Can you transform your body in a short time frame? Intensity, repetitions, and cadence are the tricks to become more muscular and here is a workout to put it to the test.
How to look more muscular for summer
It is really important to know that muscular growth is a result of effort. Therefore motivation is the foundation on which this project is built. The level of success highly depends on the quality of motivation. Significant cell growth is not happening in four weeks. Furthermore, if the goal is to get a “lean” appearance, genetic conditions (e.g. hormone profile, fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fibres) play an essential role, too. In addition to that, nutrition must support the growth of lean mass. The best results, also in the short term, are given when considering individual circumstances in the training plan.
Motivation to transform
If an adequate adherence is not given, there will not happen any morphological adaptation. In other words; if training is not the center of one’s life, it must be modified for the rest of one’s life. A program with 30 sets per muscle group and week could not be realized if your everyday life only allows 4 training sessions with 45 minutes duration. Change only happens if your everyday life is modified to enable every training.
The importance of physiology
As mentioned above training must consider individual conditions: Muscle fibre relations, mobility, injuries and training level (experience). In general, the genetics have the most significant influence on the visual potential. Factors like number of muscle fibres, muscle fibre type, origin and insertion points of muscles, hormonal balance, bone structure, number of satellite cells are mostly given from the ancestors. These are only influenceable by a very limited scope or not at all and have a significant impact on the training adaptation. Nevertheless there is no non-responder, if the basics are taken into account, progress will be achieved.
How to begin building muscle and transforming for the summer: intensity, repetitions, cadence
Every program is built by different training variables. The most important for hypertrophy are training frequency and intensity. For an adaption, means improvement, a certain threshold must be excelled but also take effect long enough.
This threshold is called intensity and determines the form of adaptation. Intensity is stated in per cent of maximum strength (%Fmax).
100% equals a resistance (weight), which allows one “clean” repetition. This is the so-called “1 repetition maximum” (1RM).
Although in reality, training to the absolute muscular failure is not necessary, a set should not end to far before this failure limit (max. 1-3 repetitions).
According to a study by Barbosa-Netto et al. (2017) up to 70% of trainees end the training set 3-10 sets before muscular failure. 50% of training beginner thinks they reached muscular failure. Intensiveness is the number of repetitions with intensity, the higher the intensiveness, the closer the trainee gets to muscular failure.
Considering above-mentioned physiological conditions and due to biochemical processes, the repetitions of a set are the trigger for building muscles. How this happens won’t be important here, that it happens is crucial.
On average repetitions between 1-30 will lead to muscle growth.
As described above, everybody will react according to its muscle fibre conditions, and to different repetition ranges. A responder adapts easily in a specific repetition range. A non-responder needs a higher or lower number of repetitions. In practice, it makes sense to omit extreme repetition ranges (intensities) to ensure best results.
But include cycles of low repetitions and high repetitions in your training plan as well. In addition to that, the cadence while doing the exercise is crucial. The cadence describes the temporal sequence in seconds of sections in a repetition. This could be a cadence for the short-term goal (and for a beginner): 3-2-2-1: 3 seconds down (negative phase: eccentrical), 2 seconds pause at the lowest point (eccentrical turning point), 2 seconds up (concentrical), 1-second pause at the highest point (concentrical turning point).
To gain lean mass, training is only one factor, and the other is nutrition. If the goal is a low body fat percentage, the right amount of energy sources must be well chosen. The constructive metabolism is responsible for the construction of substances in a human body and is also called anabolism. As metabolism is also highly individual, there is no generalized concept. Meals should always include the macronutrients protein, carbohydrate and fat. To reach optimal anabolism, it is recommendable to eat carbohydrates and proteins up to one hour after a training session. Depending on training level and individual constitution it makes sense to take approximately 6g essential amino acids and 1g carbohydrate per kg body weight before and after the training – but low-fat (because of rapid digestion).
The following training plan provides a high frequency, which means a short distance between the same training sessions or exercises. It allows good results regarding a short term of 4-6 weeks, as the goal is to reach a more muscular look for this summer.
|3 reps||Training Zone||20 reps||Training Zone||6 reps||Training Zone|
|Chest||Bench Press||Weight Area||Cable Flys (from up to down)||Kinesis Lounge||Dumbbell Incline Bench Press||Weight Area|
|Legs||Stiffed Leg Deadlift||Weight Area||Back Squat (knee dominant)||Weight Area / Rack||Walking Lunge||Performance Zone|
|Back||Pull-ups||Playground||Inverted Row||Weight Area / Rack||Chin Up||Playground|
|Shoulder||Military Press||Weight Area||Side Raises||Weight Area||High Pull||Weight Area|
|Biceps||Long Bar Curl||Weight Area||Hammer Curl||Weight Area|
|Triceps||Kick Back||Weight Area||Nose Breaker||Weight Area|
|15 reps||Training Zone||10 reps||Training Zone|
|Chest||Pull Over Dumbbell||Weight Area||Dumbbell Fly||Weight Area|
|Legs||Nordic Hamstring Curl||Playground||Front Squat||Weight Area / Rack|
|Back||Dumbbell Row||Weight Area||Bat Wing||Weight Area|
|Shoulder||Dumbbell Seated Shoulder Press||Weight Area||Reverse Fly||Weight Area|
|Biceps||Cable Cross Curl||Kinesis Lounge||Spider Curl||Weight Area|
|Triceps||Pull Down||Kinesis Lounge||Overhead Extension||Weight Area|