The most essential aspect is to train hard and correctly. Training should elicit a sensation in the targeted muscles, meaning “no pain – (small) no gain.” However, it’s important to differentiate between muscle soreness and joint pain. After a workout, the trained muscles may feel tired, and delayed onset muscle soreness may be experienced for a couple of days.
Not all types of gym activities contribute to muscle growth. Consider what the training does to the muscles. You can train hard for a short period, but to achieve maximum muscle mass, systematic training over weeks, months, and years is necessary. The secret lies in challenging your own performance and being willing to step out of your comfort zone (overload principle). However, in most training sessions, it’s advisable to leave some room for improvement, meaning that you should feel like you can perform better in the next session.
In bodybuilding training, the technique does not need to be perfect, as the focus is on stimulating the muscles rather than performing a specific movement. However, be cautious not to overload the joint structures. If you’re a beginner, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from experienced individuals or trainers at the gym, if needed.
During the initial phase of strength training, almost any type of training will increase strength and muscle mass. On average, this initial phase lasts for about a year. After that, you need to think more carefully about how to train, and the nutritional aspect also becomes more important (see later). With a few years of systematic training, you start to approach your own performance limits, and this is when actual strength training begins as your muscle growth potential reaches its peak. How far each individual can go depends on several years of hard work and individual factors.
Strength training is, in essence, simple; the key variables include training volume (sets, reps per workout), training intensity (load relative to one-rep max), training frequency (number of workouts per week), and progression. Let’s explore these and other points further.
To maximize muscle growth, consider the following points:
- Sufficient loads: Research shows that, on average, loads around 60-85% of one-rep max work best, with a few exceptions.
- Suitable rep range: Typically, a range of 6-12 reps per set is recommended. Similarly, the rule of thumb for sets per muscle group is around eight per workout. However, in one workout, you can perform about five truly challenging sets where you aim to reach your performance limits. Except for warm-up sets, sets should not be left unfinished, but you shouldn’t always go to failure either.
- Compound exercises vs. isolation exercises: Compound exercises that involve multiple muscle groups form the foundation of training (e.g., squats, bench press variations, pull-ups/rows). However, also allocate some focus to isolation exercises targeting smaller muscle groups.
- Exercise order: Traditionally, it is believed that compound full-body movements should be performed first, followed by isolation exercises. This generally holds true, but it’s also important to address weaknesses early in the workout. Studies show that the first exercises have the greatest impact on muscle strength.
- Rest intervals: Ideally, rest periods between sets and exercises should be around 1-3 minutes. Begin the next set when you are physically and mentally ready. Longer rest intervals allow for heavier loads, but they also increase the overall duration of the workout without necessarily providing additional benefits for muscle growth (Ahtiainen et al., 2005). A suitable total duration for one workout is about an hour.
- Progressive overload: If you can currently perform 8 reps with 100 kg on the bench press, set a goal of, for example, 8 reps with 110 kg for the next workout. This progressive overload challenges the muscles and stimulates further growth.
It’s worth noting that individual responses to training can vary. Some individuals may benefit from higher training volumes, while others may respond better to higher training frequencies. Experimentation and adaptation based on your own progress and feedback from your body are key.
Remember, training is just one piece of the puzzle. Nutrition, recovery, and overall lifestyle factors also play important roles in maximizing muscle growth and strength gains.
MM-Supersport is a top-level training program designed specifically for you, following the aforementioned rules and principles. The program is designed to evolve as you progress, enabling optimal muscle growth and strength gains.
Initially, the program considers your current fitness level, muscle capacity, and training background. It determines appropriate loads, repetitions, and sets that align with your development needs and help you achieve your desired results.
The MM-Supersport program utilizes a diverse range of exercises, including compound movements and isolating exercises. This ensures that all muscle groups receive proper stimulation and develop evenly. The program also incorporates the correct exercise sequencing, optimizing muscle strength and performance improvement.
The principle of progressive overload plays a crucial role in the MM-Supersport program. This means that as you develop and adapt to training, the workload is increased over time. As the program progresses, you will be given more challenging exercises, heavier loads, and advanced movements to continuously enhance your performance and maximize results.
Additionally, the program includes a planned nutrition and recovery section that supports your development. Proper management of food intake and rest periods helps you recover from workouts, promotes muscle growth, and maximizes your performance.
The MM-Supersport program is regularly updated and adjusted according to your needs and progress. Your coach monitors your development, assesses results, and makes necessary changes to the program to ensure its effectiveness and contribute to your ongoing progress.
Overall, the MM-Supersport program is designed to provide you with an efficient, individualized, and evolving training program that helps you achieve peak performance and maximize your muscle growth goals.