The most important variable for increasing muscle mass is training volume. We can achieve muscular hypertrophy with low or high loads, but it will be impossible with a volume below a minimum or Absolute threshold. It is the minimum amount of stimulus we need to “realize” something.
This minimum volume threshold depends on each person and increases as our body adapts to training. That is why we will have to increase the volume as it happens so that it is a challenge.
It is a practical tool but perhaps the least used, which generates enormous results if it is followed to the letter. This provides an excellent database to see how the training is going.
How many sets did I do last week of X muscle?
How many reps did I do on the second set?
How much weight?
Have I been able to increase the weight lifted?
Number of reps per set or set volume from last week.
The vast majority of people looking to have an increase in their muscle mass do not know these data. If we don’t know what we did a month ago, how can we know if our training has progressed or if we need to adjust it?
A training history will mark a before and after in the goal of muscle hypertrophy
You can’t build a wall without bricks. That’s what happens to our muscle fibers when there’s not enough protein intake. No matter how much training you do, if you are not in a range of 1.6g to 2.2g of protein per kilo of body weight you will not be able to build “the wall”.
Unless you are a beginner in strength training, a situation in which with very little we get results, you need to eat more calories than you expend. It doesn’t have to be a huge surplus, but just like protein is the brick for our wall, we need workers to build it, and those workers need energy.
The muscle is stimulated in the gym but grows when we rest. A good night’s rest is the best ally for muscle growth. If we don’t get seven or eight hours of sleep at night, it will cost us more to recover between training sessions, and our physiology will not be working at 100%.
Stimulate not destroy
What happens if you drink two bottles of wine in an hour? And if you take the same amount distributed in a glass per day? In both cases the amount is the same, but in the second case our body manages it much better. The same thing happens with training. It is more interesting to distribute the weekly training volume in two or three blocks a week, than to do it all together in one day. Leave a space of about 48 or 72 hours between training and stimulate your muscles more often.
Perseverance and patience: “a little of something is better than a lot of nothing”
A persevering tortoise will always beat a hare that gives up quickly. The vast majority of people looking to increase muscle mass arrive at the gym wanting to train every day and every hour. They do it the first week, the second they start to fail, the last week of the month they train one day and don’t come back the next month.
Doing three workouts every week all year long is better than doing weeks of six workouts, some weeks of none, and some weeks of two. Setting an achievable goal for a better lifestyle and free time is the best strategy. Setting the assist target too high will make you feel bad about failing, and that will lead to abandonment.
Put together your strategy and move to success, slowly but surely.