Sets and Reps, What Are They? Understanding Their Meaning Within A Training Program

If you’re brand new to weight training and confused by all the talk of so-called ‘sets and reps,’ this is the article to help you understand everything as soon as you’re done reading.

I’m sure you’ve seen some of my programs or any other programs on the internet where it has a movement, and then next to it, a set of numbers.

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Muscle Hypertrophy Explained — The Art And Science Of Muscle Growth

muscle hypertrophy
Image Credit: Satish Krishnamurthy (CC license)

If you want to know about the muscle building process works through various training ideas, all backed by science, then you’ll want to read this article.

In order to get muscles to grow, one thing is certain: You must stress your body.

A friend of mine once made a statement that was so simple, but it’s so true. Being as jacked as he was, someone asked him how he got that way. All he said was “Work out with weights. Stress your body. Eat enough to grow. Rest, recover, and repeat.”

And while that advice is not wrong, it’s not entirely clear and actionable.

In this article, I’m going to help you understand how muscle hypertrophy (muscle growth) happens, how to train properly, and what the science tells us about the muscle hypertrophy process.

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Workout Plans: Which Program Is Right For You?

Workout plans are a dime-a-dozen on the internet, and you need one that is not only effective but one that you can stick to for the long term. And this is true regardless of whether you want to build muscle, lose fat, do a little bit of both or just get stronger.

There’s a lot that goes into deciding what type of workout plan is best for you, and when you understand how a training program is put together, it’s easier to make a decision on which program will be best for you.

In this article, we’re going to cover training frequency, schedule preferences, fat loss and muscle gain goals, and I’ll give program options as we go.

NOTE: please keep in mind it’s impossible to detail every single type of training program or protocol on one article. There are thousands of books written on the subject. I’m merely giving you what I think are some of the best workout plans for building muscle, losing fat and building an aesthetic physique.

Determining Training Frequency For Your Workout Plans

Training frequency typically means how often you’re training during the week. However, this can have a few meanings depending on how you look at it, so let’s do that.

Training Frequency:

  • how often you go to the gym
  • how often you train each body part / muscle group

For instance, the classic body-part split programs will have you training each body part once per week, so if you want to hit your entire body equally over a seven day period, you might be required to have five to six sessions in seven days.

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How To Gain Weight — Practical Applications for Eating to Build Muscle, and Why You Might Not Want to Gain Weight Fast

How to gain weight —it sounds like an absurd thing to ask for some, but for others, it’s a real issue. The term ‘how to gain weight’ yields over 46 million results in Google, and ‘how to gain weight fast’ gives us close to 20 million results.

While many people are wondering how to lose weight (full article on this topic: how to lose fat), and keep it off, many others are wondering the opposite: how they can gain weight, and some want to gain weight fast.

To most, it seems fairly simple. Eat more food, and gain weight, right? Sure, that’s the simple answer, but simple’s not always so easy.

What is weight gain?

It’s when the scale weight goes up, also known as adding lean or fatty tissue to the body via excess energy consumption. In other words, a surplus of calories (energy) is what creates the weight gain.

Want to gain weight? Eat more than you burn.

Want to lose it? Eat less than you burn. This is an elementary explanation to an otherwise complex physiological process.
The weight you gain can/will be in the form of fat, muscle, water, food in your belly, etc.

There is a stark difference between true weight gain and perceived weight gain.

True weight gain is adding lean muscle mass, or storing fat in your cells.

Perceived weight gain can come from water retention caused by excess fluid intake, or eating foods that cause water retention (starchy/salty selections).

When you hear of people gaining lots of weight overnight (typically in excess of 10 pounds), a majority of that weight is in the form of water, and glycogen (stored carbohydrates in the muscles and liver).

Very rarely is someone going to store that much fat, or build that much muscle in such a short period of time.

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