How would you suggest I set up my training so that I work all of my muscle fibers?

Question:
I read your article on Ironmag regarding the different muscle fiber types, and enjoyed it very much! How would you suggest I go about setting up my training so that I work all of my fibers?

Answer:
I’m glad you liked my article. The most effective way I have found to set up a training program that hits all of the muscle fiber types is to arrange 3 week “mini-cycles” for each bodypart. Using quads as an example, this is how the routine might look…

week 1
Squats 4 x 2-4 reps
Leg Press 3 x 4-6 reps
Leg Extension 3 x 6-8 reps

week 2
Leg Extensions 3 x 8-10 reps
Hack Squats 3 x 8-10 reps
Single Legged Leg Press 2 x 10-12 reps

week 3
DROP SET : Leg Press 1 x 4-6 reps, drop weight for 3-4 reps, and again for 3-4 reps
SUPERSET : Leg Extension/Squats 1 x 6-8 reps each
SUPERSET : Leg Extension/Hack Squat 1 x 8-10 reps each
DROP SET : Leg Extensions 1 x 8-10, drop weight for 6-8 reps, and again for 6-8 reps

In this routine, the first day is a “power” day, primarily building strength by hitting the high threshhold motor units. The second day is the “hypertrophy” day, working in a rep range most effective for generating muscle growth. The third day is a “blitz” day, wherein you fully tax every type of muscle fiber, affect positive metabolic changes within the muscle cells, and test your endurance, stamina, and your ability TO HOLD DOWN YOUR LUNCH!


Question:
I have a bodybuilding competition coming up. Can I use swimming as my cardio activity?

Answer:
Actually, you shouldn’t. It has been suggested by exercise physiologists that swimmers carry a heavier layer of subcutaneous bodyfat than non-swimmers because of the need to trap in body heat. Since it is a fact that the body loses heat much faster in water than in air, and the body looks to trap body heat, a thicker layer of fat will inevitably develop under the skin. This will only serve to blur muscle definition, which of course is the exact opposite of what you’re after. 

CLOSE
CLOSE