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Improving muscle size with Weider's principle of progressive overload in non-performance athletes

  • National University for Science and Technology Politehnica Bucharest


Introduction The concept of progressive overload is one of the most well known and well understood principles in strength training around athletes. To gain muscle mass, this principle consists of progress in weight, number of repetitions, frequency and sets. Aim Although it is a widely used principle, trough our study, we wanted to ascertain if, after training sessions applying Weider’s principle of progressive loading (PPO), we can highlight significant increases in some muscle groups (chest M c , and back M b ), in non-performance subjects. Materials and methods One sample (N= 8 subjects, 8 men, with a mean age of 20.4 ± 0.74 years), trained for 12 weeks with a frequency of 4 workouts per week, in a sports center from Arad county. Muscle perimeters were measured using a metric band. Subjects underwent bodybuilding-specific training with a predominant focus on PPO. Measurements of the pectoral muscle (M c ) and back muscle (M b ) were carried out in two stages: an initial test (C i , B i ) and a final test (C f , B f ), to see at the end of the experiment, if there are improvements. Results After 12 weeks of training, the final results indicate an increase of the average of both chest and back muscles (C i 102.6, C f 107.4 and B i 109.6, B f 113.8). Although the values of the T-test, at both groups, are identical, it seems that the PPO effective size (ω ² ) is larger in the back (14%) compared to the chest (12%). Conclusion Within the limits of our experiment, we consider that by only using the PPO, significant improvements can be obtained on the targeted muscle groups.
Timişoara Physical Education and Rehabilitation Journal
Volume 14 Issue 27 2021
Improving muscle size with Weider’s principle of progressive overload in
non-performance athletes
Vlad Adrian GEANTĂ
Viorel Petru Ardelean2
Introduction: The concept of progressive overload is one of the most well known and well understood principles in strength
training around athletes. To gain muscle mass, this principle consists of progress in weight, number of repetitions, frequency
and sets. Aim: Although it is a widely used principle, trough our study, we wanted to ascertain if, after training sessions
applying Weider’s principle of progressive loading (PPO), we can highlight significant increases in some muscle groups (chest
Mc, and back Mb ), in non-performance subjects. Materials and methods: One sample ( N= 8 subjects, 8 men, with a mean age of
20.4 ± 0.74 years), trained for 12 weeks with a frequency of 4 workouts per week, in a sports center from Arad county.
Muscle perimeters were measured using a metric band. Subjects underwent bodybuilding-specific training with a
predominant focus on PPO. Measurements of the pectoral muscle (Mc) and back muscle (Mb) were carried out in two stages:
an initial test (Ci, Bi ) and a final test (Cf, Bf), to see at the end of the experiment, if there are improvements. Results: After 12
weeks of training, the final results indicate an increase of the average of both chest and back muscles (Ci 102.6, Cf 107.4 and Bi
109.6, Bf 113.8). Although the values of the T-test, at both groups, are identical, it seems that the PPO effective size (ω2) is
larger in the back (14%) compared to the chest (12%). Conclusion: Within the limits of our experiment, we consider that by
only using the PPO, significant improvements can be obtained on the targeted muscle groups.
Key words: strength training, muscle hypertrophy, human performance, training stimulus
Introducere : Conceptul de încărcare progresivă este unul dintre cele mai cunoscute principii ale antrenamentului de forță în
jurul sportivilor. Acest principiu constă în: progresul în greutate, numărul de repetări, frecvență și seturi. Scop : Desi este un
principiu foarte utilizat, prin studiul nostru, am dorit să constatăm, dacă în urma sesiunilor de antrenament, aplicând
principiul încărcării progresive (PPO) al lui Weider, putem evidenția creștereri semnificative pe unele grupe musculare
(pectorali Mc și dorsali Mb), la subiecții non performeri. Material și metode : Un eșantion (N=8 subiecți, 8 bărbați, cu vârsta
medie 20.4±0.74 ani) , s-au antrenat pe o perioadă de 12 săptămâni cu o frecvență de 4 antrenamente pe săptămână, într-o
sală de forță din Arad. Perimetrele musculare, s-au măsurat, folosind o bandă metrică. Subiecții au fost supuși unor
antrenamente specifice bodybuildingului cu accent preponderent pe PPO. Măsurătorile perimetrelor musculare pectorale
(Mc) și dorsale (Mb) ale subiecților, au fost măsurate în două etape : o testare inițială (Ci, Bi ) și una finală (Cf, Bf), pentru a
constata la finalul experimentului, dacă există îmbunătățiri. Rezultate : După 12 săptămâni de antrenament, rezultatele finale
ne indică o creștere a mediei, atât a musculaturii pectoralilor cât și a musculaturii dorsale (Ci 102.6, Cf 107.4 respectiv Bi
109.6, Bf 113.8). Atât T-test Mc cât și T-test Mb au valoarea 1.89 și sunt semnificative pentru p ≤ 0.05. Deși valorile la Testul T,
la ambele grupe sunt identice, se pare că PPO, este mai eficientă, datorită faptului, că mărimea efectului (ω2) este mai mare la
dorsali (14%) față de pectorali (12%). Concluzii : În limitele experimentului nostru, considerăm faptul că, utilizând doar PPO,
se pot obține îmbunătățiri semnificative asupra grupelor musculare vizate.
Cuvinte cheie: antrenament de forță, hipertrofie musculară, performanță umană, stimul de antrenament.
PhD Student, University of Pitesti, Faculty of Science, Physical Education and Informatics, Romania,
2 Lecturer PhD, “Aurel Vlaicu” University of Arad, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Romania.
Timişoara Physical Education and Rehabilitation Journal
Volume 14 Issue 27 2021
Athletes use training to achieve specific goals,
because it is a process that prepares the
individual for the highest possible level of
efficiency. The human body, as a unit and
biological entity, can easily adapt to any stress
that is applied to it. Training, is the way that we
tell our body to build muscle. Through training
we improve well-being. Weight training is a
great way to combat the virus called sedentary
lifestyle. This lifestyle should make its presence
felt in most people around us due to the
development of technology. It would be
advisable for young people to be involved in
daily physical activities, to increase their fitness
and health. Weight training has the advantage of
maintaining the functions of the body, while also
shaping it. Through specific bodybuilding
training, the human body transmits stimuli to
the muscles, which make them react specifically,
making them grow, as an example, in the case of
our study.
The principles of the bodybuilding training of
the American professor Joe Weider, among
which we find the one from our study, are very
well structured and have an analytical approach
on the human body [1].
One major component in all training programs is
the principle of progressive overload (PPO)[2].
Progressive Overload is an important principle
in strength training [3]. Through the use of
progressive overload, an athlete builds upon
their work capacity, strength, and conditioning
level in a systematic and logical way [4]. This
principle of training is used by weightlifters and
those participating in a team sport. The overload
training principle (also called the progressive
overload principle) forces athletes out of their
comfort zones to gradually increase training
difficulty to see measured results [5]. The
human body will not change unless it is forced
to [6]. This principle simply refers to
progressive training in some capacity [7].
Increasing the load, the number of reps, or
increasing the number of sets performed for a
given exercise are some ways to achieve this [7].
Overloading is necessary to make gains in
fitness and athletic performance [8].
It is essential before we use this principle in
your training, or when we want to train in
another sport branch and use weights, because
it is essential to have the correct technique for
those exercises we want to perform. In the PPO
training, both muscle memory and the correct
execution technique play an important role to
perform any exercise flawlessly, without the risk
of injury. The PPO suggests the gradual use of
higher requirements than the normal ones that
the muscles exert. In order for progressive
loading to be possible, it is necessary to adapt
the body to the new effort provided by constant
training because, without the adaptation phase,
our body cannot continue to use a task that is
superior to its possibilities.
Adaptations represent improvements in muscle
size, strength, or endurance. The technique of
PPO pushes the body past its limits, further
breaking it down to force adaptations that lead
to performance gains [5].
In non-performance athletes, the PPO training
can bring visible gains in muscle size, but as its
level of conditioning improves, increased
training intensity is needed to continue to
achieve positive results. If an athlete continues
to lift the same weight, with the same number of
repetitions, sets, weekly, the body will adapt to
this type of training, and the plateau effect will
occur. The proper structuring of the training
load is directly related to the improvement of
the athlete's performance [9], this also being
possible in non-performance athletes. The load
can be seen as a combination of the intensity,
duration and frequency of training [10]. In the
literature, the load is determined by the degree
of specificity of the training and by developing
the athlete's efficiency [11]. The application of
an adequate load results in a set of physiological
reactions that allow the athlete to adapt to the
training stimulus, which increases his level of
fitness and tolerance to training and the ability
to perform[10][12]. Properly structured training
loads will increase gradually and will increase
the execution capacity [10]. To improve muscle
size, we should need to create a training
stimulus that elicits the three mechanisms for
muscle growth (i.e. hypertrophy): mechanical
tension, muscle damage, and metabolic stress
[13]. Mechanical tension is exerted on the
muscles from movement and external load to
educe, produce or control force, and this, can be
Timişoara Physical Education and Rehabilitation Journal
Volume 14 Issue 27 2021
created either by lifting heavy loads for lower
volumes (i.e. lower numbers of repetitions), or
by lifting medium loads for higher volumes (i.e.
higher numbers of repetitions) [14]. Therefore,
we can create a stimulus for muscle growth.
Muscle damage refers to muscle tissue micro-
tears that occur when working muscles, which
tear and struggle to resist the weight while the
muscle fiber is lengthening eccentrically [14].
Metabolic stress represents increasing time
under tension and gives athletes an incredible
pump, or muscle-cell swelling [14]. With all of
the above, the idea of starting a study that
evaluates the PPO training efficiency applied on
non-performance athletes, has become the aim
of this paper.
Subjects and experimental design
The study was started in order to obtain a
conclusion regarding the fact that if, using
Weider’s PPO, non-performance subjects can
have significant increases of the selected body
perimeters, chest muscles (Mc), and back
muscles (Mb), although in their training routine
the other muscle groups were not neglected.
Each subject was tested before and after the
research period of the training program, by
measuring the perimeter of the muscles. To be
accepted in this study, participants should be at
least 18 years of age, have not participated in
any bodybuilding training program over the
past three months and be free of health
problems [15]. The subjects also signed an
agreement to participate in the study. To be
included in the analysis, the participants had to
attend at least 80%-90% of the training sessions
[16]. For the current investigation, the workout
training logs for each subject were analyzed
with the amount of intensity, volume, and
training frequency of each participant. A total of
8 subjects (N= 8 males, age = 20.4 ± 0.74 years)
were included in this study. The experiment
occurred in a sport center in Arad County,
having the necessary conditions for the study to
occur. The period in which the research was
performed was November-March 2019.
Material and methods
Measurements of the chest muscles (Mc) and
back muscles (Mb) were carried out in two
stages: an initial test (Ti) and a final test (Tf), to
see, at the end of the experiment, if there are
improvements. We used a metric band. The
technique involves placing a flexible measure
tape (metric band), made of cloth, over an area
of the body and measuring its girth [17].
Measurements are commonly taken at the
midpoint of the body area, but any site along the
muscle can be assessed [17].
The reliability of circumference assessments is
acceptable and is better than the one reported
with skinfold testing [18]. The measurements
were expressed in cm. Through this
measurement method, we will be able to
estimate, from an anthropometric perspective,
how much the subjects have increased the
perimeter of their muscles. A statistical analysis
was performed using SPSS (v.20.0). We
calculated the mean, standard deviation, t-test
dependent, and omega square ω2, for p ≤ 0.05.
Exercise training program
Throughout the 12-week intervention, subjects
met twice per week in the first one, for their
body to get used to the effort, and after, the
training routine increased from twice to four
times per week (for approximately 45-60
min/session). Each training session was
preceded by general warm-up, and a specific
workout with moderate weights. Training
routines were monitored by the researcher and
fitness staff responsible for training
implementation. Throughout the research, we
tried to apply the PPO training, by alternating,
either by adding weights, repetitions or sets.
The specific progression of weekly training (i.e.:
barbell bench press) included weeks 14: three
sets of 10 repetitions, weeks 5-9: four sets of 12
repetitions, weeks 10-12: five sets of 10-12
repetitions [19]. For every workout, the load
increases occurred gradually (0.5-1-2 kg) if a
subject managed to complete two or more
repetitions above his repetition goal assigned
for each routine exercise, in the last set, for two
consecutive workouts, respectively (the “2-for-2
rule”) [20]. There is also a study that compared
basic and isolation exercises, which generated
interesting results [21].
Timişoara Physical Education and Rehabilitation Journal
Volume 14 Issue 27 2021
Table I. The values of the subjects' measurements for the two muscle groups, both at the initial test (Ci, Bi) and at the final
test (Cf, Bf).
Ci (cm)
Cf (cm)
Bf (cm)
Legend: C = chest, Ci = initial, Cf = final
B = back, Bi = initial, Bf = final
Obviously, the interest of the study refers not only to muscular hypertrophy, but to whether this development
can be attributed to the method used. At the end of the experiment, an improvement of the perimeters can be
observed (Fig. 1, and Fig. 2).
Figure 1. Graphical representation of the initial (Ci) and final (Cf) testing for the Chest group.
Figure 2. Graphical representation of the initial (Bi) and final (Bf) testing for the Back group.
Ci Cf
Perimeter of the chest (cm)
Bi Bf
Perimeter of the back (cm)
Timişoara Physical Education and Rehabilitation Journal
Volume 14 Issue 27 2021
The association between the improvement of the
targeted perimeters and the working method (PPO),
is highlighted by the dependent T-test, obtaining the
following values (T=1.89). The relatively small
values of omega squared (ω2), both for the chest
and for the back 2c = 12%, ω2b = 14%), are not
suggestive if only one method is used (in our case
PPO); increases are not significant. It is
recommended to use several methods. Using only
the PPO, without food supplements, it is assumed
that this increase is natural.
Weight training has become a popular sport among
the young population, because most teenagers want
a beautifully shaped body. Muscle hypertrophy
occurs when skeletal muscles are subjected to an
overload stimulus because it causes perturbations
in myofibers and the related extracellular matrix
[22]. Through this method of training (PPO), we
also tried avoiding the plateau effects in our
subjects. The way an individual trains is essential
for his performance. The larger the muscle, the
larger the strength capacity [23]. Once subjects fall
into a comfort zone and the workouts are no longer
challenging, the plateau effects will occur [6]. Our
goal was to demonstrate a hypertrophic effect with
this method of training in non-athlete subjects. At
the final measurements, there were increases in all
muscle groups. Through the usual use of physical
exercises, we noticed in subjects an increase in the
mental state through good mood, but also in the
physical condition through increases in muscle
mass. Also, from the results obtained, the message
behind our study is to incite the young population
to physical activity of all kinds, to avoid a sedentary
lifestyle, showing that through regular exercise,
good results can be obtained.
In our study, because the subjects were relatively
young, and they also practiced in this sport as a
leisure activity, they had muscle memory, which
helped them grow faster in the muscle perimeters
targeted for measurement. The limit of the study
was not only the use of the principle, but also the
intake of nutrients and other factors that the
literature puts in relation to the increase in muscle
mass, including anabolic substances. Certainly, our
study could have been much more developed if we
had access to laboratory equipment, for much more
detailed monitoring of the muscles. Subjects will
evolve in terms of training level, and they will need
new training plans, based on new training
principles specific to bodybuilding, which can have
much more visible results. It is recommended to use
several methods to see which method has the best
The author wants to express his great appreciation
to all the subjects who participated in this study.
The experiment was performed through and with
the logistical support of the Research Center for
Physical Activities from F.E.F.S-U.A.V., and,
therefore, the author wants to thank them.
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... Prinsip overload ini adalah Prinsip latihan yang paling mendasar akan tetapipaling penting. karena harus digunakan agar prestasi seorang atlet meningkat (Geantă & Ardelean, 2021;Lievens, Bourgois, & Boone, 2021). prinsip overload ini adalah Prinsip latihan yang paling mendasar akan tetapipaling penting. ...
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Introduction: Fitness in relation to health is a contemporary topic, which is topical due to the diversity of methods and programmes to support and improve health and is increasingly being addressed by the sports and medical scientific community. Regular physical activity and exercise are the actuators of our whole body's well-being, both somatic, functional, and cognitive. Purpose: Through this article, we wish to highlight the use of a personalized aerobic fitness program conducted collectively that can generate significant results based on transforming the perception of how participants look and feel good in their own bodies. Materials & Methods: The research sample consisted of nineteen young adult female subjects (N=19, age = 35,4 ± 5,02 years, Weight(i) 66,7 ± 12,61 kg, Height= 166 ± 6,69 cm) clients of a fitness center. They trained following a personalized program of an aerobic fitness class for 4 weeks, with a frequency of 2 workouts per week. The results indicate a significant improvement in the somatic parameters of the research participants, but in order to maintain the results obtained, physical activity should be continued after the end of the research. Conlusions: Within the limits of our study, we conclude that significant changes in body composition indices can be produced in adult women by performing an exercise routine under systematic and continuous conditions. Keywords: fitness, aerobic gymnastics, adult women, physical activity, wellbeing
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Introduction: Over time the information in the science of sports training is updated fantastically quickly. In weight training, in addition to classic training methods, the popularization of new training methods is sought, which come in support of the performer athlete or the individual who practices in the form of agreement, in achieving the stability objectives. The aim of this paper represent the hypertrophic effects that push-pull (PP) training can have on the upper body of amateur lifters. Methods: The study lasted for 6 weeks in a fitness center and the subjects (N = 6, M(y)23±1.1y, M(h)179.8±2.9 cm, M(w)74.3±2.9 kg, BMI(i)23.4±0.9kg/m 2) were selected as participants. The routine consisted of 3 workouts/week. The participants trained using the method (PPL) but with the observation that the study followed the hypertro-phic effects achieved on the upper body following the push-pull (PP) training. Measurements of the circumference of the pectoral (Ch), flexed arm (Ar) and the width of the shoulders (Sh), were measured using a metric band in two stages, an initial stage (Ch (i) 102±1.8, Ar(i) 37.8±0.8, Sh(i) 46.7±2.7, and a final , to see if it exists there is-500, and for height a tachometer. For evaluating body mass W(i), W (f) and body mass index BMI(i) BMI(f), we used an Om-ron HGF-500 scale, and a stadiometer for height. Results: After the 6 weeks of training, the expected hypertrophic results were recorded (BMI(f)22.2±0.7, W(f) 74.7±1.5, Ch (f)102.9±1.7, Ar(f)38.4±0.6, Sh(f)47.4±2.5). Alternatively, we used the T test (T = 2.01 for p <0.05) to tell us if there were any significant changes. We can say that the PP method is effective at the level of the upper train. Conclusions: Within the limits of the study, it can be concluded that significant changes can occur using the PP training method.
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Background: Some authors suggest that single joint (SJ) exercises promote greater muscle hypertrophy because they are easier to be learned and therefore have less reliance on neural factors. On the other hand, some authors recommend an emphasis on multi-joint (MJ) exercises for maximizing muscle strength, assuming that MJ exercises are more effective than SJ execises because they enable a greater magnitude of weight to be lifted. Objectives: The present study aimed to compare the effects of MJ vs. SJ exercises on muscle size and strength gains in untrained young men. Patients and Methods: Twenty-nine young men, without prior resistance training experience, were randomly divided into two groups. One group performed (n = 14) only MJ exercises involving the elbow flexors (lat. pull downs), while the other (n = 15) trained the elbow flexors muscles using only SJ exercises (biceps curls). Both groups trained twice a week for a period of ten weeks. The volunteers were evaluated for peak torque of elbow flexors (PT) in an isokinetic dynamometer and for muscle thickness (MT) by ultrasonography. Results: There were significant increases in MT of 6.10% and 5.83% for MJ and SJ, respectively; and there were also significant increases in PT for MJ (10.40%) and SJ (11.87%). However, the results showed no difference between groups pre or post training for MT or PT. Conclusions: In conclusion, the results of the present study suggest that MJ and SJ exercises are equally effective for promoting increases in upper body muscle strength and size in untrained men. Therefore, the selection between SJ and MJ exercises should be based on individual and practical aspects, such as, equipment availability, movement specificity, individual preferences and time commitment.
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Training attendance is an important variable for attaining optimal results after a resistance training (RT) program, however, the association of attendance with the gains of muscle strength is not well defined. Therefore, the purpose of the present study is to verify if attendance would affect muscle strength gains in healthy young males. Ninety two young males with no previous RT experience volunteered to participate in the study. RT was performed 2 days a week for 11 weeks. One repetition maximum (1RM) in the bench press and knee extensors peak torque (PT) were measured before and after the training period. After the training period, a two step cluster analysis was used to classify the participants in accordance to training attendance, resulting in three groups, defined as high (92 to 100%), intermediate (80 to 91%) and low (60 to 79%) training attendance. According to the results, there were no significant correlations between strength gains and training attendance, however, when attendance groups were compared, the low training attendance group showed lower increases in 1RM bench press (8.8%) than the other two groups (17.6% and 18.0% for high and intermediate attendance, respectively). Although there is not a direct correlation between training attendance and muscle strength gains, it is suggested that a minimum attendance of 80% is necessary to ensure optimal gains in upper body strength.
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Volume load (VL) is suggested to influence the adaptation of muscle to resistance exercise (RE). We sought to examine the independent association between total VL and hypertrophy and strength following a progressive RE protocol of equated sets and intensity. Total VL was calculated in 83 subjects (n = 43 males, n = 40 females; age = 25.12 ± 5.5 years) who participated in unilateral arm RE for 12 weeks. Subjects were tested for biceps muscle volume (MRI of the upper arm), isometric maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), and dynamic biceps strength (1RM), at baseline and following RE. Linear regression analysis revealed that sex was a significant predictor of hypertrophy (β = 0.06; p = 0.01) and strength (β = 0.14; p = 0.04), and that males had greater increases. Total VL was independently associated with hypertrophy only among females (β = 0.12; p < 0.01). For males, only baseline strength was (inversely) related to hypertrophy (β = -0.12; p = 0.04). VL was strongly associated with changes in 1RM strength improvement for both males (β = 0.66; p < 0.01) and females (β = 0.26; p = 0.02), but only related to MVC among females (β = 0.20; p = 0.02). Findings reveal that VL was independently associated with hypertrophy only among females. For males baseline strength was independently and inversely related to changes in muscle mass. Conversely, VL was found to be strongly associated with changes in 1RM for both males and females, controlling for age, body mass, and baseline strength.
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The quest to increase lean body mass is widely pursued by those who lift weights. Research is lacking, however, as to the best approach for maximizing exercise-induced muscle growth. Bodybuilders generally train with moderate loads and fairly short rest intervals that induce high amounts of metabolic stress. Powerlifters, on the other hand, routinely train with high-intensity loads and lengthy rest periods between sets. Although both groups are known to display impressive muscularity, it is not clear which method is superior for hypertrophic gains. It has been shown that many factors mediate the hypertrophic process and that mechanical tension, muscle damage, and metabolic stress all can play a role in exercise-induced muscle growth. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is twofold: (a) to extensively review the literature as to the mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy and their application to exercise training and (b) to draw conclusions from the research as to the optimal protocol for maximizing muscle growth.
Muscle hypertrophy—defined as an increase in muscular size—is one of the primary outcomes of resistance training. Science and Development of Muscle Hypertrophy is a comprehensive compilation of science-based principles to help professionals develop muscle hypertrophy in athletes and clients. With more than 825 references and applied guidelines throughout, no other resource offers a comparable quantity of content solely focused on muscle hypertrophy. Readers will find up-to-date content so they fully understand the science of muscle hypertrophy and its application to designing training programs. Written by Brad Schoenfeld, PhD, a leading authority on muscle hypertrophy, this text provides strength and conditioning professionals, personal trainers, sport scientists, researchers, and exercise science instructors with a definitive resource for information regarding muscle hypertrophy—the mechanism of its development, how the body structurally and hormonally changes when exposed to stress, ways to most effectively design training programs, and current nutrition guidelines for eliciting hypertrophic changes. The full-color book offers several features to make the content accessible to readers: - Research Findings sidebars highlight the aspects of muscle hypertrophy currently being examined to encourage readers to re-evaluate their knowledge and ensure their training practices are up to date. - Practical Applications sidebars outline how to apply the research conclusions for maximal hypertrophic development. - Comprehensive subject and author indexes optimize the book's utility as a reference tool. - An image bank containing most of the art, photos, and tables from the text allows instructors and presenters to easily teach the material outlined in the book. Although muscle hypertrophy can be attained through a range of training programs, this text allows readers to understand and apply the specific responses and mechanisms that promote optimal muscle hypertrophy in their athletes and clients. It explores how genetic background, age, sex, and other factors have been shown to mediate the hypertrophic response to exercise, affecting both the rate and the total gain in lean muscle mass. Sample programs in the text show how to design a three- or four-day-per-week undulating periodized program and a modified linear periodized program for maximizing muscular development. Science and Development of Muscle Hypertrophy is an invaluable resource for strength and conditioning professionals seeking to maximize hypertrophic gains and those searching for the most comprehensive, authoritative, and current research in the field.
Skeletal muscles exhibit radical changes in physiology and metabolism in response to exercise. While exercise induces highly specific physiological changes, e.g., hypertrophy, associated with weightlifting or oxygen utilization associated with aerobic-type exercises, the foundation of these changes is driven by the summation of exercise-induced alterations in muscle protein metabolism. Practically, any type of exercise stimulates muscle protein turnover, the purpose being both to renew, and also modify, the myocellular composition of proteins in line with adaptations according to the mechanical and metabolic demands imposed. The mechanism(s) by which exercise stimulates protein turnover has been the subset of intense study. These studies have been led by the use of stable isotopically labeled amino acids. Essentially, use of these heavier variants (e.g., 13C AA vs. 12C) coupled to mass spectrometry has enabled study of the dynamic responses of muscle protein turnover to exercise. Using these techniques, it has become patently clear that exercise stimulates muscle protein turnover, i.e., muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and breakdown (MPB). Moreover, intake of specific nutrients (i.e., dietary proteins) potentiates MPS while attenuating MPB, facilitating maintenance of proteostasis and exercise adaptation. The mechanisms driving these protein metabolic responses to exercise include the coordinated activation of mRNA translation pathways (e.g., mechanistic target of rapamycin) and multiple MPB pathways (e.g., autophagy and ubiquitin-proteasome). These processes are triggered by exercise-induced hormone, auto/paracrine-acting growth factors, mechanical transduction, and intramyocellular second messenger pathways. Finally, there remains poor understanding of how distinct exercise modes (e.g., resistance vs. endurance) lead to such distinct adaptations from a protein metabolic and molecular standpoint.