People try to get a lot of different things out of their training. Today I want to talk about the best way to train and plan your workout for maximum hypertrophy aka increased muscle size. If you really want to optimise your hypertrophy training and body composition, you really want to be doing as much volume as you can recover from.
Incorporating Maximum Recoverable Volume (MRV)
While you need to be doing as much as possible to get the best results, in order to get to that point you need to start with the minimum effect dose that your body can recover from. Then progressively over time you should work up to your maximum recoverable volume (MRV).
The MRV concept was introduced to me by Dr. Mike Israetel, who wrote the book Scientific Principles Of Training. The MRV for a muscle is the most volume that the muscle can recover from. Different muscles have different MRVs – the volume you can put your quads through will be different to the volume your triceps can handle.
When starting a program we want to slowly work up to our MRV. This is because we want to minimise inflammation along the way as will affect body composition. Doing all the volume, all at once will drive you into the ground!
Hypertrophy Training for Beginners
When you start designing your hypertrophy program, understand your body is new to any stimulus that you introduce it to. Practically this means it doesn’t need much exposure to make adaptations. This is because of the repeated bout effect, which simply means the more you repeat a behaviour the less it impact it has because your body becomes accustomed to it.
When you feel you get to this point, add more volume (reps x sets x weight). So start with basic, straight sets and increase the frequency.
Why increase the frequency?
Because your body doesn’t know what a week is!
It only knows it takes this long to recover from a workout.
Once it reaches this point, it is ready to be trained again. So all these bro splits or one day a week routines, they are costing you valuable muscle growth. Remember what I said at the start of the article – the idea is to train the muscle as often as you can to the point that you can recover from. Going hard in the gym will work up to a point, but you have to become intelligent about your programming to get to your potential.
Be analytical in your approach, boom!
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