Muscle Stimulation or Exaggeration?

16 February

I'd like to discuss an issue with a certain question I receive concerning training and angle variation. Can you add more muscle size by adding more angels to exercises for each muscle group? Not necessarily.

Many lifters are under the notion that adding more angles, sets, and repetitions can enhance their physique by recruiting all the muscle fibers. While this may sound logical, it can do more damage then good in the bodybuilding world.
The fact is, you either stimulate the muscle, or you don't.

Those individuals seeking muscle hypertrophy (muscle growth) should stick to the basics for the core of the workout, and not over train. The basics include the flat press, shoulder press, chins, close-grip bench press, overhead extensions, straight bar curls, squats, etc.

Various fancy movements may change the direction of stress applied to the muscle, but you will receive optimal results from power movements designed to add mass. The poundage and intensity will determine if all the muscle fibers are recruited or not.

Example #1 (may produce muscle growth
Chest Workout:

Flat Press - 4 sets of 10 repetitions

Incline Dumbbell Press - 4 sets of 10 repetitions

Incline Dumbbell Flys - 4 sets of 10 repetitions

Seated Pec Dec Machine - 4 sets of 10 repetitions

Whew! I'm tired just reading that. If your poundage and intensity were right for the first exercise, the rest are a waste of time.

Example #2 (will produce desired growth)

Chest Workout:

Flat Press - 3 sets of 8 repetitions

Incline Press - 3 sets of 8 repetitions

Example #2 is a more productive workout for chest development. The entire chest muscle can be stimulated with the flat press because it's one muscle, and therefore it contracts as one. If you put 100% into Example #2, there is no reason to add more exercises, sets, or reps.

A multitude of angels and exercise are not necessary. There is no sense in making your training a cardio session or an all out marathon. Remember, you are not growing in the gym. You must stimulate the muscle, feed it, and allow it to grow through rest.

The concept behind gaining muscle mass and strength lies in stimulation and form. If you can master these two concepts, then adding muscle will be easy.

Train, Eat, Rest = Growth

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