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Benefits of Yoga

19 Yoga
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There are those who love yoga and those who hate it. It´s amazing how though and challenging it can get and we cannot deny that it will give you an amazing workout.

Yoga is not my preferred type of exercise but I can´t deny that it has amazing benefits, I´ve practiced it for some months and I realized that the slow paced workouts and holding a pose for a number of seconds is not what I love to do in terms of exercise, it is though and challenging the part I liked about it was improving balance but I´m not thinking on doing it again, I love lifting weights and some cardio activities which is what I do almost every day and on my rest day I do stretching.

It´s true that yoga helps you improve flexibility, mobility and posture but the ones that make it an amazing exercise option is for improving balance and reducing mental health problems.

The mind-body connections when you are doing any pose needs to be at point, you need to be really focused and center on what you are doing otherwise you´ll lose your balance and fall off the pose you also need to get strong so that you can sustain your body weight in any pose and hold it.

Yoga workouts include meditation and breathing techniques that go hand in hand with the pose you are working on, all this combined encourage relaxation which is incredibly helpful to reduce stress it can also help to reduce depression, anxiety and improve mental health, the way yoga combines breathing, meditation and poses by creating harmony is what our bodies need to relax, calm down and stay in the present moment.

Yoga is not the same as stretching or calisthenics, even when we can use some of the exercises or poses from yoga as stretch exercises what gives yoga its plus is the breathing techniques, you can be stretching but if you don´t know how to breathe through the poses you´ll only be stretching, with yoga you learn to breathe and meditate, you are focused on your body, how your mind, body and soul connect is amazing you get in touch with yourself in a very deep level.

Yoga is a great way to get lean for people who doesn´t want to lift weight and do intense or long sessions of cardio and it´s also low impact, it is perfect for people how loves a physical activity that is more calming but that increases strength so that they can looked lean and toned without getting bulky. This is why it´s so popular among girls. and women.

I don´t know about any other type of exercise that combines physical activity with breathing techniques and meditation as a way to calm the mind and body, to relax you and lower stress while exercising. One way to improve anxiety and depression is to focus on yourself and to stay in the present moment not letting your mind wandering in the future or the past, yoga does this amazingly apart from breathing techniques and meditation during the workouts you need to be fully focus and present to maintain balance and hold the poses when you harmonize your body, mind, breathing, emotions is when you can start healing yourself.

With all this, your blood pressure lowers, it keep systems of your body like nervous system, immune system healthy, the hormones on your body are in balance, etc. so love it or hate it, it has amazing benefits not only to get in shape but for overall health. When our body is in synergy meaning when everything is connected and working in harmony at the same time is when amazing things happen.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Training

Benefits of stretching

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Most of the guys I know that love to lift weight do not take time to stretch, they just warm up and cool down to avoid injuries and don´t consider stretching to be that important but it has some benefits that can improve their performance on the gym and increase their results.

Since we´re living very fast paced times and our daily lives keep us living with chronic stress we all need to find ways to reduce stress to have good quality sleep every night and to be able to deal with stressful situations the best way possible. Stretching is a great tool for this, we spend most of our day sitting and stressed out, if we take some time to stretch and breath through the exercises before going to bed it will help us reduce tensions from our body and muscles and this reduce stress, if we reduce stress before going to bed we also sleep better.

Stretching also helps us increase mobility and improve posture, even when we try to sit straight after long hours in the same position mobility is reduce this why some people recommend that you do some stretching exercises every hour even if you are in your office. If you don´t want to be stretching at the office for any reason you can do 10 to 15 minutes when you get home or right before going to bed.

Stretching also reduce pain in muscles and joints, pain in most cases is caused by bad posture and stress so when you relief the tension from your body by stretching you lower pain which gives you the freedom to move more and do more activities without pain.

For working out stretching also have amazing benefits, first avoiding injuries which is a most, stretching before hitting the weights and if you´re going to work out outside and it´s cold it help you prevent injuries by getting your body and muscles ready for the training session. This also helps to improve performance during your workout by increasing flexibility and mobility.

Another benefit that many people don´t consider is that it improves range of motion. When we are lifting weight, the more damage we do to the muscles the better and with full range of motion we are making more damage to muscle tissue which means more growth. I´ve seen people that don´t do full range of motion and the reason they don´t do it is because they can´t, their range of motion is limited but they don´t want to stretch they prefer 10 to 15 minutes of cardio as a warm up and cool down and even when cardio has a lot of benefits it won´t help you improve flexibility, mobility and range of motion.

What happens when we stretch is that we are lengthening our muscles and connective tissue and this reduces tension. You don´t need to spend 30 minutes stretching and you don´t need to work out to stretch, you can do it in the morning or every night before you go to bed, with 10 minutes you´ll start noticing the difference.

You can add one day to your workout program and focus only on stretching, you can take your rest day and see how your performance in and outside the gym improves. Training is a puzzle and every piece of the puzzle needs to be consider from resistance training, cardio training, recovery and stretching they all work together to help you get in shape, to get the type of physique you want and to help you perform as best as possible in any activity, from the gym, in your home, at work, vacations.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Training

Training: Recovery

17 Recovery
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Recovery and over training are highly misunderstood, many people don´t really understand the importance of recovery and how it affects their results for their goals whether it is muscle gain or fat loss.

Every time you train you put stress on the muscles you´re working, you are stimulating the muscles as a reason for them to grow, you are supposed to train every day with high intensity and then you need to give time to that muscle to recover. I cannot tell you exactly how much time your muscles need to recover, the time varies depending on the muscle you are working, the amount of volume, the rep ranges you are working in, the frequency but generally speaking it takes around 24 to 48 hours for your muscle to recover this is when you are lifting on the 10 – 15 reps, when you are lifting heavier on the 3 – 8 reps your central nervous system and local nerves get fatigue and it takes around 3 to 4 days even 5 days for the central nervous system and nerves to recover.

Central nervous system fatigues quickly and takes more time to recover than your muscles, if you do a high frequency training program lifting heavy weights meaning that you are hitting each muscle group twice a week, your muscles may be recovered, but your central nervous system hasn´t recover yet and it will lead to over training.

Many people when they stop seeing results and when they stop gaining muscle they want to increase volume or frequency or both and stimulate even more the muscle to gain more mass, this is not the solution, for some of this people instead of increasing volume or frequency lowering it may be the solution, they´re putting too much stress on the muscles and they’re not giving enough time to recover.

On the other hand there are a lot of people who stop seeing results and want to increase volume or frequency when this is not the reason why they plateau and it´s not recovery neither, it´s lack of intensity, sometimes you just need small volume but high intensity, intensity is what´s going to give results.

Many people in the gym let their ego get in the way and they just talk about how intense they´re working out when in reality they´re not working as intense as they could. When you´re not progressing and you´re not getting results it all comes down to lack of recovery or lack of intensity.

If you are already doing a lot of volume for each muscle and you are not gaining muscle and you are sure your intensity is high maybe your working a lot and your muscles are not recovering, lowering the volume for a couple of weeks or months and seeing how your body responds can be effective.

Also making sure that your protein intake is enough for your body and muscles to recover, this does not means that you need to eat a lot of food and a lot of protein, just make sure you´re giving your body enough nutrients.

When you are working out you are breaking muscle tissue, the moment you finish your workout your body starts to recover, there are 2 key factors that you need to consider which are nutrition and sleep. You need to make sure that you are giving your body the nutrients it needs to recover and right after you´re done training is highly important that you eat a meal with carbohydrates and protein, the amount of each macro will vary depending of the goal you are following it may be low carbohydrate, moderate protein and healthy fats if you are on keto.

You also need water, it is important that you stay hydrated, I recommend you drink water before and after your workout specially if you sweat a lot.

You also need to have at least 6 hours of good, quality sleep every night to help your body recover, I´m considering that your goal is to get in shape and sustain or get lean and being able to stay lean and that you have a very busy life with school, your job and social life but you need to make some time to work out 1 hour each day and sleep 6 hours. If you do this and follow a nutrition program based on real, fresh food your body will be able to recover so that you can follow your workout program without any excuses.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Training

Training: Variation

16 Variation
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If you want to know the most important factor to achieve any goal you want and to make consistent results it´s variation.

There´s not a perfect workout or a program you can follow for months and months, your body adapts to everything you need to keep changing things and challenging yourself for your body to respond.

The time you´ve been training determines how long can you stay with the same routine, if you are starting your focus most be learning the exercises and movements until you feel comfortable increasing weight, the more trained you are the more you need to change and vary your workouts, someone who has been training for 15 years or more may need to change every week.

To add variation to your workouts you can use the training variables we´ve been talking about which are volume, frequency, intensity, rep ranges, progressive overload and the exercises. This all are options you can play with on your workouts to keep your body guessing.

You can also use some advance techniques like supersets, giant sets, circuit training which we are going to talk about in future posts. This technique are great to help you add variation and you can combine both the training variables with some advance technique according to your goals.

How you add variation to your program depends on many factors, where are you training, how much time per day you have to exercise, how many days a week can you workout, the equipment you have.

There are some fitness experts and people on the industry that don´t consider variation to be necessary and they stick with the same program for months or years, this is what I think. If you want to look different, if you want to get different results you need to add variation, staying with the same goal for months or years don´t motivate you enough to exercise. You can follow the same program for 6 or 8 months and get results if you are progressing, progressive overload will give you results as long as you continue challenging your body.

Variation is necessary not only to get consistent results also to add variety, avoid adaptation and keep your workouts interesting and fun.

The easiest way to add variation to your program is to change reps ranges, if you are a beginner lifting on the 12 – 15 reps until you feel comfortable with the exercises and from there keep increasing weight until you hit the 5 – 8 reps. If you are more advanced I recommend lifting in the 5 – 8 reps to build dense hard muscle for 4 to 6 weeks or even 8 weeks and then work in the 10 – 12 reps to use more isolation exercises and hit weaker muscles.

You can focus on power for some weeks working on the 1 – 4 reps, you can even lift lighter weight for higher reps like choosing to exercise per muscle group and do 50 reps you´ll be working on endurance and it can also help you build muscle.

If your goal is to gain muscle as fast as possible you add variation playing with the volume and frequency of your workouts, increase the volume of your workout for 6 weeks and the next 6 weeks divide that volume into to add frequency.

Progressive overload is a most you need to progress at every workout, lift more weight, do one more rep or one more set. This journey never ends it´s all about changing you goals and being better than you where yesterday.

The best strategy you can use is to use some advance techniques like supersets when your goal is fat loss, work on the 5 rep range for bodyweight and compound movements and 12 reps for isolation exercises you can add HIIT to lose fat faster and for muscle gains stick with straight sets, work on 6 – 8 reps.

Another great way to add variation is to change exercises, you can stick for 4 weeks with compound movements and then change to bodyweight for another 3 to 4 weeks. You can also change the equipment you are using, if you´ve been using barbells change to dumbbells.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Training

Training: Intensity

15 Intensity
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There´s no other way to get amazing results, how hard you train will determine your results, if you give half of your energy you´ll get average or mediocre results, please don´t settle for less than what you deserve.

Getting in shape and getting an amazing physique and sustain it is simple but not easy, what you need to do is simple… it´s simple said that done. For guys who hate to feel that physical pain when working out it won´t be easy to get in shape. We all want to have an amazing body but not  all are willing to put the time and effort needed, not all are going to suffer in the gym and train as hard as they can to get what they really want.

This is the reason why most people don´t achieve anything worth having. Everything worth having takes time and sacrifices so are you willing to do whatever it takes, and to make some sacrifices to achieve your goal? If your answer is yes then there are no excuses in the gym. My workouts are not going to kill you or leave you breathless so I need you to train as hard as you can.

Now there´s a limit, you know your limit, you know how hard you can go to avoid all type of injuries and accidents, don´t let your ego get on your way, it doesn´t matter what everyone is doing what matters is what you´re doing.

It´s not only about working hard, you need to work smart there´s no reason to work hard if what you´re doing doesn´t work, you´ll be just wasting your time and effort. You need to be effective and efficient in this point I´m making half of the work for you, I´m sharing with you everything you need to know from nutrition, training, mindset, sleep and stress; the best tools you can use for each of them to get the best results. If you follow what I share with you you´re half of the way, you´ll be working smart now the second part depends on you. I´m giving you everything you need but I can´t put the time and effort for you, you need to do it.

You need to do the workouts and feel the pain, think of it as the pain of change, that the stimulus saying to your body to change, to get leaner and grow there´s no other way.

Love the pain, fall in love with the process and enjoy the workout, specially cardio. It´s easier to enjoy resistance training and lifting weight or doing bodyweight exercises just by seeing what you´re capable of, doing the hardest versions of bodyweight exercises motivates you to stay leaner because you´ll find out that the leaner you are the easier it is to do them. With compound movements you can become addicted, just by thinking how much more could you lift makes it more enjoyable but you need to keep your ego out and don´t get crazy. Don´t try to lift more just to impress someone it´s so easy to get injured if you go by your ego.

How hard can you go? How much weight can you lift? How long are you willing to go hard? Can you go harder next time? You are the only one who knows if you gave all or if you could have gone harder, if you could have done one more rep, there´s a slight edge between how hard can you go and your ego getting on the way. Get strong in a safe way, focus on making every exercise and every rep as safe as possible.

My goal is to get you stronger and help you achieve your fitness goal by improving body composition but even when you won´t feel like dying compared with other programs I need you to train hard, to be focused on what you´re doing and to put the  effort needed every workout to get the amazing results you want.

If it´s hard for you to get through the physical pain every workout you need to work on your mindset, your body will achieve whatever you set your mind to, if you have a strong mindset where you can control your thoughts, your feelings you´ll be able to pass that physical pain. You get stronger in the gym and outside the gym.

Showing up is not enough, you need to put in the hard work, the amount of work you put at every workout is the results you´ll get, if you give 100% you´ll get 100% results.

It´s not enough to show up you need to make every workout as intense as possible the level of intensity varies from person to person depending on different factors, if you have an injury on one leg you may not work with the same level of intensity as you work chest or back. If you are starting the level of intensity won´t be the same as if you have been training for some years and you have more experience.

You  can use little volume and a lot of intensity and get great results, the amount of volume and frequency will depend on your goals, this variables will change also the amount of cardio you do if you want to speed up results but intensity needs to be high always.

Training and exercising when you have clear goal is not about making friends, if you just want to do some physical activity then it´s ok but if you´re looking to be the best version of yourself you need to go in there with your goal in mind, many people have the right program but are not working as hard as they can, they don´t get the results they want and they blame the program.

If you train hard you´ll get results with any program but most people stays the same for months or years, for me it´s discouraging to spend time working out daily to look the same, we´re looking for progress and results, I can share with you all the information but if you don´t apply it and don´t work hard the results will be minimum or will take more time to achieve your goal.

Make everyday count, make every workout count, go there and give your best, push as hard as you can but be aware of your limits. Try to be better than yesterday and don´t pay attention to what the others are doing, focus on your thing.

The mind-muscle connection can have a huge impact in many guys or girls, this technique helps them focus all their energy on what they´re doing making this a great technique to keep intensity high and avoid injuries.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Training

Training: Progressive overload

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Fitness experts, gurus and trainers always do everything harder than it really is, it´s hard to find someone talking about progressive overload and if you´re looking to gain muscle mass this is the technique that will give you results. Most trainers follow the same routine for a very long period of time and when they get bored they do some changes. Mostly they go to the gym 5 or 6 days a week for an hour or more and do the same day split, with the same weight, the same sets and reps that´s why they always look the same.

It´s not only boring but also discouraging to train and don´t see any change in your body for me it´s a waste of time. If you want to improve the way you look and you´re not making progress you are not challenging yourself enough. Muscles grow bigger and stronger in response to training stimulus, you need to continue making greater demands, to progressively overload the muscles by forcing them to do more than they´re accustomed to if you don´t do it there´s no reason for them to grow. Your body is not going to change unless it is forced to, this is why you cannot get comfortable in the gym, once you get to a comfort zone if you stay there you´ll plateau.

Progressive overload means increasing demands on the muscles continually to make gains in muscle size, strength and endurance. You can use progressive overload not only for resistance training it´s also a great strategy to use for cardio training. The most common way to use this technique is by adding weight, every time you train the muscle you must be able to lift heavier, this is how the few trainers that know this technique use it but there are some other options for you to apply it.

The first and easiest option to increase overload is increase resistance, this is the most obvious way to increase the demand on the muscle, you simply add more weight to the one you are lifting, if you are lifting 60 pounds you can add 3 or 5 pounds more, this makes the exercise harder and you need to consider that when you increase the weight your reps are going to reduce for a period of time, then soon enough you´ll be able to do the same reps you were doing before you add weight but now with the added weight, this means you get stronger and you´re ready to add some more weight.

The next option is to increase reps sometimes it may be hard to increase weight specially if you workout at home then in this case adding reps is one of the options. If you lift 60 pounds for 6 reps then your next workout lift the same weight for 8 reps, and the next workout lift the same weight for 10 reps. As I mentioned before the best reps for hypertrophy is between 6 – 12 reps so when you get to the 12 reps you may consider another option to increase overload. Once you get to 12 reps don´t keep adding more and more reps indefinitely because you´ll be training for endurance and not muscle size.

Next option is to increase the volume which as I mentioned before is the number of sets, on the option before you added more reps so here you´ll be increasing the number of sets. If you are doing 3 sets of the exercise then do 4 sets, by doing 1 more set you increase the amount of work.

Another option is increasing time frequency, by training the same muscle 2 times a week you increase the overload you are making your muscle work harder.

The last option for progressive overload is to decrease rest time between sets, with resistance training the workouts are structured in sets and rests intervals, depending on the amount of weight you are lifting this rest intervals may be from 90 sec. to 3 min. instead of resting 90 sec between sets  rest 60 sec. or 45 sec. so you´ll be doing the same amount of work in less time and this requires your body to become more efficient.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Sleep

How exercise improves sleep

Exercise and sleep
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So many people ask me why I do so much exercise and the reason is simple, I love working out and it has amazing benefits although I don´t consider I do a lot of exercise, most of my workouts last 60 minutes sometimes I 90 minutes. One of the greatest benefits when I started working out was the way it helped me sleep better specially if I workout in the morning.

Exercise reduces stress and it can also help with depression and anxiety and since one of the causes of poor sleep or lack of sleep is stress working is a great way to reduce it and at the same time you get the benefits of quality sleep and you get in amazing shape.

If you are asking when is the best time of the time to workout many studies show that the mornings are the best time of the day. If you train first thing in the morning you don´t have to worry later, you´ve already started your day right and since exercise triggers neurotransmitters in your brain you get that feeling good sensation and you are ready to hit the rest of the day. If you have the possibility of working outside or doing some part of your workout outside to get sun light is easier for your body to control its internal clock.

Exercise improves sleep quality and increases sleep duration whether you´re not having good quality sleep or you´re not having enough sleep exercise can help you improve both.

Between resistance or cardio training one of them may have a better impact on improving sleep and that one is cardio training or aerobic exercise

If you train at night because you prefer it or because is the time of the day you can do it if your workout is high intensity and you go to bed one hour after you´re done it will be harder for you to fall asleep. If you can´t train in the morning you can try moderate intensity, even yoga or Pilates can be an option, resistance training is good but I’d avoid circuit training and  HIIT is not a good option at this time.

Enough good quality sleep also has an impact on your workouts, if you don´t get good quality sleep or lack of sleep will affect negatively your routines you won´t be completely focus, you won´t have energy and chances are that you may skip your workout for the day.

So enough good quality sleep improves your workout the same way that working out improves your sleep, if you want to get better sleep then cardio training will help you but you also need resistance training to maintain and build muscle mass.

Remember that sleep is key for recovery so if you train hard you need to get enough good sleep so that your body can recover and you´re able to hit the gym hard the next day.

Since both, sleep and exercise are important some people try to prioritize one over the other, some people love to train and workout out so they rather hit the gym even they haven´t slept that well, others hate to workout so they prefer to stay asleep even when they can get up earlier and get their routine done first thing in the morning. The problem is that they´re both important, they´re 2 of the principles of fitness so you need enough good quality sleep every night and consistent exercise.

What I recommend is getting at least 6 hours of good quality sleep every night and at least 20 minutes of exercise which if those 20 minutes can turn into 40 or 60 minutes per day it will be great at least 5 days a week, if you can workout the 7 days go for it.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Training

Training: Periodization

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Not many people have heard of this tool but it´s key to designing workout programs that gives you great results without hitting plateaus.

We know that variation is key to keep results consistently but for beginners it´s not necessary to keep changing their workouts every month, the more advanced and trained you become with time the more you need to add variation to your program even every week.

Most traditional fitness programs that use periodization use the basic or classic form that takes 2 to 3 months to complete where changes come every month, this can work great for people who is starting out in weight lifting but it´s not the best option for advanced guys and you can´t get too long with the same program. If you keep doing what you´re doing for a long period of time your body adapts and hits a plateau.

For periodization you are changing the rep ranges to hit strength and hypertrophy and you also change volume, you get stronger and bigger and results keep showing up daily, depending of the time you´ve been training is how you create a program using periodization, if you are starting out you can begin lifting lighter weights on the 12 to 15 rep ranges, you need to focus on learning the exercise and proper form, you can stay with this rep range for 3 to 4 weeks and then increase weight to hit 10 to 12 reps for 3 to 4 weeks and increase weight to hit 8 reps, at this point you must be more comfortable doing the exercises with proper form which is what´s going to help you avoid injuries.

If you are more advance it may be necessary to change reps every 2 or 3 weeks before your body adapts, if you have been training for many years you may need to change rep ranges every week, so a cycle can last 4 weeks and every time you begin the cycle again you must be able to lift heavier weights. On the first week you lift on the 12 to 15 rep range, the next week you increase weight to hit the 10 to 12 rep range, the next one you increase weight again to hit 8 to 10 reps and finally you increase weight to hit 5 to 7 reps and you start the cycle again.

If you set periodization this way you can keep the same exercises for a couple of months, periodization and progressive overload are both great tools and variables you can adjust to build muscle. Creating a program that last 3 to 4 months is the way to go, that program most include periodization adjusted to your level and variation also according to your level. If you don´t have a plan you can get lost, having a plan that tells you exactly what to do every day keeps everything simple.

Periodization can also be used with volume, you start with low volume, the next week go moderate volume, the next week you go high volume and the last week you go back to low volume. It´s almost impossible to keep volume high for weeks and weeks so this variable gives you the opportunity to go high in volume a couple of weeks and then lower it to give your body time to recover.

The way I prefer to use this variable is use it for rep ranges and volume it doesn´t matter what frequency I´m working on. Using periodization for reps gives you the opportunity to work on different rep ranges in the same workout program so in some workouts you´ll be working more on one type of hypertrophy and other workouts on strength. Using it for volume helps you increase volume to make sure that you are giving your body the right stimulus to grow and then give it some weeks to recover so that you don´t over train or burn out.

As you get more trained you´ll need to add variation to keep making gains, this is possible by playing with all the variables one at a time so you have a big number of combinations to make sure you don´t get bored and your body don´t adapt.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Training

Training: Volume

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In the last posts we´ve been talking about the training variables you need to adjust according to your goal to keep results consistently. Today we´re going to talk about volume.

Volume refers to how many sets you do per muscle group over the end of one week. Low volume means you do 2 – 3 sets for each exercise, moderate volume goes from  4 to 6 sets and high volume 8 or even 10 sets for a muscle group in one week.

The total volume you do for each muscle at the end of the week will vary according to your goals and also how trained you are, the amount of volume for someone who is starting won´t be the same to someone who has a couple years training or someone who is highly trained. The more trained you are the more volume you´ll need or the more you´ll need to be manipulating all variables to avoid plateaus.

For someone who is starting resistance training doing 3 to 4 sets and 2 or 3 exercises for each muscle group per week is enough volume.

Volume applies to both types of hypertrophy, myofibrillar and sarcoplasmic, this two types of muscle growth differ on the amounts of reps you do per set you can focus on myofibrillar hypertrophy to build dense muscle by doing 3 to 4 sets of 4 to 8 reps each for 2 or 3 exercises for a muscle group, if you want to focus on sarcoplasmic hypertrophy you can choose 2 or 3 exercises for one muscle group and do 3 to 4 sets of 12 to 15 reps.

The total volume per week will vary according to your goals, if you want to lose fat considering that you must be on a caloric deficit your volume must be low, it´ll be hard to get in high volume when you are eating less and the goal is to maintain the muscle mass you have so there´s no reason to want to do more than what you are capable off. With this goal and using low volume you can go for 5 to 7 reps and focus on keeping the strength, this way you make sure you´re not losing muscle mass.

When you want to gain muscle mass high volume can help you make more gains, you can combine both types of hypertrophy in a high volume program, since you are eating more you must be able to do more work and still give enough time for your body to recover, meaning you increase the total amount of sets you do on each exercise in a 4 or 5 days split so your hitting each muscle group once a week.

If you are new to the gym you need to get use to working out and low volume will give you results so doing 3 sets is a great way to start, if you are more trained you can go with moderate volume which works great for all fitness goals, if you are highly trained you can do high volume for a period of time and then go back to moderate or even low volume. If you go high volume for a long time you will burn out, we all have a lot of things going on in our lives so there´s no reason to stress a lot more your body and muscles with high volume, you can do them for 4 weeks and then reduce volume for 2 or 3 weeks.

You can do moderate frequency which we talked about in the last training post and keep changing volume and rep ranges with a variable called periodization this gives your muscles the stimulus they need to grow and it also gives them some time to recover after some weeks of moderate frequency, moderate volume and high intensity.

If you are working hard, smart and intense you may only need low volume and get amazing results, if you increase the volume you just need to make sure that you have enough time to recover specially if you are focusing on myofibrillar hypertrophy because the central nervous system fatigues quicker and takes more time to recover. Eating enough and giving your body nutrients to repair and recover is key, specially on high volume programs.

It would mean so much to me if you share this post with your friends and family and if you follow me on Twitter and Facebook, together we can help millions live a better life.

Pam

Training

Training Frequency

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How many times per week can you work each muscle group? Which body split is better for fat and muscle gain?

I´ve heard this questions a lot and they both refer to training frequency, here there´s not a right or wrong answer although there are some tips you can use to get better results.

Frequency refers to how many times per week you work each  muscle, we´re going to divide it into low, medium and high frequency. If you follow a typical or the most common training split in bodybuilding which last 5 days plus one or two days of cardio you have low frequency because you are hitting each muscle group once per week, if you follow a 2 days split or a 3 days split and do it 2 times per week it´s medium frequency because you are working each muscle group twice per week and if you do full-body workouts 3 days a week that´s high frequency.

So the question is what is the best frequency for each fitness goal? and the answer is it depends of some other variable specially volume and intensity and it also depends of the other 4 principles of fitness and the time you´ve been training consistently.

If you are new to working out low frequency will give you amazing results, when you are starting out one of the most important goals along with getting in shape and losing weight is to develop good habits so following a low frequency and adding cardio is the best way to go. Another option is to try high frequency by doing full-body workouts 3 days per week on none consecutive days. This 2 options may seem contradicting but if you do full-body workouts 3 days a week the volume for each muscle group will be low and if you do low frequency and work each muscle group once a week you are able to add more volume. The goal here is to develop the habit of working out and we need to do it with things you like more, if you hate doing 3 or 4 day splits then it will be harder for you to get up and workout.

If the goal is fat loss and considering that you need to be on a caloric deficit it may be hard to do high volume workouts so moderate frequency is a great option, hitting each muscle 2 times per week gives your body the stimulus needed to keep the level of strength so that you maintain as much muscle as possible. With moderate frequency you can combine rep ranges, you can do one workout with heavy weight/low reps and the second workout with higher reps/lower weight.

If your goal is gain lean muscle mass you have 2 options, the first one is low frequency with high volume and high intensity, since you are working each muscle group once a week you are giving them enough time to recover but if the volume and intensity of each workout are not right it may not be enough stimulus for your muscles to grow. The second option is moderate frequency which causes more hypertrophy and it causes more muscle growth, you may not be able to do a lot of volume but keeping the intensity high is crucial.

There´s one more option for muscle growth which I´ve seen a lot of people using which is high frequency, working each muscle 3 days a week with full-body workouts. I personally don´t like this one but you can try it and if you like it and get results keep it. The problem with this one is that if you are too short on time I don´t think you can focus on all muscle groups with the same intensity and if you are really giving your all in your workouts you will burn out. Recovery is crucial for muscle growth and if you are hitting each muscle 3 times a week they may not have enough time to recover.

All variables work together if you have high frequency you need to go lower in volume, with volume high you go lower in frequency, intensity also depends off the amount of volume and frequency and they all need to consider enough time to recover. But to set the right frequency the other 4 elements of fitness also play an important role. If your goal is fat loss you need to make sure that you are giving your body enough nutrients to get you through daily activities and your workout while you are on a calorie deficit so that your body uses stored body fat.

If you want to gain muscle you need to give your body enough nutrients to recover, repair and grow and also enough energy to get you through the workouts.

You also need to have good quality sleep every night and rest and keep stress low. Your body recovers while you are resting and sleeping if any of this elements is not on point you won´t see great results.

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Pam