Winter Mass Part 1

The real deal on how to get big!


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No, not range of motion (which is important). Instead, a new term: Return on Mass. It means that you want to get out with more than you went in with. And while I could use a business analogy here, it is not necessary. You get the point. ROM training is based on rep schemes. How many, how often, and what is optimal have been a debate for decades on the iron scene. While physiologically we know the answers, when applied to real gym experiences, it doesn’t always work out, as not all are created equal. That is where science ends and hard work begins. It is also the point where the psychology of lifting comes into play, something that scientists have struggled to understand. Excuses like “I am not genetically engineered that way,” or “this muscle doesn’t grow like that,” are often used, but somehow those with true drive and passion seem to overcome them. Experience certainly counts, as you continue to grow training-wise the more you train. The longer you spend time in a gym, the more reps you do over the years, and the harder you train, the better your body responds to a specific training stimulus, and that stimulus will likely be better understood by you. So for maximum mass, stick to your strategy and hit the rep plan that is designed with mass in mind. For maximal ROM you want to increase strength, lift more weight, lift with a little less frequency, and let your body do the rest.

Ten has always been a magic number when it comes to reps. There is good reason. It appears that not only is it easy to remember but also the point after 10 seems to provide marginal returns when it comes to mass building. Several scientific studies have confirmed this fact, but so, too, has application. Ten is a safe bet as it falls between heavy-duty strength lifting and lighter-weight endurance lifting. While we know that for true hypertrophy, likely 12 reps or even a few more is best, the ROM(remember, Return on Mass) competes against strength, as volume training takes a lot more time. Strength is best found around 6 reps with a range up to around 8. Somewhere between strength and size is where mass fits in, and 8–10 reps fits this bill perfectly. As for your return-on-your-mass time allotment, you will have to spend a little more time once you are in the gym, but less time overall.

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