This free information will save you time and money in designing a bodybuilding weight lifting program for yourself. Some of you may be asking yourselves, “What’s the difference between training for bodybuilding and training for anything else?” The answer to that is pretty simple, but very few people can put their finger on it.
When you are training to increase muscle mass as your main goal, the difference is in how you lift the weight. More specifically, it is not enough to just move the weight through the range of motion, rather, you must flex the muscle throughout the movement. Additionally, it is important to maintain that tension for around 45 seconds.
Let’s use the bench press to illustrate my point. Most people lower the weight under control, and simply push the weight back up. To stimulate your muscles to grow as quickly as possible, you need to keep tension on them by flexing through the entire movement. Momentum is your enemy in bodybuilding! It is not good enough to do one repetition like this, you need to do it for 8 to 12 repetitions, or 45 seconds per set.
While it is true that lifting heavy weights explosively will increase your muscle mass, and lifting with constant tension as I have described above will increase your strength, if you want to maximize the training effect, you need to train specifically for your goal. That is to say that if you want maximum muscle mass, you should train with constant tension.
There is nothing wrong with strength, but if that is your main goal, you will want to maximize that by training specifically for it. You can learn all about training for strength on my Powerlifting andStrongman pages.
Now, back to training for maximum muscle mass. We want to maximize the volume of work that your muscles are
doing in a set period of time. Generally speaking, your workout should last no more than 45 minutes for weight training. This is because your natural testosterone levels will drop after about 45 minutes of intense training. You definitely do not want your testosterone levels to drop if you want your muscles to grow. Now that we have discussed length of training, let’s look and rest between sets.
We want to keep our rest between sets no shorter than 60 seconds and no longer than 3 minutes. Spend the majority of your workouts with rest periods of about 2 minutes between sets and you will be on the right track. The reasons for this are that you can squeeze
more work into that 45 minute workout, and that using the lactic acid energy system (which is how your body handles intense work with rest periods like this) encourages more muscle growth than if you rested longer between sets.
Probably most importantly, you must focus your time and energy on basic, multi-joint exercises that work the most muscle at one time. By doing this, you will stimulate your entire body to grow. When training like this, you also need to limit the exercises that do not work large muscle groups (isolation exercises). If you work as hard as you should be on the basic exercises, you will need all the recovery ability you have, and isolation exercises will only detract from that with no added benefit.