(Note: The following post is courtesy trainer Bruce Krahn of www.ebodi.com.)
Hi, Bruce here from www.ebodi.com.
Training for muscle size differs from training for maximum fat loss.
Generally speaking, when you lift weights and do cardio you will see a reduction in body fat and a concurrent increase in muscle size and definition.
This is a good thing of course and is what most people want.
But what if you want to take your body to the next level and increase muscle size even further?
If this is what you want then you have to take a slightly different approach to your training and nutrition program.
So if your goal is bigger muscles, here are a couple tricks for you to try that can help speed up the process.
With respect to training the first thing to consider is T.U.T.
No, not as in “King Tut” — I am talking about something known as Time Under Tension.
This basically means the amount of time your muscles are under stress within a single repetition or set of repetitions.
For example, if you are trying to increase muscle size then the time under tension (TUT) for each set should generally be in the 30-70 second range. This will require that you slow each repetition down by focusing on a slow, controlled eccentric (lowering), pausing for a second in the contracted position and incorporating a controlled concentric (raising).
In this case a good tempo for each repetition would be 4/1/2. This translates as follows: 4 seconds to lower the weight, 1 second pause at the bottom position and 2 seconds to raise the weight. This serves to increase the time under tension (in this case 7 seconds per repetition) and will have a greater impact on muscular density and size than a faster, more ballistic approach of 1/0/1 for example.
Another trick to increase muscle size involves the timing and ingredients of your protein shake.
For maximum muscle gains I recommend that you begin drinking your post workout shake (containing a mixture of fast-digesting protein and carbohydrates) about halfway through your workout.
Doing this helps to reduce the increase in cortisol that occurs midway through an intensive weight training session and helps bring blood sugars back up for increased energy and strength.
I would not recommend this if your goal was fat loss, however.
If fat loss is your goal then it is better to wait until after your workout before having any post-workout nutrition.
Small “tweaks” that can make a difference but it all depends on the look you are trying to achieve.
For me I like to focus on muscle size and strength in the winter and then shift focus to fat loss for the summer months.
Give these tips a go and try my www.ebodi.com program.