In this post, we’ll explore the three primary strategies for building muscle, explaining exactly what they are, assessing which strategy is the most effective and more.
The 3 Primary Strategies For Building Muscle
In order to create bodybuilding programs that maximise muscle growth, we must first understand the mechanisms by which muscle growth occurs.
The mechanisms for muscle growth fall into three broad categories: Mechanical Tension, Muscle Damage and Metabolic Stress. Below we’ll unpack each of them in more detail.
- Mechanical Tension (Focus On The Weight)
Mechanical tension is the process of placing the biggest amount of force on the muscle through a full range of motion.
This process triggers signals to be sent to the muscle fibres and cells to repair themselves and become stronger by favouring synthesis instead of breakdown.
Mechanical tension involves high weight, moderate sets (4-6), low reps (2-6) and high rest periods (3-5 minutes).
- Muscle Damage (Focus On The Negative)
Muscle damage is the process of generating microscopic tears on the muscle while focusing on the negative.
Muscle damage involves moderate weight, low sets (2-4), moderate reps (8-12) and moderate rest periods (2-4 minutes).
- Metabolic Stress (Focus On The Burn)
Metabolic stress is the process of generating lactic acid within the muscle while maintaining constant tension throughout the entire movement.
Metabolic stress involves low weight, moderate sets (3-5), high reps (12-20) and low rest periods (1-3 minutes).
Studies show that you do not need to hit failure to stimulate muscle growth. The majority of stimulus you get for muscle growth is in the last 5 reps before failure.
Which Strategy Is Most Effective At Building Muscle?
All three strategies of Mechanical Tension, Muscle Damage and Metabolic Stress are interrelated. When combined, they have a greater anabolic effect on the body. This results in increased testosterone and growth hormone levels that play a major role in triggering and maximising protein synthesis needed for muscle repair and muscle growth to occur.
Therefore, the key to maximising muscle growth is to incorporate all three strategies into one’s workout program. This is achieved by selecting specific exercises that can be manipulated to target each of the three mechanisms.
The three strategies for stimulating the growth of muscle are, mechanical tension, muscle damage and metabolic stress.
The key to maximising muscle growth is integrating all three strategies into one’s workout routine. This can be achieved by selecting specific exercises that can be manipulated to target each.