How to: Training For Size

How to: Training For Size

If you took a snapshot at the gym, you’d probably think everyone’s training for the same goal. They’re normally all using the same equipment and hopefully training hard… What’s a little less obvious is the variations in volume (amount of sets/reps), intensity, rest between sets, frequency and duration of workouts. It’s variations of these 5 major factors that can determine specifically how the body responds to your training.

If you’re just starting out weight training, more than likely you’ll see results fast if your training hard enough and eating enough quality food. As a beginner it’s crucial to learn the basics with proper technique – this is when you’ll learn movement patterns but also potentially bad habits. So before getting too specific make sure you’ve laid down a solid foundation with the help of someone with a good eye for technique. Once you have been training for a while, results get harder to come by, so you’ll need to be specific with your goals and train smarter.

Training for Hypertrophy:

Hypertrophy is simply the term used for an increase in muscle size.
Generally, for hypertrophy, the total volume of the workout needs to be high. Use weights you reach failure by 8-12 reps at for each exercise and aim for 3-4 sets per exercise. Mix it up by throwing in some different overload techniques to add extra fatigue to the muscle like supersets, drop sets, forced reps, negatives, etc. Feel free to DM me if you have any questions on these. As for the total amount of sets you do per workout, 20-25 sets are ideal.
Rest intervals should be between 1-2 minutes depending on the demands of the exercise. A big mistake a lot of guys make is getting side tracked between sets which drops the intensity of their training sessions to low. To get the most out of each training session try forget about the outside world and focus on pushing your body!  

Bodybuilding style workouts are tough but best kept fairly short and sweet – about 45-60 minutes are ideal. The frequency of training sessions is really important too. Traditionally people would train body parts once per week, but research is now suggesting that training muscle groups more often leads to better results. What works best tends to vary from person to person based on a few different factors such as age, how hard they train, lifestyle, PED’s, etc. As a natural bodybuilder, I find 2 times per week to be ideal. It allows enough time to recover from the last workout, then before wasting any time you’re able to hit that same body part again.

Here’s an example of what a Chest and Back workout might look like. It should take about an hour to complete.

1. Super set – Incline Dumbbell Press + Chin-up 4 sets of 8+8 reps. (90-120 seconds rest)
2. Drop set – Seated Cable Row 4 sets of 8,8,8 reps at each drop of weight. (90 seconds rest)
3. Drop set – Dumbbell Press 3×8,8,8. (90 seconds rest)
4. Single Arm Dumbbell Row 3×10-12 per arm. (60 seconds rest)
5. Incline Dumbbell Press 3×10 (60 seconds rest)
6. Super set – Cable Curl + triceps Pushdown 4×12+12. (60 seconds rest)

 

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch.

Stay tuned, my next post will be on Nutrition for Bodybuilding – possibly the most important component of any program!

cheers, Louis.



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