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Thread: How to Develop a great physique

  1. #1
    Senior Member Allen Cress's Avatar
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    Dec 2009

    How to Develop a great physique

    My Training Methodology was developed by focusing on research that involved how and why the nervous system controls muscle function and muscle action. It becomes obvious from the research that the controlling factor in training success lies with intensity, not strength. But like motor skills such as walking, intensity is a learned process, and must be taught for the body to adapt to higher levels which will lead to greater development. But this kind of learning is internal, such as learning to walk. It's the adaptations of the nervous system to new levels of stress, which determine a specific response. So the stress must be specific as well. Intensity, training wise, is more closely correlated to both strength and development, so being able to train harder and harder is what a physique athlete should be striving for, and NOT training to get stronger and stronger. Without getting into scientific definitions the goal of each rep should be MVC (maximum voluntary contraction).

    Only by coming close to that does intensity get higher and when it does proper strength goes up as well. What is meant by proper strength is that the trainee is only using the targeted muscle to do the work, rather than any muscles just to lift the weight. This is the difference between the advance trainee, and the beginner, or intermediate. The advanced trainee cares about the quality of contraction and concentrates totally on the muscle he is targeting to lift the weight. The intermediate trainee is only concerned with the rep, and tries to lift it any way he can. Here is one major difference in My Training vs. other types of strength training methods. My philosophy focuses more on internal cues. So the quality and intensity of contraction is more important to the trainee than the completion of a rep. Practically everyone uses how much they lift, for how many reps as a performance parameter. These are external cues. By using these external cues, you are setting limits in your mind before you even begin a set or a workout. The advanced trainee is concerned with the intensity of contraction, the "feel" in the targeted muscle, and how close he gets to MVC, using fatigue and recovery as performance indicators. While this must be applied correctly, it must be applied in specifically target training.

    Target training has to do with determining the ranges and planes of motion that a muscle functions in. The range of motion is concerned mostly with the distance of a muscle within an exercise, while the plane of motion is the special area a muscle is functioning within, or the plane it functions best in. This area of Training Research was determined mostly by the research of Paten and Brown (1995). Their research on "functional differentiation" showed that the Central Nervous System can selectively activate segments of a muscle. Their research also clearly showed that the angle or "plane" of motion a muscle was functioning within was more important than the intensity of contraction for eliciting a MVC for that targeted muscle. What I mean is that exercise selection and technique are the most important considerations of your workout when training for development. Walking into a gym a randomly selecting so many exercises for chest is not target training. it is also important to mention that a workout is not a program. Workouts in my Training System are designed as part of a bigger picture, the program, which is designed as I stated earlier to teach the body to adapt to stress by being able to handle greater and greater intensity loads from one program to the next.
    So by knowing how a muscle functions in a specific plane of motion, you can capitalize on that to make the targeted muscle do the most work.

    So how does one go about that? Two things you need to know for any bodypart. 1) When discussing protein turnover in muscles, Behm (1991,1995) illustrated that the muscle that was stretched with resistance causes the greater protein turnover. Therefore, the muscle stretched with resistance receives the most overload. 2) Also form follows function. To learn how to overload the muscle appropriately, determine what its primary functions are and then duplicate them in the plane of motion within which it functions best. I learned this through a course called Muscle Activation Techniques. Because muscles stretched with resistance receive the most overload you must make sure you train the muscle and not the movement!! So set your ego to the side and apply proven methods for greater development.

    One last thing is to make sure and surf the strength curve. Use multiple rep ranges to recruit all fast & slow twitch fibers more Maximum Development. To learn more about this listen to Blue Collar radio by John Meadows & Shelby Starnes where they interview Brad Schoenfeld and really get into the science behind it.

  2. #2
    Tap, Rack, Bacon ncsuLuke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Dallas, TX
    Great post Allen, this like your others has been very helpful for me. As I make the transition from trying to lift as much weight as I can to trying to build size it is amazing how much different the two are, I definitely appreciate the insight from those so much more knowledgable.

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