There are no muscle gaining secrets. That has to be anything but music to the ears of readers who are hell bent on learning some inside information to making gains faster than everyone around them. It just doesn’t happen. You have to lift and eat correctly to grow. There are no shortcuts. But there is some good news, my friends. Even though there are no shortcuts, there are some guarantees. Yes, in a life where “Ain’t nobody promised tomorrow…” (Quote from The Wire series), there are some promises in bodybuilding that can be made. Let’s look at these truths which cannot be denied.
Periodization is a word that is commonly thrown around in powerlifting and bodybuilding circles to describe training that varies. More specifically, periodization can be defined as the frequent variation of techniques, weights, exercises, speed, and reps & sets in order to facilitate new muscle growth. The belief system behind periodization is that the human body adapts very quickly to a particular routine, and once the body adapts, it is no longer forced to grow in order to possess the muscle required to meet the workload. By continuously changing routines, bodybuilders and powerlifters hope to keep ‘shocking’ the muscle into growing. Periodization has three sequential stages the trainer will encounter when using this technique.
If you asked any new trainer in the gym why he’s there, you’ll likely get one of three answers. First, “I’m here to get bigger”. This is to be expected. The second answer will probably be “I’m here to get stronger”. Again, this is a very reasonable goal. Finally, the most likely answer will combine the two and will sound something like, “I’m here to get bigger AND stronger”. (For the sake of this exercise, we’ll ignore those trainers seeking to lose body fat).