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Sets and reps for mass

Posted by: Shawn

Training to increase muscle mass comes from doing more than just a couple of reps with a heavy weight. Sports science tells us that as we get used to doing the movement neural-adaptation occurs which means you start to recruit less and less muscle fibers to lift the weight the more you do the movement.

Muscle will increase in size directly proportionally to the amount of tension that is put on the muscle. TUT (time under tension) comes from a higher workload that creates more micro-trauma because of extra TUT resulting in more muscle fibers being recruited.

All micro-trauma caused by lifting a weight will increase protein synthesis for the needed repair causing more muscle growth. This also increases the anabolic hormones released which all together increase muscle size when training with high volume.

When talking about a higher rep range compared to strength training we are not talking about doing 15 to 20 reps which is simply too much. We are talking about a rep range of between 6 to 12 res for each set. Obviously the time taken to rest between sets will dictate the intensity you are training with.

Doing multiple sets with high volume on a permanent basis is NOT going to help you simply because of the now well-proven fact called the "general adaptation syndrome." This simply means your muscles and your body will adapt to any training routine very quickly.

This problem can easily be solved by using a scientific periodized routine emphasizing multiple sets with high volume. This periodic variation is not too complicated as it simply means you are constantly changing your sets and reps to boost muscle growth and increase your ability to recover.

How you adapt your periodized training program to suit your specific needs will only come from keeping a training log book so that you can see what and when you last trained. Changing the sets, reps and movements you do will depend on your own unique genetic ability.

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