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The major mistakes I see people make when trying to build muscle mass is either going too heavy or sticking in the 8-10-rep range, known as the “sweet spot” for muscle growth. That’s why this program is designed with high reps in mind.
High-rep training for a short period of time (4 weeks) will challenge the muscles in many ways that can lead to growth. One such benefit is the muscle pump. Higher reps lead to a greater muscle pump. The pump, mind you, isn’t just about looking good during your workout.
The pump is the rapid expansion in the size of muscles during a workout. Simply put, the pump is the filling up of muscle cells with water. When you train, you produce waste products in the muscle cells. These waste products are the result of burning glucose and fat to fuel muscle contractions, and their build-up inside muscle cells draws water in from blood in the capillaries that feed the muscle and the area surrounding the cells.
As with a balloon, the more water the muscle cell can hold, the bigger the pump. The pump essentially places a stretch on the muscle cell. This stretch not only makes muscles momentarily bigger, but it also initiates biochemical pathways that signal the muscle cell to grow.
Training with high reps causes a greater flow of blood to the trained muscles; the muscle contractions stimulate blood to move in that direction. High reps essentially create more waste products in muscle fibers, which is due to greater muscle fatigue. Greater fatigue can instigate pathways in the muscle cells that essentially lead to higher muscle protein synthesis, particularly when ample protein is available. And that can lead to visibly greater muscle growth over time.
Supplementing with CarnoSyn® beta-alanine during this intense training program will lead to higher carnosine levels and retention in the body. Here’s why that’s important: Higher carnosine levels buffer and delay lactic acid build-up in the muscle, helping to extend endurance, expedite recovery and even enhance mental focus. The end result leads to building muscle faster.
But this program isn’t just about high reps. To truly spark greater muscle growth, you need to ramp up the intensity. That’s why each workout in the 28 Days to Redemption program also includes intensity techniques like pre-exhaust, supersets, tri-sets, drops sets, rest-pause, and my “Alternating Fatigue” technique.
During the program, workouts focus on just two or three muscle groups per session. Each muscle group will be trained just once a week due to the high reps, high volume (total number of sets), intensity techniques, and short rest periods.
Keep rest to no more than 90 seconds between sets, or as specified for each training protocol. And keep in mind: Hitting the prescribed rep range only matters on the first set of each exercise. On subsequent sets, keep the weight the same on all successive sets and complete as many reps as you can (to failure).
Another concept this program employs is progressive overload. This will occur over the course of four weeks, as follows:
Week 1 has you pre-exhausting each muscle group with an isolation (single-joint) exercise before doing compound (multijoint) moves.
Week 2 removes the pre-exhaust, allowing you to be able to use more weight on these multijoint movements because you’re doing them first. This will help increase strength in the higher rep ranges. When you return to doing the pre-exhaust workouts, you’ll be able to use more weight for the same reps, which will carry over into building more muscle.
Week 3 has you repeating the Week 1 workouts, but with more weight; you’ll be using a minimum of 5 pounds more on each exercise. While your goal is to complete the same number of reps as Week 1, it’s okay if you fall short.
Week 4 has you repeating the Week 2 workouts, but with 10 pounds or more weight on each exercise.
The progressive increase in weight being used over the four weeks will help to further boost gains in muscle size, muscle strength, and even fat loss.
Rest-Pause – After reaching failure on the set, put the weight down, rest 10-20 seconds, then continue doing reps with the same weight until reaching failure again. That’s one rest-pause.
Drop Set – After reaching failure on the set, immediately decrease the weight by 20%-30% and, without resting, rep out to failure again using the lighter weight. That’s one drop set.
Superset – Two exercises performed back-to-back without resting. Rest is taken after the second exercise in the pairing is complete, before moving onto the next superset.
Tri-Set – Three exercises performed back-to-back-to-back without resting. Rest is taken after the third exercise in the trio is complete.
A fitness appraisal can help determine your ability levels. You should consult with your doctor to clarify that it is safe for you to become physically active if you require further security.
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