Why won't my muscles grow?

If you’re reading this blog it’s probably because you’re interested in muscle growth. You most likely have the same concerns, issues and questions I had when I first started. However, my major concern was that my muscles wouldn’t grow!! I mostly blamed it on my height (5’10”), but I also had to realize that I had spent so many of my pageant years avoiding the infamous” manly” look.

Fast Forward to three years later where I am standing on stage at an NPC National Bikini Competition, and the competitors looks like they just got out of a Marvel comic book.  My goals had obviously changed and I no longer yearned for a size 0, thigh gap, and collar bones sticking out type of body. I wanted a strong, muscular, get the protein shake off the top shelf by myself kind of look.  However, I was training as I would for a pageant; tons of cardio, weights 3x a week and sticking to a 1300-1500 calorie diet. My weights got heavier but I was not seeing the growth I longed for.  I hired coaches and I still didn’t see the difference. I was training at the gym using the “popular” training styles. As I began to research, it became clear to me that the routines and traditions I was exposed to as a bodybuilder were not based on physiological principles on a cellular level, enter HYPERTROPHY TRAINING.

                Hypertrophy training or Hypertrophy Specific Training, is a method of strength training intended to induce fastest muscle growth. The rep range with this kind of training I anywhere between 6-15. In order for this to work you must follow these principles, or at least it’s what I do and it works. I have a “volume” day and a “load” day.

                VOLUME is the number of sets and reps in a workout. If it is too low your body won’t adapt however if it is too high you can end up overtraining.  The quickest way to gain size is by using moderate sets and reps.  (Low reps build strength; high reps increase fluid in muscle). 3-6 sets of 6-12 reps would be ideal. You can also use volume for fat loss which is used during a cutting phase. You would then train in high volume to burn more calories.

                LOAD increases hormonal production & metabolism during and after exercising.  The way I do load days is by starting off with 6, 9, 12 and finally 15 reps; each time decreasing the weight. Your heaviest set should be the 6 rep range.  This way of training has allowed me to gain strength overtime.

There you have it. This is how I train today and have seen a HUGE difference. I have also increased my calories and can finally say I am a member of the 200 gram carb club. J