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The Missing Element Which Is Stopping You Getting The Muscle Gains You Want!

If your goal is to get into great shape, shed fat or rip-up those abs for your upcoming holiday, you must make sure you are ticking ALL the main boxes…

1) Eating the right things AND the right amounts.

2) Getting enough sleep and taking adequate rests.

3) Regular workouts with the volume being steadily increased.

Whether or not they do it, most people are aware that they must eat, sleep and rest correctly if they are serious about getting into great shape.

However, when it comes to the last of the three rules above, very few people realise they must progress their training with regard to VOLUME to get those extra gains!

dumbbells and barbells

You see, you may think you’re doing all you can…..

You may be training at the gym five or six times each and every week…

You may be drinking the whey protein shakes, eating the chicken, vegetables and egg whites…

You may be getting a good 7-8 hours sleep each night and having a couple of ‘rest days’ weekly…

You are doing it all right – yep? – and then you strip-off in front of that full length mirror, and the progress has slowed down or even stopped!

“What the hell am I doing all this for” you proclaim, and theorise that the ‘fitness rules just don’t work on you!’

That’s when VOLUME walks into the room, hangs up his coat, grabs the microphone and confidently set’s the record straight!

Firstly, you may be asking what I mean by Volume. It’s ‘easy-peasy’, volume is a simple calculation:

Sets x Reps x Weight.

For example, if you are doing 3 sets of bench press for 12 reps at 60kgs, your volume is 2160.

Therefore, if your aim is increasing your muscle thickness and size you need to be upping your volume each and every session.

How you do this can vary, and could be:

• Increasing the weight, e.g. 3 sets x 12 reps x 65kgs on the next session.

• Increasing the reps, e.g. 3 sets x 15 reps x 60kgs on the next session.

• Increasing the sets, e.g. 4 sets x 12 reps x 60kgs on the next session.

• Increasing some reps/sets/weights, e.g. 2 sets x 12 reps, 1 set x 15 reps x 60kgs on the next session.

In some cases the step-up may be too large, such as increasing a set at a time, thus it could mean you increase one parameter and slightly reduce another – as long as the overall volumes goes up!

By making these increases and changes you will place your muscles in a constant state of what can be referred to as ‘muscle confusion’.

Muscle confusion is a superb way to keep your muscles guessing and in an alert state! You don’t want them to get complacent.

By keeping them in this state of muscle confusion will help grow them faster, as well as the additional strength benefits it provides.

Additional Tips For Progression:

So, there it is – has progressive volume been missing from your training?

If it has, don’t worry…don’t fret…don’t procrastinate…just go out and put it right from now on!

And while I’m on a roll I’m going to ‘fire out’ some additional gems which will take you to the next level in your fitness training…

Get a pen and paper ready, or better still bookmark this blog, here goes….

• NEVER miss or skip your Warm-up and Cool-down:

To significantly reduce the risk of injury ensure you ALWAYS warm-up before any exercise (weight based, cardio based, sports…) and cool-down afterwards.

The warm-up should involve very light cardio (On a treadmill, bike or cross-trainer but not on the rowing machine) followed by a series of dynamic stretches and mobilisations.

The cool-down should involve static stretches and finish-off with light mobilisations.

Foam rollers are also great for the cool-down, and are a quick and inexpensive way to massage tired muscles.

In addition, resistance bands are not just for work-outs, but can also make a great addition to your warm-up or cool-down routine.

• Be a part of Team Protein:

No doubt you know that to build muscles you must ‘feed’ them with an adequate amount of protein to aid recovery and growth.

Therefore, if your aim is muscle growth and strength gain, I’d suggest you need to be consuming, on a daily basis, at least 2 – 2.5 grams of protein for each kilogram of body weight.

For example, if you weigh 85kg, you should be eating 170 grams of protein daily.

protein sources

We don’t have protein reserves within our bodies, so protein needs to be consumed at regular intervals throughout the day.

You can’t consume all your daily protein requirement in one meal or sitting!

• Consider Creatine:

Whilst it doesn’t suit everyone (it doesn’t react well with me), creatine has long been considered a ‘go to’ supplement when it comes to strength training and muscle growth.

If you do go down the creatine route please ensure you never go over the stated dosage (as applies to all supplements) and keep very well hydrated.

As always, any questions fire them over.

Ian David Worthington

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