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Strategies to Train for Growth

When attempting to achieve maximal growth, many people make the common mistake of increasing training volume and intensity.

Strategies to Train for Growth

The way you train can affect your results. When attempting to achieve maximal growth, many people make the common mistake of increasing training volume and intensity. Instead, you should emphasize heavier movements, doing fewer reps and total sets and resting longer between sets. Include the following tips to get the most from your program:

  • Emphasize heavy compound movements. These exercises -- deadlifts, bench presses, shoulder presses, squats and pull-ups -- are the most efficient for stimulating more muscle growth. Build your workouts around them.
  • Keep training sessions to no more than four per week. Training every day will burn too many calories and undercut the benefits of the overfeeding day. Train four times weekly and try to complete all workouts in 60 minutes or less.
  • Emphasize heavy weights in the 6 - 8 rep range. This range is best for stimulating muscle growth. Avoid high-rep sets, except for warm-ups.
  • Avoid detail and finishing movements. Single-joint, isolation movements are for refining, not building muscle mass. Drop the majority of them from your routine for this two-month program, except, of course, when training arms.
  • Emphasize free weights over cables and machines. Often, cable and machine moves are detail movements; most of these are not good mass-builders. Eliminate them during this program.
  • Keep cardio moderate. Don't perform more than three 30-minute sessions of cardio per week and keep it leisurely. You'll still get the heart benefits, but you don't want to burn too many calories, which will undercut the effects of your overfeeding program.

 

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