders talk about and significantly improve your performance technique and quality. Constantly substituting one set of exercises for another and rotating them will not only fail to produce a positive effect but may even have a negative impact on muscle mass growth. Stick to two basic exercises for at least a year, and as for your other exercises (basic or not), you can rotate them as you choose.
A brief discussion. I am not going to discuss training programs, effective exercises, etc. I am going to provide some general guidelines on training intensity.
If you have never practiced bodybuilding or maybe any sport at all, you had better start your gym activities with the so-called “circuit training” for a period of 4 – 8 weeks. This kind of training includes one basic exercise for the main muscle groups which are around 10, with the exercises being performed one by one until the whole circuit of 10 exercises is complete. The circuit is repeated 2 or 3 times. Workouts are done 2 or 3 times a week. By reducing your rest time between the exercises (sets), you will increase your cardiorespiratory capacity (stroke volume and lung volumes). You must never do your sets to failure and must include a higher number of repetitions per set (12 – 20) so that you can develop your so-called “central factor” that I am going to discuss in the next section. It is almost mandatory for you to train with the assistance of the professional fitness instructor at the gym.
Let’s say you have done the circuit training course for a period of, say, 6 – 8 weeks. You are still a beginner. You lack well-developed coordination and proper movement technique. You need to work for at least eight months on developing the so-called “central factor”. What is the “central factor”?
It is called that not so much because it is central to our goal (although it certainly is important), but because it is controlled by the central nervous system (CNS). This is muscle tension regulation – one of the most crucial factors for the amount of muscle strength you have. The regulation is done by the CNS on the basis of the reciprocal connection with the motor apparatus. It consists of performance optimization of the active structures inside the muscle itself – intramuscular coordination, as well as that of the antagonist and synergist muscles – so-called intermuscular coordination. In both cases, muscle effort is graded in t