How many exercises, sets, and reps do you need to do per muscle group in a week for maximum growth?

Muscle growth is dependent on a number of factors, and there is of course a matter of what kind of nutrition we are implementing during this time. A diet with adequate protein is going to surpass one with limited macro-nutrient value.

As I’m a female, I’m going to go against the grain here, and tell you what works and has worked for me for over 15 years. If I can gain muscle in specific areas using my skills and expertise in building muscle and nutrition, then I do believe anyone can.

6 commandments for mastering muscle growth faster, and losing body fat

  1. Always train the largest muscle groups first in your program
    – never skip these

    So many people make the mistake of using isolated exercise for every single program they have, never once getting into the guts and glory movements that will really make a HUGE difference to your physique. See, it doesn’t matter how many isolated movements you do per session, it just does not have the same affect as multi joint ones. These are; Squats, deadlifts, lunges, chin ups, pull ups, bench presses and even sled pushes. Whatever exercise uses most, if not your entire musculature structure, is going to be the most effective for your hypertrophy growth. Never shy away from these, and start of with minimal weights. Slowly build up to those heavy and taxing lifts that will make the most difference to your physique
  2. Train with frequency by splitting muscle groups.
    Everyone knows that you have to lift weights frequently in order to get the most growth. You also need to be able to recover fully, and get back into the grind as quickly as possible. The most effective way to do this is by using the split training method. Splitting means training specific muscle groups in one single work out. For instance, hamstrings and calves, shoulders and back. biceps and triceps, Abs and quads. When you do this, you will allow one muscle group to rest (say legs) whilst you smash another group of muscles on day 2 (biceps and triceps). If you were to train using full body workouts, your training frequency will become too small in order to make a huge difference to your physique.
  3. Aim for keeping your weights heavy, and increasing volume as much as possible
    A basic high volume training program would consist of reps in the 6–15 range, and with 65–85 percent of your 1 rep max). When you lift weights, you are inflicting damage to the muscles, due to the lengthening and contracting motion. The muscle tissues undergo micro tears & cells fill up with fluid (this is that wonderful muscle pump you get when working out). The body does this as a protective mechanism, increasing protein synthesis. This is the process that is required in order to undergo muscle growth and development. Aim for heavy weights and volume.
  4. Shave off your rest period time.
    I don’t see many people in the gym timing their rest period. This may seem like a small thing to most, but it’s one of the most effective ways to increase hypertrophy. The muscles need to be under constant tension in order to create those micro tears (as stated above). One trick I use is to really smash one particular exercise that targets a high level of growth. Say a deadlift. You can aim to go high volume 8–10 sets, with a heavy weight you can perform for 7–9 reps, and only allowing 10–15 seconds rest period in between each rep. This will produce metabolic stress and a large growth hormone response. I would save this kind of training once a month because when used too often, it can have opposing effects.
    A consistently effective rest period time is around the 60 second mark. Any longer, and you will not experience the necessary results (unless you are going for strength based training, with much heavier weights).
    The trick is to vary your rest periods with different training protocols. Circuit or cardio based training is minimal (10 -15 seconds), heavy and strength based programs should be up to 2 minutes, and hypertrophy should range from 60 seconds.
  5. Embrace failure.
    Training to failure is lifting to the point where you simply cannot lift the weight using proper technique. You want to aim for this type of training as much as you possibly can, to produce larger muscular damage & protein synthesis – leading to greater potential for muscular growth.
    One method I use is to lift as heavy as I possibly can, until I cannot lift the weight with proper form, then dropping the weight to something lighter, where I can get even more reps into the picture. This has always served me well, and I’ve experienced muscle growth and increases in strength just from this method alone. It’s training to failure, then trying again to fail.
  6. How do you count your tempo?
    The speed of the up and down phase makes a huge difference to the growth you experience within your training programs. Muscle needs to be under tension for a specific time, in order to experience growth. The usual motions of up and down will not do much for your! You really have to induce the mind/muscle connection as you lift every rep.
    Tempo should run for for 3–6 seconds eccentric (lift phase) and 1–3 concentric (lower phase).
    This isn’t a ploy at dismissing faster rep ranges. I use this all the time, as finishers to really get a bit more work done, and smash out the muscles for any extra grit. The trick is to use the tempo count for your overall program, and fast pace some exercises at the end of your program, to really add that sweet spot impact to your hypertrophy goals.I do hope this helps you. I believe in using a variety of variables towards achieving my hypertrophy goals. Remember, it’s the exercise you aren’t doing that you need most. So it all out, and never stick to one method for too long. Muscles need variety in order to grow.

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