Find out if one-off workouts will help you gain muscle mass and increase strength. As soon as Mike Mentzer showed his training method to the general public, many specialists and athletes decided that he had damaged his mind. Mike argued that intense weight training once a week was more effective. The main emphasis in this system is placed on the duration of the maximum load on the muscles, which is more than 20 minutes. Let's see if this approach to organizing bodybuilding classes has a life.
Can weight training be effective once a week?
Mike Mentzer was adamant that most athletes were overtrained. It was with this fact that he explained the need for long pauses for recovery between high-intensity sessions. It should be admitted that in the course of recent scientific research, such a theory seems to be very viable, but only for young athletes.
Not so long ago, scientists conducted research on this topic. About 40 athletes under 35 and 30 athletes over 60 were invited to participate in the experiment. The experiment was long and consisted of two stages. For the first four months, representatives of two age groups performed three movements in three sets. All of them conducted three sessions during the week.
Then the second stage of the study started, the duration of which was 32 weeks. Three groups were created:
- The first group - training was not carried out.
- The second group - the previous training scheme was used, 3 exercises were performed in three sets.
- The third group - three movements were performed in one set.
As a result, scientists found that after the complete cessation of training, the strength indicators did not fall for a long time and training once a week for weight allowed maintaining the results obtained. At the same time, young athletes, even with this regime, continued to increase their muscle mass. Athletes over the age of 60 years, with a one-time training, did not manage to preserve the results obtained earlier. Thus, we can say that training once a week for weight at high intensity allows young athletes to progress.
How to properly organize a workout once a week for weight?
Based on the results of the experiment we just talked about, we can conclude that training once a week for weight can be effective. This approach to the organization of the training process is suitable for people who are severely limited in their free time, but at the same time who want to stay in good physical shape.
It is quite clear that if you practice once a week, you should not hope for serious results. But after all, not every person wants to have the muscles of Iron Arnie or other bodybuilding stars. If you are doing for yourself and are experiencing a shortage of free time, then training once a week for weight will be an excellent way out.
In such a situation, you will be able not only to maintain your physical shape, but even improve it, gaining muscle mass and increasing physical parameters. For the results of such exercises to be good, you should use circuit training, which will allow you to pump all muscle groups effectively enough.
No matter how many times a week you train, the principles of bodybuilding remain the same. For this reason, there is no point in spending a few hours in the gym thinking that this will get the best results. If you train once a week for weight, then in an hour and a half you should load all muscle groups to the maximum.
As a result, the entire session can last for about two hours, taking into account the time for stretching, warm-up and cool-down. Since basic movements are most effective for gaining mass, they should be present in your training program.
In this case, the main emphasis should be on large groups, and small ones will be loaded indirectly. Since training is carried out once a week for weight, it will be a serious stress for the body and you should approach failure sets gradually. For this, we recommend using the "pyramid" method.
If you are not familiar with this principle, then its meaning is to gradually increase the working weights in each new set. In this case, the number of repetitions can be changed or left constant. Thus, once a week weight training should be high-intensity and volumetric so that the body can prepare for failure in the last set. Based on practical experience, we can say that the most effective in this situation is the "6x6" scheme, or more simply, in each movement you need to perform six sets with the same number of repetitions in each. Here is a rough list of the movements you should do in a 6x6 workout:
- Bench presses.
- Army presses.
- Pulls of the bar in the direction of the belt.
- Biceps curls.
How to increase the effectiveness of weight training?
To increase the effectiveness of classes in any mode, the daily regimen and nutrition are of paramount importance. If you decide to exercise only once during the week, then you most likely have very little time and it will also be quite difficult for you to eat according to the schedule. You can take snacks with you to work, as well as use a sports food. But at the same time, it should be remembered that at least 70 percent of the nutrients must enter the body from ordinary food.
Getting enough sleep is also important. If this is also difficult for you, then you should definitely get some sleep, at least just before class. For example, at work, your days off are Saturday and Sunday, and you have a class on Sunday.
In such a situation, you need to get a good night's sleep from Saturday to Friday. On Saturday it is even worth sleeping in the daytime. Sleep for at least eight or nine hours the night before your workout day. Try to stick to your sleep and nutritional regimen whenever possible, as this will greatly increase the effectiveness of your workouts.
You can also recommend doing light exercises at home. You should at least do push-ups. It will be just great if you buy dumbbells or kettlebells and practice with them. However, such training should not be depressing in nature. Their main task is to increase the metabolic rate so that the body can recover faster before a new activity. By the way, we recommend using a kettlebell for such mini-workouts. This sports equipment allows you to pump deep layers of muscle tissue.
Weight training principles
Now it is worth paying attention to the basic principles of organizing the training process for gaining mass. We have already said that they are the same in any case, no matter how often you train. Most often, athletes use a three-day split, but we have already found out that training once a week for weight can be effective with the right approach to its organization.
If you have not done bodybuilding before, then prepare for the fact that there will be no quick results. And this does not depend on whether you train once for a week or five. Weight gain is especially difficult for thin people, who are now often called hard gainers.
To gain muscle mass, you need to give all your strength in class. Let's say you are doing classic squats and completing the eighth rep. Overcoming the muscular burning sensation, you rise up, and as soon as the sports equipment is on the rack, you lower yourself onto the bench, having spent all your strength. This is how your activities should be if you want to progress.
With this example, you can understand the principles of muscle growth. During the last rep for failure, the fibers of the muscle tissue undergo tremendous stress and strain. Moreover, this is possible only when you perform the last repetition, while exceeding your limits.
When the lesson is over, the body must begin to restore muscle tissue, since under the influence of such a powerful tension, they received serious damage. To activate regenerative processes, you should take a portion of a protein mixture or a gainer. Then after 45 minutes it is worth having a full meal and, to top it off, get some sleep. In this case, even mass training once a week can be effective.
Each lesson must begin with a warm-up in order to prepare, first of all, the articular-ligamentous apparatus for hard work. We recommend using an exercise bike or treadmill. As a result, you will not only warm up the joints, but also accelerate blood flow, preparing the muscles for the main part of the training.
Do a couple of lightweight warm-up sets before each major set. We have already talked about the duration of the classes. Sometimes novice athletes believe that the more time they spend in the gym, the more effective the lesson will be. In practice, the intensity of the training is important.
After completing the main part of the training program, you should perform muscle stretching movements. Swimming is an excellent choice in this situation. If you want to achieve positive results, then in the gym you need to fully focus on the lesson. Try to talk less with other visitors (this can be done even after the training is over), and also do not answer calls on your mobile phone. The only exception can be an important question, on the verge of life and death.
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