How to get maximum gain from every workout?
The answer is: intensive training.
What does it depend upon?
- Type of exercises performed.
- Weights you exercise with.
- Number of muscles involved.
- Length of rest between sets and exercises.
- Number of repetitions, sets and exercises.
- Duration of the whole training.
- Explosiveness with which exercises are performed.
- Rest before and after training.
The principle of explosiveness
Explosiveness means that the movements are performed with maximum force and pressure at the moment of exerting the effort in order to lift the weights, in time span as short as possible.
( ! The movements shouldn’t be too sudden.)
The exercises with which to achieve the biggest explosiveness are compound exercises, using weights you can lift maximum 5-8 times in one set. For more advanced lifters these could be 3-5 lifts.
Some people lift the weights slowly, which is not wrong. This way you get the feeling of greater “burn” of the muscles.
But growth hormone is mainly stimulated by exerting maximum force for fast and explosive activation of muscle fibers.
For example, why do sprints cause increased secretion of growth hormone? Because maximum force is exerted on the whole body in short time intervals.
Long training with lots of sets do not give increased secretion of the growth hormone. And they cause little (or no) drop of testosterone. Yes, testosterone has to drop.
Your workout should cause drop of testosterone after training. The bigger the drop, the bigger the subsequent rise. Testosterone has to drop so that it can rise later. All this matters and is productive only if it was caused by strong intensity.
The increase of cortisol causes decrease of testosterone. But, testosterone drop after correct workout and testosterone decrease because of increased cortisol is not the same.
The principle of explosiveness applies to isolation exercises, too. However, the explosiveness is only a part of the intensity. If throughout the whole training you perform isolation exercises, no mater how explosive they are, the workout won’t have enough intensity if you do not include compound exercises with heavier weights. Without compound exercises there is no optimum hormonal response without which the body doesn’t have enough boost to build in amino acids in muscles that have been worked out.
If you can perform large number of repetitions, for example 15, 20, then the weights are small and insufficient to cause the required intensity.
Their purpose is warm-up. Before heavy weights the same exercise should always be performed with smaller weights and more repetitions, around 10. Gradually increase the weight for couple of sets until you reach the maximum you want to lift. But, these warm-up sets do not count as performing (main) sets. The counting of sets begins when you reach the maximum.
Exercises with lots of repetitions are beneficial to some degree, for example if you run a marathon. With lots of repetitions you can achieve activation of the slow muscle fibers. This leads to greater durability in terms of duration of the effort. For example, you don’t want your arm to shake when you take 300 selfies.
Lots of repetitions should not be main workout method. This way you are not losing excessive fat, and you are not gaining muscles or strength. Only increase of cortisol. And you lose time.
More repetitions can be used in a specific case as a temporary maneuver.
A workout must have high intensity
If you don’t include intensity in your training – compound exercises with heavier weights, fast performance of the exercises, less repetitions, smaller rests (up to 30 seconds between sets, maximum 60 between exercises), and all this in 30-45 minutes – you won’t achieve maximum increase of the required hormones. Meaning, these is no maximum gain from every workout. Doesn’t mater from how many angles you have “killed” your biceps off from. Doesn’t mater if you did 6 isolation exercises for front, back and the middle shoulder.
Here are some comparisons.
60 minutes of training of isolation exercises with lots of repetitions.
Lots of repetitions = no explosiveness. What will happen here?
First, there won’t be increase of the growth hormone.
Second, cortisol will increase, of course.
Third, there won’t be major drop of testosterone after the workout.
The body won’t be in intensified state of repair after the workout, because the insufficient presence of HGH. (Bonus: One of the main reasons for damage of joints, cartilage and other tissues. There is no one to heal!)
There’s not enough fast drop of testosterone after the workout which means that there will be not enough increase of testosterone.
This, supported with increased secretion of cortisol (which will remain prolongedly increased) automatically means as much longer period of time of even lower levels of testosterone.
This way the workout becomes counter-productive. Slow gains. Millions of supplements needed; you are becoming a believer of “genetics” and similar witch-doctor chants.
90 minutes of training with whatever combination of exercises and repetitions.
Even if growth hormone is increased at one point in the workout, it will be later buried so low that it might take days in order to return it back. 90 minutes is too, too much.
Cortisol will jump so high that it might take days in order to lower it. And until it’s low again, there’s no increase of testosterone.
45 minutes workout with complex and few isolation exercises.
Let us say that the first two of these exercises, for example squats and standing shoulder barbell press, 3-4 sets with weights you can lift maximum 5-8 times in a set. Then you perform 3-4 sets of dumbbell shoulder flies and 3-4 sets for the calf. The breaks between sets and exercises should be shorter then a minute. And that’s it.
Someone might say that it’s just a few exercises. But, what will happen? If you don’t disperse the effort on 58 different isolation exercises, you will be able to invest MAXIMUM strength with maximum weights for you, in short duration of time. This is how to generate maximum HGH response. This way you allow the testosterone to burst afterwards. This is what maximum gain from every workout is.
[Why not to exercise day in and day out? ]
The strategy for boosting testosterone is to exercise with intensity sufficient to cause testosterone drop after the workout, and then with proper nutrition and rest to cause fast and increased secretion. Also, a workout with too high an intensity can lower testosterone to such a degree that days will be needed before it gets back. But the most common mistake that lifters make is not too high intensity, but working out for too long.
Muscle growth is accomplished during periods of elevated testosterone and growth hormone, after the training. If you allow these two hormones to increase, muscle growth or burning excess fat will take place much faster than before.