Can you maintain or even build muscle while training at home?

YES!

Most people think you need heavy weights or a full home gym to do this.  However, if you are able to create a training stimulus that elicits 3 types of training stimulus to the muscle, 1. muscle tension, 2. metabolic stress, and 3. muscle damage, this will help continue your development while you are away from the gym. 

Being able to build and maintain muscle isn’t about the exercises chosen, it’s how you execute the movements and the specific stimulus you create. These principals are really geared towards the more experience exercises.  If you are just starting out, a more traditional approach with specific sets and reps will work just fine.   There are a few necessary pieces of equipment that should be used in every home program which we will go over. 

These pieces are low cost and saves space providing you with an efficient training environment you can replicate virtually anywhere.  Here’s what should be in everyone’s home gym.  Click on the item to purchase.

One of the most challenging things when you limit yourself to just bodyweight movements is that the pulling and posture muscles are often neglected. 

In order to keep the body in balance you should be able to pull yourself up using either a fixer chin up bar, shortened TRX or suspension training strap, or be able to pull on heavy-duty resistance bands in a vertical and horizontal plane. 

3 Ways Increase Muscle Mass With Out “Lifting Heavy”

Muscle Tension As stated above muscle tension, metabolic stress and muscle damage are the three primary mechanisms for increasing muscle growth (hypertrophy). 

When a Muscle is put under tension  it can be either reducing, producing, or controlling force. Muscle tension can be generated by either lifting heavy loads for a short amount of time and lifting lighter loads for a greater amount of time. Both can bring about muscle tension, and create a stimulus for muscle hypertrophy (muscle growth). 

When you have to focus on higher work volumes (more time the muscle is working) instead of heavier works load, (lifting more raw weight)  the way your nerves initiate muscle contractions is initially lower than if you started with a heavy weight. What that simply means is that you have to keep the muscle under (tension) for a longer period of time to make up for the lack of heavy weight available.

We all have 2 types of muscle, slow and fast twitch.  Research has shown us that as a muscle fatigues,  it can can directly influence more recruitment of the faster (larger) motor units as the muscle’s ability to produce force with it’s slower twitch fibers is decreases. In the exercise science world this is called the Henneman’s size principle of recruitment.  By using various resistance tools to stimulate muscle fatigue, this will help licit a greater response in muscle growth with out the need for heavy weights. 

Muscle Damage (in a good way) Most of us can relate this to soreness. This happens when micro-tears occur in the muscle tissue.  Soreness can be present within 12-24, and even 36 hrs after a workout.  Research tells us that a certain amount of soreness may help contribute to the muscle building process. However,  you don’t always have to “get sore” to make gains in your strength. If you are a seasoned exerciser and you train at high levels of intensity, the greater your resistance is needed for your muscle to become sore.

If you are just starting out, then your muscles might not be able to tolerate a high work capacity and you will likely have some noticeable soreness just from a low level of activity.

Metabolic Stress can be induced by changing the tempo or time under under tension.  This will promote a good deal of blood flow to the muscle and give you that feeling of  your muscles swelling (i.e., muscle pump).

Research has shown that when you have a lighter load you can increase the time time-under-tension and the results will be similar in nature (an increase in size) to muscles that were lifting a heavy load lifted to failure.

It’s important to note that this approach is done when iron weights are not available so as to be able to make the best progress possible.

The CSF philosophy is not encouraging you to abandon all iron for the long term. It’s important to keep a variety of things in your tool box so you can blend different applications that include traditional free weights, cables, steel hoses and body weight activity to ensure your workouts are getting results, diverse, engaging, and more effective.

If you need help planning out the most cost effective and diverse home gym for your current situation please contact us at Contact@ConcaSportandFitness.com and we’ll be glad to point you in the right direction. 

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