For all of our fans who send us questions on our Twitter and Facebook page, this one is for you. Each week we draw on our pool of editors and experts to help you with any questions or challenges you have with your fitness regimen. This week, Dan Trink, CSCS, Director of Personal Training Operations at Peak Performance NYC and Founder of TrinkFitness, answers your questions about basic muscle building.
1) High reps vs. low reps - asked by Roger Walgrin: I find that certain muscle groups grow when I train them with high reps while others with low reps. Why this?
“It has to do with the fiber type of each muscle group. There are two main types of muscle fibers, conveniently called type 1 and type 2. Type 1 muscle fibers are more closely associated with endurance training and respond best to higher rep sets in the gym. Type 2 muscle fibers are responsible for generating the force needed for strength and power. Certain muscle groups tend to be dominated by one muscle fiber type or another. For example, your quads are typically Type 1 dominant and respond well to strength-endurance protocols, while your hamstrings are typically Type 2 dominant and do well with more explosive movements or low-rep sets. But just because a muscle group can have a higher proportion of a particular muscle fiber doesn't mean it has that muscle fiber type exclusively. The deltoids, for example, are traditionally a mixed muscle fiber type group and respond well to a combination of higher and lower rep sets.”
2) Male Muscle Building vs Female Muscle Building - Asked by Evan Fa: My girlfriend and I like to train together, but she wants to build longer, leaner muscles and I want to get big. Is there a training program out there that we can do together?
“If you and your girl want to build muscle, you can both do the exact same program. Physiologically, there is no such thing as long, lean muscle tissue or big, bulky muscle tissue. A muscle either grows or it doesn't. How "long and lean" your muscles are depends on limb length, joint size, and muscle origins and insertions. w, your girl can maintain the look of long, lean muscles by reducing her body fat, as she often does interpreted as additional definition than looking longer and leaner, but it goes without saying that your exercise program needs to be smart and progressive in order for it to build anything.
3) Routines for Everyone - Asked by Bill Britton: My buddy and I have been training together for a while and doing the same workouts. And while my chest and back seem to be getting bigger, his arms are getting huge. How can this be when we're both doing the same thing?
“The answer is most likely genetics and technique. Like it or not, your genetics play a big role in where muscle tissue prefers to be deposited. Subtle differences in technique, such as B. Pulling with your back versus pulling with your arms B. on pull-ups will also make a difference. Interestingly, one usually feeds off the other. So if you're genetically inclined to have more muscular limbs, use one more Arm pull technique as this is the most efficient way to get the job done and you've probably memorized this motor pattern over and over again. The solution? Change your technique to focus on the body parts that are left behind. And get other parents."
4) Training Days vs. Rest Days - asked by Ryan Dailey: How many times per week should I train each muscle group?
“There is no ideal number of days per week when you should, say, train your legs. It really all depends on your goals, program design, recovery skills and training experience. That being said, if you're doing a classic limb to build mass, you should probably do 1-2 limbs per workout at a fairly high volume (total work) and then back off/lower body split those limbs for 5-7 days, you'd be fine with that Used to train everyone twice a week, and if you're a beginner and focusing on total body exercises (a smart idea, especially when you're just starting out), try 3 times a week, with different exercises for each of the days."
5) Beating Genetics - Asked by Rob Herchkowitz: Which muscle groups are most responsive to training and which are genetically set in stone?
"Genetic factors such as limb length, number of satellite cells, joint size, neural innervation, and a host of other factors play a role in the ability to build any particular muscle group. That being said, I haven't seen anyone hit their genetic limit when it comes to building muscle, so it would do you good to consistently train even the weakest muscle groups. Calves usually get a bad rap for being genetically predetermined, but I've never seen any science or research to prove that. In any case, it's better if you're concerned about the things you can control in the gym rather than the genetic cards you've been dealt."