The whole idea of building muscles is to get stronger or in other words making the body capable of handling heavier loads.
Hypertrophy is a by-product of strength training, if correct body-building nutrition accompanies the heavy lifting.
The adaptation of the body to a given load, validates the need to progressively overload even more.
The recruitment of Motor Units (Muscle Fibers innervated with the same Motor Nerve) is dependent on the Workload. The greater the Workload the greater the Motor Unit Recruitment.
So to maximise Motor Unit Recruitment, one must understand Work Load in a very objective and mathematical manner.
Workload is dependent on 4 factors:
3. Range Of Motion
You can always increase the weight to increase your workload. Suppose if you are doing squats with say 200 pounds and the next time you squats with the same number of repetitions with says 210 pounds, you have increased the workload by adding 10 pounds.
You can increase one repetition with the current weight? It may not seem much but by increasing just one repetition you have increased the workload significantly.
• RANGE OF MOTION (ROM)
Whenever you increase poundage or repetitions, it should never be at the expense of full range of motion of the exercise. Additionally, increasing the range of motion while keeping the poundage and reps constant will also mean you’ve increased the workload.
To illustrate this K11 provides 2 examples:
Most people while doing chin ups or lat pull downs with a broad pronated grip make the mistake of holding the bar with an excessively wide grip, in the hopes that it will make the lats work harder and by doing the chin ups or lat pull down this way they will get a broad back.
In fact by keeping their grip excessively wide they are reducing their range of motion and thus reducing workload.
Ideally they should grip, just outside the shoulder and this will provide them maximum range of motion while challenging the adduction function of the Latissimus Dorsi.
Bench Presses can be done either with a Barbell & also with Dumbbells. The Dumbbells provide a greater amount of horizontal adduction on the concentric than when the Bench presses are done using a Barbell.
Hence with the poundage & repetitions, being constant, the Dumbbell Presses will provide a greater workload than Barbell Bench Presses due to the increased ROM around the shoulder joint.
Keeping poundage, repetitions and ROM constant if we were to execute the set in lesser time than the previous set, we will have succeeded in increasing workload. For example, if a set of squats done with full ROM with 100lbs for 10 repetitions takes 40 seconds and the next time you attempt the same set and do it in 37 seconds, you have successfully increased workload.
Here increase in speed does not mean jerky movements with compromised ROM. It means explosive, fast and FULL RANGE movements.