Training & Muscle Building
Muscle growth occurs best when training with higher volumes close to muscle fatigue, and with moderate rest periods between sets/reps. When training for muscle building we recommend the following:
- 10 – 12 repetitions per set is the optimal range for muscle growth.
- Concentrate on tempo. There is no benefit in doing 12 reps if you do them too quickly as you will change the training effect (i.e. develop speed and power rather than mass). Each rep should last about 4 seconds with each set taking 40-60 seconds. If you aren’t able to maintain that tempo then reduce the weights.
- Take relatively moderate rest periods. Since training for muscle building focuses more on isolation of muscles and some workouts can be deemed less intense that other workouts, keep rest periods in between sets to less than 90 seconds.
- Perform 12 – 20 sets per muscle group.
- Be consistent with training and follow your training program. You need to make sure that you follow your program for 4-6 weeks before changing things up a bit as this allows proper training stimulus to occur and allows you to track your progress.
- You should always track your progress so you can see what works and what doesn’t. If you are still doing the same weights you started with after 3 or 4 weeks you aren’t working hard enough and aren’t going to progress.
- Consume enough energy (calories), with a minimum of 12 – 15% of calories from protein or around 0.8 – 2.0 grams* of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. This can be achieved through various protein supplements, such as whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate.
- Sleep 7 – 9 hours per night
* How much protein you need depends on a few factors, but one of the most important is your activity level. The basic recommendation for protein intake is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body mass in untrained, generally healthy adults. For instance, a 68 kg person would consume around 54 grams a day. However, this amount is only to prevent protein deficiency - it’s not necessarily optimal, particularly for people such as athletes who train regularly.
For people doing high intensity training, protein needs might increase to around 1.4-2.0 g/kg of body mass. Our hypothetical 68 kg person would therefore need about 95-135 g of protein per day.
These suggested protein intakes are necessary for basic protein synthesis (in other words, the creation of new proteins from individual building blocks). The most we need to consume throughout the day for protein synthesis is around 1.4–2.0 g/kg.