It’s been said you cannot build immensity without intensity. If it hasn’t been said, it’s been said now; you can quote me in on the bodybuilding forums for most quotable quote quoted by some guy in 2016. However, going H.A.M in the mines of mass doesn’t guarantee shirt stretching swoleness. Professional Natural Bodybuilder Victor Egonu continues his series covering 3 more factors to mass.
“When it comes to training, intensity needs to be the main focus. Regardless of the training program you are currently running, you should train with the intent of stimulating the most muscle which means emphasizing compound movements, and employing training techniques such as rest-pause and drop sets to maximize overload and time under tension.
Recovery is often overlooked when it comes to adding size. It can be hard to get 8hrs of quality sleep each night with just how busy life can get but even napping for 10-30min can help big time. After all it's during rest and recovery that the muscle grows. Also realize that you must take care of your joints during a bulk due to added loads from training and body weight.
Cardio, cardio, cardio. The dreaded word considered by many to be only associated with a cut phase should also be used during a bulk for 3 reasons. First it helps to keep body fat gain to a minimum. Another reason is that it stimulates metabolism for proper nutrient partitioning. The third and possibly most important reason is conditioning. Keeping the heart healthy is very important to prevent disease but also to make sure you're getting the most from your training as when you have poor cardiovascular fitness, performing a set of heavy squats for 10 reps can seem much harder than it should be.
I perform 15min HIIT sessions 2x/week immediately following weights and 1 low intensity session for 30min. For HIIT I will warmup for 2min and then increase intensity (resistance or speed) for 1min and then reduce to warmup speed for 1min. I'll follow this 1:1 ratio for full 15min and so HR is at 80-85% of MHR for working portions. Ex: suicides: 2min jog, then all out 3point touches 2x in a row, followed by 1min jog. Repeat 5-6x then 2min jog cooldown. For low intensity I will choose a machine or go speed walking and do it at moderate intensity to keep my HR at 65% of MHR. Low intensity is usually done on an off day.
Now what to do if you hit a plateau? Manipulate one of the variables of nutrition, training, recovery and or cardio to ensure a consistent influx of gains! An example would be if your strength has stalled or even dropped, you may want to consider if you're getting enough rest or consuming enough calories. Even one day of poor sleep or missed meals can affect your training which can affect muscle growth. With that said, no one is perfect and life is unpredictable. So try your best to keep each at optimal levels but if you miss a meal here, an hour or two of sleep there or even a lackluster workout every now and then, don't worry just do your best to get back on track asap and continue ‘The Bulk’.”
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