There are both physical as well as mental factors that have to be considered when want to gain the most muscle possible in the minimum time. In fact, there are 7 factors… some controllable… some out of your control. But, even those can be worked around.
What we’re always striving for is to focus on the factors we can control to make our physiology more predisposed for muscle growth. Let’s identify the 7 factors:
Genetics–while this cannot be changed—some people can be frustrated for year then find the right training program literally double their growth. They may have thought they had poor genetics or that they were “hardgainers” and then found themselves growing at a rate they previously thought not within their genetics.
Muscle fiber types—again this cannot be changed. The trick is to discover for yourself what muscle fiber types are predominant for each of your body-parts. As an example, for YEARS I followed conventional wisdom in training calves with high reps. While my calves weren’t terrible, they were overshadowed by my easiest growing bodypart—my quads. Then I decided to experiment with low rep calf training—3 to 6 reps. That made all the difference for me.
Hormonal makeup—hey we all know this can be manipulated chemically. It can also be manipulated with the right training and/or nutrition program. The interesting thing that was pointed out recently by Dave Goodin is that several natural competitors actually have low testosterone levels yet still build an amazing amount of muscle. That shows hormone levels may not be as important as we once believed.
Bones and Connective tissue: What makes a Mack Truck bigger, thicker and stronger than a Toyota Prius? Every part found in the truck is heavy duty, the frame, the gears are thicker and heavier gauge. A Prius is flimsy in comparison. In the human body this component is your bones and connective tissue. It’s important to include training that enhances the strength of the bones and connective tissue.
Fascia: You’ve seen a lot written about this in the last few years however methods for expanding and stretching the fascia date back to the 1960’s and 1970’s. I’ll get into those methods in a future post. The most important thing to know about this is that the fascia limits the size potential of a muscle. It’s a sheath around the muscle fiber that holds it together much like luggage holds your belongings together. Expanding or stretching the fascia is much like undoing the zipper on expandable luggage… it allows the luggage to fit more of your valuables. Stretching and expanding the fascia allows the muscle to expand.
Circulatory System: Each blood cell makes its through the arteries and capillaries carrying oxygen, and nutrients to all the tissue and carrying debris from the various tissues including muscle-tissue. Years ago bodybuilders discovered they could train in a manner that encourages the body to create new capillaries for new more efficient blood-flow, better pumps and more muscle building potential.
The Nervous System: Muscle needs to have the ability to fire with explosiveness for maximal power, athletic ability and maximum growth potential. Gladly some of the same techniques needed for training the circulatory system will also train the nervous system efficiently.
Stay tuned for more detain on how to maximize these factors for maximum muscle growth quickly.