Lately many ask me through the blog, twitter or in the forum that gives you a few tips on a particular topic. Something like “The top 10 tricks for …”, “The top five tips of …” as if it were a ranking and, in part, because people do not want to complicate life. We are made of a paste that assimilates better than four strokes, four master lessons, easy to understand and to carry out, and that guarantee us, if possible, amazing results. This, my friends, is a mistake since, if we start this way, few results will be obtained in any aspect of life that requires a minimum determination, effort or sacrifice.
Nonetheless, it can become our ally to help readers achieve their results because this way we can better capture your attention.
One of the most recurring issues is how to gain muscle mass, the best tips or tricks to maximize results in this field. I thought that I always liked 7 because it’s the number I used when playing Basketball or football so, after analyzing it in depth, these would be my best seven tips:
1.- Focus on complex exercises instead of monoarticular exercises . For those who follow the blog this is not a new topic. If we want to gain muscle mass we need a metabolic response where it increases the secretion of hormones like testosterone and growth hormone since it is this kind of anabolic hormones that have the capacity to increase protein synthesis. This is achieved with complex exercises where a large amount of muscle mass is involved. Exercises like bench press, squat, dominated or deadlift would be the key. It is a mistake to think that by doing more biceps curls these will grow faster.
2.- Do not abuse the “bodybuilding” machines. I do not know who would name these machines but of course did not know much physiology. If we want to involve as much muscle mass as possible, it is a mistake to use those machines that stabilize exercise for us. In a press bench work a great number of muscles in charge to stabilize the plane of movement that are not working when we press in machine, so that the hormonal answer will be smaller. Not to mention that no one has both hemispheres symmetrical when it seems that whoever designs these machines thinks that it is.
- Forget the myth of the volume phase and definition phase . The phases of volume where the individual picks up all the body weight that can be an aberration, a nonsense that, far from getting us to gain more muscle mass, if that can seriously affect our health. The body needs a number of nutrients to boost the recovery of energy consumed and regenerate damaged tissues. Consuming more of the amount strictly necessary to satisfy this demand will not make us gain more muscle mass but fat.
4.- Do not confuse strength training with hypertrophy . They are not the same. It is very common to find those who believe that in order to gain muscle mass, you have to move as much weight as you can. This is a mistake as nothing has to do a strength training with one aimed at gaining muscle mass. For this you need to work at a high range of repetitions, from 8, being more important the time under tension, training volume, and partial recovery between sets that load. You are mistaken if you think that the most muscular athletes are the strongest. An NHL rugby or ice hockey player can well move up to 50% more weight than a professional bodybuilder.
5.- Beware of stimulants such as caffeine . While they can help us improve our performance, they also have a potentiating effect on cortisol, a catabolic hormone that can ruin our training and prevent us from achieving the desired results. Remember this rule, the stimulants always before training, never after.
- Sleep enough . Lack of sleep can affect the recovery and regeneration process of damaged tissues during training, lengthening the recovery time needed for a full recovery. This may cause you to retrain before you have recovered, or else you have to wait more days before re-training the same exercise. In the end, everything results in lower results.
7.- Protein is important but not the king of diet . It’s amazing how many people think they can only maximize results if they turn to supplements. Friends, what do you think protein shakes are made of? For nutrients extracted from the food itself. It does not have to be more effective, on the contrary. To this day if we give a laboratory rat all the nutrients that are known in isolation will die. This is because we are still discovering new nutrients, substances that until now we did not know or that we did not know to what extent they were crucial for the correct functioning of the organism. Is protein important? Of course yes,
Do not forget what I always say and what any personal trainer knows: What seems to have some scientific basis today may not have it tomorrow, so do not stop studying and do not take as a dogma anything you read as proven to appear to be the source. Evidence must always be solid but can and does evolve.