Have you ever walked into the gym and stopped and wondered
"What should I do today?"
You stare around the gym looking for empty pieces of equipment....
"Bench is free....... It's chest day"
Just like that your session is decided and you start by warming up with 60kg on the bar.
In the last instalment of our “Get Jacked” series blogs we discussed the underlying scientific mechanisms that control hypertrophy, so if you missed out on the first one check it out here JackedSteet
Today we are going to dive into how to structure a session properly to maximise your time and increase your gains in the gym.
Movement Prep, this is one of the biggest things we see skipped. Movement prep when skipped is like jumping into a sports car when you're 13 and have no idea how to drive... it's going to end one way... you're going to crash it's only a matter of time before it happens.
See movement prep isn't just warming up the muscle. It's a way of switching on and increasing the mind-muscle connection. This ensures the smaller muscles are firing in the right sequence so you can activate them and build size in the right place.
Not only does this prepare our bodies but it prepares our mind for lifting heavy things.
After movement prep comes our main lifts, these movements should be multi-joint exercises like the squat, deadlifts, bench press & pull-ups (anything involving two joints). Performing multi-joint exercises first maximises hormonal response and increases the overall motor unit recruitment which means more growth and more muscle.
We're generally looking to target functional hypertrophy at the start of the session. This will look like
A1) Highback squat 4 x 6-8 reps
A2) Push Press 4 x 6-8 reps
Towards the second half of the session, we introduce specific accessory work. These movements are used to target specific muscles to achieve a desired look (beach body) and iron out muscular imbalances. Generally moving towards single joint exercises that target a particular muscle group that needs developing.
When hitting accessory work, we generally increase the reps which causes damage of type 1 muscle fibers and increased cellular swelling. This looks like
3 x 12 + reps
Remember back at “Get Jacked #1” when I mentioned that muscle growth was affected by three main factors?
Well, rest interval duration directly relates to metabolic stress, by decreasing our rest in-between sets the body is unable to clear the build up of metabolic waste and we get an increase in metabolic stress.
Put simply, if you want to grow, stop snapchatting your pump to every girl in your contact list and start focusing on your workout.
Aim for 60 seconds rest between sets & keep the scrolling to an absolute minimum.
Time under tension
Possibly one of the most significant factors overlooked by personal trainers and strength coaches is time under tension. Control the speed at which the movement is performed and you control the gains.
During movements, we have two actions, concentric and eccentric.
Concentric movements can be defined as when the muscle length shortens/contracts while eccentric contractions are the lengthening of muscles under tension.
To increase the hypertrophic response, we want to increase the mechanical tension throughout our lift.
How you might ask?
Slow your movements down, slower eccentric movements have shown to increase the hypertrophic response while faster concentric changes have also been shown to be beneficial for hypertrophy.
So make your movements slow and deliberate on the way down and explosive on the way up.
Programming is a mix of science & art.
Without a good understanding of both, it becomes hard to get the results you want.
If you feel like you're not getting the results you know, you're capable of achieving.
Then click HERE to book a free blueprint call so we can help you map out the pathway to that ripped athletic look before summer arrives again.