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workout
muscle fiber types
fast twitch muscle fibers
twitch muscle fibers
power lifters
light jogging
high intensity
main goal
bodybuilders
Best Workout Routine To Gain Muscle
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Best Workout Routine To Gain Muscle

Not all workouts are the same. Many claim to be the most amazing thing since Swedish pancakes, but really, how do you know if they’re the best. One way to look at it is how many muscle fibers are stimulated. As a general rule, the more muscle fibers that are stimulate the more that growth will occur. But not all muscle fibers are equal either.

In this article I’m going to talk about the three different muscle fiber types. We have type 1, type 2-a, and type 2-b. Each of these different fibers serves a unique purpose. So ideally, we want a program that stimulates all three of these fibers. Let’s dig in.

Type 1

These muscle fibers are responsible for endurance. Typically, they are smaller in nature and don’t have nearly as much potential for growth. These fibers are used for low intensity high duration activities such as walking and light jogging. As bodybuilders, we generally aren’t that interested in focusing on these muscle fibers, but they have their place.

Type 2-A

These are one version of your fast twitch muscle fibers. They take care of the moderate-high intensity portion of your lifts. They have incredible potential for growth. When these fibers are stimulated correctly they can grow exponentially fast. Most bodybuilders focus on this muscle type.

Type 2-B

Boom goes the dynamite. These muscle fibers are responsible for the explosive bursts of strength and power. Type 2-B is very important for sports such as MMA, Hockey, Sprinting, and any other explosive sport. Typically power lifters like to focus on this muscle type.

So now that we know which muscle fibers serves which purpose, how do we go about stimulating them in the proper way? When the main goal is to gain muscle, you’re going to want to focus mainly on training your type 2-A fibers. With that said, the best workout routine to gain muscle will still train the other two types.

Not just that, but you will train for more than simply hypertrophy. As you know, hypertrophy is the process of a muscle fiber growing larger. But for the sake of muscle gain, there’s another process that may be even more powerful. That process is called hyperplasia

Hyperplasia is the creation of new muscle fibers. This theory has been found in animals, but doesn’t really have conclusive evidence with humans yet (probably because it’s more frowned upon to open up a bodybuilder on the operating table). For example, there was an experiment conducted with a bird.

In 30 days a bird gained 300% more muscle mass. A lot of that was proven to be hyperplasia. There are specific training methods that make hyperplasia possible. And I will tell you now, they are not fun. In fact, personally I find them aggravating and nerve racking. Here’s how the process works.

After you perform your typical exercise, you continue to do mini reps. These reps are performed near the bottom of your lift. The idea here is to stretch out your muscle as far as possible, and then perform the first 20% of the lift before lowering again. You must keep your muscle under tension the entire time. You do about 10 reps like this or until you can’t perform them any longer.

Pain is the name of this game. If you try this, you are going to feel a burn that’ll make you want to throw that dumbbell right into the mirror in front of you. I find that this type of training straight up ticks me off. I feel like breaking everything around me afterwards.

But with that said, it very well may bring amazing results. Arnold Schwarzenegger trained for hyperplasia. Sure, he also used roids, but you can’t just pump yourself with juice and get results like that without amazing training as well. A program that includes hyperplasia training may very well be the best workout routine to gain muscle. Let’s go over an exercise to fully demonstrate this process.

Exercise: Cable crosses

First do a calm 5 minute warm up with this exercise. I want you to use 50% of what you usually lift. Be sure to go through the full range of motion. Recruiting every fiber is extremely important here. Lift 10 full range reps, then rest. Increase the weight to 60% of what you usually lift and then perform 5 more full range reps. I want you to do 3 more sets of 5 at this weight.

Once that is complete, your chest and shoulders will be primed and ready for the hypertrophy phase. Increase the weight where you can only do 5-7 reps tops. Keep in mind, these reps need to be in perfect form and in a full range of motion. There is no point in getting egotistical here. Between these 2 sets, feel free to take as long of a break as you need to recover. This break can be anywhere from 1-8 minutes. From experience, you’ll only need a minute or two.

Immediately after finishing the second set, you need to start your hyperplasia phase. So stretch out your arms to the bottom of the lift position, and slowly lift for about 20% of the lift that you did before. When you start to lower the weight again, make sure that your chest stays engaged. Do not let the weight down or rest by just hanging there. You must keep tension on your muscle the entire time.

Keep doing those 20% reps nice and slow until you can’t do them anymore. Likely you won’t be able to do more than 10 if you honestly taxed your muscles during the hypertrophy phase unless your name is Clarke Kent. Congratulations, you have just performed the process of hyperplasia.

The reason that hyperplasia may differ from hypertrophy is that it stimulates all three types of muscle fibers at the same time. You are forced to use endurance, raw strength, and explosive power. You have the least amount of explosive ability when your muscle is completely stretched out. This might be why your body is forced to make new fibers instead of just enlarging the existing ones.

As I stated before, the best workout routine to gain muscle will stimulate all muscle fibers for growth. Hyperplasia training does just that. Not only this, but it targets type 2 muscle growth which also has the most potential for enlargement. So this theory seems very sound.

Another important element to consider when choosing a program is stimulation of small muscle groups within larger ones. A great example of this is the brachialis which is found underneath the bicep and side of the arm. When you train this muscle, it pushes up your bicep making your arm look much bigger. One of the best ways to train this muscle is by performing hammer curls.

These hammer curls should be done while sitting on the incline bench. The reason for this is because gravity then allows you to engage this muscle in the fully outstretched position. We have already discussed the benefits of training like this. To recap, it recruits the most muscle fibers and in turn stimulates growth of new muscle fibers.

To conclude, the best workout routine to gain muscle will provide stimulation for the smaller secondary muscle groups, and train for possible hyperplasia. The combination of these two elements is rare. If you believe that you are already training with an incredible program but it’s just lacking these two elements, simply include them into your routine.


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