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bodybuilding training and its principles

bodybuilding training and its principles


Principles of muscle growth through muscle loading

When we talk about training in bodybuilding, we're referring to the use of loads to create stress on one or more muscle groups in order to induce growth in that or those groups. However, if we simply talk about training, we're still talking in general terms, whereas training is far more complex in reality.


However, the term "training" refers to different approaches (distribution of training) and different methods to be implemented and used, depending on the trainee's level, objectives, physiological capacities and the time available for training. In addition, bodybuilding training is broken down into different exercises comprising a certain number of series, which in turn comprise a certain number of repetitions. This number of repetitions is determined by the objective sought.


Your level

Depending on the level of the trainee (novice, intermediate or advanced), it will not be necessary to stress the muscle to the same degree. The muscle of a beginner to bodybuilding, unaccustomed to this type of stimulation, will tend to react more quickly and easily to the stress applied by weight training. This stimulation will not need to be of high intensity to induce muscle growth. But the more experienced the trainer, the greater the intensity of the stress exerted on the muscle. As the muscle is accustomed to a certain amount of stimulation, it will only grow if this stimulation is sufficient to force it to adapt again.


The more years of training an athlete has behind him or her, the greater the stimulation (stress) required to induce growth. This growth is the muscle's adaptive response to the stress caused by training.


Entrainement en musculation


Breakdown of training

Visit muscle growth is closely linked to the quality, quantity and frequency of training sessions, as well as to the level of the exerciser. The distribution of training is also linked to these different factors, with a view to promoting growth.


When you're just starting out in bodybuilding, the muscle will have this ability to respond very quickly to the stimulation provided during sessions. As this stimulation does not need to be of great intensity, the frequency of training sessions on these muscle groups can be more frequent. Conversely, advanced exercisers will need to stimulate their muscles more intensely, to force them to adapt and grow. As the intensity and workload are high, the muscle group will need more time to recover, so sessions for the same muscle will be spaced further apart.

All this will determine whether you work in full-body, half-body, split or double-split.


Full-body: this type of training involves working the whole body in a single session. You choose one or two basic exercises for each muscle group, with 3 sets per exercise.

With this training system, 2 to 3 sessions a week are sufficient. The advantage is that the whole body is worked at each session, so you don't have to return to the gym too often. Very practical for people who don't have much time to train, or for beginners looking to get their body used to training.


The half-bodyThe half-body is a variation on the full-body. With this layout, each half of the body is worked twice a week, giving 4 training sessions. This makes it possible to work the whole body twice a week, and prepares the body for the transition to split training.

With this half-body system, you can add an extra exercise for each muscle group. The number of sets remains unchanged.

 The split routineThis type of training involves dividing the body into muscle groups. Often, a large muscle group is worked with a smaller one. For example, pectorals followed by triceps, or quadriceps with hamstrings and calves. This distribution means you can devote more time to the targeted groups, and leave more recovery time between two sessions targeting the same groups. In fact, they will be worked every 5 days, giving them time to recover and de-stressvelopper.pour with this type of training, 5 exercises can target the larger muscle group and 3 to 4 the smaller one.

Finally, for athletes with a very high recovery capacity, a double split system can be set up.

Visit double splitThis involves working two muscle groups in the same day, but in two separate sessions. In the morning, you'll work on your pectoral muscles, while in the evening you'll work on your back muscles, for example.

This type of routine allows each muscle group to be worked twice a week at high intensity, which can be very beneficial for muscle growth. However, if the athlete is not careful, he or she may quickly become over-trained, which could prove counter-productive. The number of exercises will be more or less the same as for a single split. Double splits are often only performed over short periods, to avoid exhausting the athlete's body.

Once the choice of training routine has been made, it's important to determine which type of training we're going to use( strength, volume or endurance training) dryerAnd muscle quality). Depending on the objective, the choice of exercises and number of repetitions can be determined.



Different types of training

It's important to note that each type of training should be preceded by an appropriate warm-up to prepare the muscle for exertion and avoid injury.


Power work

For strength training, the athlete will choose basic movements such as the barbell bench press or the inclined bench press for pectoral muscles. The number of repetitions per set will generally range from 2 to 6 reps, and from 5 to 8 sets per movement. The load used should be between 85% and 110% of the maximum. Recovery times should be 2 to 3 min between each set.

A movement or two of isolation can be added.

Work for volume or hypertrophy

For volume work or hypertrophy, the choice of exercises will focus mainly on basic movements (3 or 4 on average) followed by 1 or 2 isolation movements. The repetition range will be between 8 and 12 repetitions per set, and around 5 sets per exercise.

The loads used will be between 60 and 80% of the maximum.

Example for quadriceps: squat, press hack squat then leg extension.

Recovery times for this type of training will be around 1min to 1min30 for the largest muscle groups.

Dry work

With a view to sculpting the muscle and drying it out, we'll be working on longer sets, from 15 to 20 or even 30 repetitions, in order to burn as much fiber as possible. So as not to lose too much strength during this period, strength work will be retained for movement n°1, which will be a basic movement, and then the work will focus more on isolation to accentuate muscle breakdown.

The loads used for this type of training will be within 50% of the maximum, and sometimes even less.

Recovery times will be kept to a minimum, 30s to 45s.

Once the foundations of training have been laid, the content of the sessions can and must be modified regularly to create the muscular confusion the body needs to evolve and not enter into a routine which would most likely lead to stagnation in performance and muscular development.

What's more, it's interesting and important to work in cycles, as each type of training imposes constraints on the muscles, which then need to recover in order to evolve. It would be inconceivable to work on strength all year round, as the muscle would be exhausted and this would be counter-productive.

Periodization of training is necessary to achieve set objectives and avoid losing motivation. Routine leads to demotivation and stagnation.

You need to bring variety into your training by changing certain factors such as intensity and the type of sets used (super sets, digressive sets, giant sets, etc.).

It's all these aspects that make training so interesting and motivating. It calls for reflection to optimize all the efforts made in the gym all year round.


AuthorAlexandre CARPENTIER

Bodybuilding Champion N.A.C 2012

Alexandre shares his bodybuilding experience with MegaGear blog readers