I’d like to expand on my “What we can learn from Ryan Reynolds” muscle building blog post and really explore the idea of “Wave Theory Muscle Building”.
Basically, the idea is as follows:
Very few of us can go all out all the time. Real life tends to get in the way of our workouts and muscle building. Things like job stress, money stress, lack of sleep, colds, flu’s, car accidents, all of this stuff will demand some of our time and energy.
Not only this, but as most of us have discovered, muscle growth doesn’t happen linearly.
It takes some time to ramp up, then it happens, then no matter how hard you push in the gym, it slows to a crawl…especially if you continue to follow the same workout routine or patterns.
Whether it’s satellite cell availability, some sort of downstream regulator in the mTOR pathway..what ever the case may be something slows muscle building (A term I call Anabolic Slow Down)
So here’s my solution.
Hit it hard while you are growing, but once growth has slowed…adopt a wave theory approach to training.
Basically, hit it HARD for 3-4 periods once or twice a year max.
The rest of the time, do the minimum amount of work needed.
This is the basic theory I explained in “The Elimination Experiment” and “Anabolic Again”.
Now this seems to be where the confusion has set in.
By ‘do the minimum’ I do NOT mean don’t workout. Nor do I mean, take it easy in the gym.
I still want you lifting heavy. Just with lower volume and frequency than other times.
(Granted, this confusion is mostly my fault for not including workouts in the “Elimination Experiment” the way I did in “Anabolic Again”.)
Luckily, this problem may have been solved for me.
This morning I received a ‘tweet’ from Jason Ferruggia about his “Brand new Minimalist Training ebook being released today.”
It sounded interesting so I shot him a quick email, he replied and I spent the morning reviewing the workouts.
Turns out, Jason has saved me a lot of time.
The workouts he suggests in his Minimalist Muscle Building Ebook are exactly along the lines of what I would have suggested if I had wrote an expanded version of the elimination workout…mind you, I wouldn’t have used terms like “The Menage” or “The Kinky Threesome” to describe my workouts…but I’m boring that way 😉
So thanks to Jason, I can explain my Wave theory of muscle building with a bit of a clearer vision.
My thought or idea is this.
Once or twice a year follow an intense workout program like Anabolic Again or the Adonis Effect. Then take it down a notch and use one of the workouts in Jason’s program. The reduced volume and frequency will be a nice change, and who knows, you may end up growing during your ‘down time’, because you are still working hard, you’ve just reduced the total demand on your body.
Bottom Line: I think we can learn from Pro BodyBuilders and movie stars and realize that you may need some down time in between periods of building muscle AND you may need to come to terms with the fact that after an intensive 3-6 month training program you may not gain much more lean body mass on the workout program you were following.
So the point of this blog post: For 3-4 months a year go ALL OUT, get all the gains you can, but once the gains start to slow, don’t be afraid to take some down time and lower the volume and frequency… and, Jason Ferruggia’s new program is one that I can EASILY endorse for this purpose.
Jason’s new workouts endorsed by me ==>