John Hansen, Natural Mr. Universe and Natural Olympia champion, is proud to announce the release of his new book "Natural Bodybuilding". This book covers everything from training to nutrition to contest preparation, all specifically for the drug-free bodybuilder.
Some Of The Subjects Covered In The Book Include:
- How to assess your own individual genetic potential.
- Which exercises are best for developing mass and size (including a fully illustrated exercise section depicting photos of each movement).
- How to design the most effective training programs.
- The best methods for building muscle mass.
- Nutrition programs for all body types.
- How to eat to lose fat while gaining muscle.
- Essential bodybuilding supplements.
- Contest preparation techniques.
- How to put together a posing routine.
- What the judges look for in a bodybuilding competitor.
And much, much more!
In this excerpt from his book, John describes different training methods for gaining mass. Aside from the standard method of using heavier weights and low repetitions for building size, there are other methods to get the muscles to respond.
Training Method #2 - More Volume
The following article, excerpted from the book, "Natural Bodybuilding" describes how to increase the intensity of a workout by adding volume as opposed to resistance.
More Volume For More Gains
- As a bodybuilder moves past the beginning stages, one of the ways he makes his workout more intense is to add more exercises and, consequently, more sets. If a bodybuilder was training his chest with 3 sets of bench presses and 3 sets of incline presses and then adds 3 sets of flyes to his
- routine, he has now increased the workload for his chest. His chest muscles will adapt to this advanced workload by increasing in size.
Of course, there is a definite limit to how much workload or volume a muscle can take. To attempt to get bigger by adding more and more sets is foolish. After the intermediate stage, a bodybuilder will be better served by learning to increase the intensity of a workout as opposed to adding more sets to his workout. "Harder, not longer", is the mantra espoused by advanced bodybuilders everywhere.
However, there are ways in which an increased volume can place more stress on a muscle to make it grow. Advanced bodybuilders whose muscles have become accustomed to performing a particular number of sets will need to change something in order to get those muscles growing again.
They can train heavier and possibly cut back on the number of sets. They can also keep their poundages the same but add more volume, thus increasing the total workload on the muscle.
Although the high intensity advocates warn that overtraining is sure to result whenever volume increases, history and experience show that there is more than one way to skin a cat or to make a muscle grow.
- Training intensity and volume are believed to be inversely related. If the intensity of a workout goes up, training volume must simultaneously fall. As
- has repeatedly preached in his sermons on training intensity, "You can train hard or you can train long but you can't do both."
However, despite the prevailing attitude about intensity and duration, it is possible to make a workout more intense by adding more volume. More sets can equate to more work for a muscle. More work can be interpreted as greater intensity even though each set is not being taken to absolute failure.
One popular training method of increasing intensity by adding more volume is called "10 Sets of 10". This technique involves using one exercise (preferably a heavy, basic exercise such as squats, bench presses, etc) and performing 10 sets of this movement for 10 repetitions each set.
Obviously, the volume of the rest of the workout for this bodypart must be cut down or overtraining will result. If you normally do 4-5 sets of squats and decide to double that amount, the number of sets for the rest of your leg workout will have to be reduced or eliminated to account for the extra workload.
When using this training technique, the intensity of the workout will come from the total workload imposed on the muscles and not from the intensity of each set.
If each set was taken to failure, it would be impossible to perform all ten sets without first reducing the resistance or the number of reps. Each set must be worked hard but within limits. Total failure is not necessary and will, in fact, prevent you from finishing the workout.
If You Were Going To Use The 10 Sets Of 10 Training Method, Here Are Some Guidelines To Follow:
- First, choose the right weight. The poundage should be moderately heavy but not so heavy that you will reach failure before doing all 10 sets. Since you will be performing 10 sets of 10 repetitions with this weight, choosing a weight that barely allows you to do 10 reps is obviously going to be too heavy. You would never be able to complete more than 2-3 sets before the reps begin to go down or the muscles completely fail.
- Since there is no exact formula for determining the correct weight on a particular exercise for 10 sets of 10 reps, you'll just have to use your best judgment. Choose a weight in which performing 10 repetitions would be relatively easy. This weight shouldn't be extremely light but one in which you can easily handle and still feel the muscles working.
If, for example, you normally use 315 pounds for 10 reps of squats, you may want to reduce the weight to 275 pounds when attempting to do 10 sets of 10 reps on squats. Even this weight may be too heavy. You won't really know for sure until you try.