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The Ten Pound Diagnosis

Mar 1, 2008
Before you read this, go look in the mirror. Close your eyes and visualize how much better your body would look with ten pounds of lean muscle on your frame. Visualize how well your favorite shirt would fit and how big your arms or shoulders would look. Now do this, go find your training log and look at your past three months of training. Have you made consistent progress and increased your sets or weights every workout?

Even if you have, if you have gotten stronger have you gotten bigger? Are you doing the right things to prime your body for growth? There is a reason that the guy who always looks like he is growing is getting bigger. No, it has nothing to do with steroids either. If you follow the ten pound diagnosis, you will be following a step-by-step blueprint for transforming your physique from pebble to rock hard.

Diagnosis 1 You need to address your bigger muscle fibers.

Muscles really do not know how much weight is on the bar, they just know how much tension they are experiencing. It is tension that recruits Type II b or fast twitch fibers and that is what we are really after and it is really well known in the field that the Type II b fibers are the ones that have, by far, have the greatest capacity to enlarge or to hypertrophy. Successful training methods need to address Type II b fiber stimulation and consequently hypertrophy.

You can lift a heavy weight and create a lot of tension because there is a lot of force but I think the most tension is developed when you use moderate weights and when you apply acceleration to those weights. So what you need to do right now is train with slightly lower reps (4-8 reps) but lift the weight faster than you have been doing.

Diagnosis 2 Reassess your mind frame.

There are two kinds of mind sets that you can have. If you look at people in the health club or in the gym-there are two mind sets. The first is like an exerciser mind set. As an exerciser, whether you want to lose fat or gain muscle you are very wrapped up in the whole world thermodynamics so if you are trying to gain muscle you are thinking Ok I need to train hard and I need to really rest and I need to take certain number of protein and I need to get a certain number of calories so that I have caloric surplus.

And conversely if you are trying to drop body fat and you are saying to yourself well alright I am eating 1500 calories a day and I am 45 minutes on the treadmill and you had a plateau and the question is: Where do you go from there? You now go to 1200 calories a day doing an hour on the treadmill. There is no, to me there is no happy end game in all of these. To me it just strikes me as a monotonous kind of not very aspirational kind of way of life.

The other way to think about it is-as an athlete and I have been an athlete all my life in different sports and not a good athlete by any stretch but an athlete nonetheless and I do not know when I go to the gym I am thinking about how I am going to improve myself that day. What I can do to improve my technique on the Olympic Lift. I am thinking about maybe I will get a personal record. When is my next competition going to be? That is a kind of aspirational mind set, I mean that is something I can wake up.

Diagnosis 3 Vary Your Training Every Three To Four Weeks

I found that the lower body is a little dumber if you will, and takes a little longer to adapt and thus you can keep people on say squats and dead lifts and variations thereof a little bit longer than you would for upper body movements. So I found that you tend to vary upper body movements more than lower body. Now the problem too is that there is something called the variable recovery system.

We know for instance that arm, so take your biceps will recover much quicker than say your legs particularly the hamstrings. So the arms can be hit a little more often than legs and because of that you will have a greater frequency of arm movements and body split training is quite popular especially foe advanced athletes because of the fact that they are tapping into this variable recovery system. Not everything recovers to the same rate. Whole body systems can be quite demanding especially for advanced athletes since your constantly pounding the body with big movements like squats and dead lift stroke to weeks.

Diagnosis 4 Properly Mix In Compound And Isolation Exercises

In general you want to emphasize the big multi joint compound movements however training economy will dictate what you do in the particular program. I mean if someone is going to train once or thrice a week then make sure, you want to ensure that you are given the big movements. If you have someone that wants optimal gains I think you need to have a healthy mix of both compound and isolation type movements.

Now to truly isolate is difficult particularly at high intensity. So if you take a movement such as triceps press down for instance, research shows that at high intensities there is greater EMG or electrical activity in the abdominals than there are in the triceps themselves when you are doing that movement. So as the intensities surge increase it is actually quite difficult to truly isolate a muscle but with that said I think it is important that you incorporate some isolation movements.
About the Author
Jimmy Smith, a Men's Fitness training expert, has created the ultimate no brainer, step-by-step blueprint for building muscle. Visit http://www.ineedmuscle.com for a free report on the top five new muscle building methods.
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