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Can You Add Muscle at Home?

July 30, 2020

The short answer is Yes/Maybe. Before we talk about how, we need a little background info:

The Muscular SystemLet's start with muscle fatigue. In the simplest terms, muscle fatigue means the muscle is producing less force. In strength training, that's the result of 2 reasons: central fatigue and peripheral fatigue.

  • Central fatigue refers to physiological changes that occur within the central nervous system (CNS) and results in a decrease in the neural drive to the muscle.
  • Peripheral fatigue refers to motor units specifically and describes mechanical and cellular changes inside the muscle.

PERIPHERAL FATIGUE

Peripheral fatigue changes the recruitment threshold of motor units. In other words, when a muscle starts to fatigue, the high-threshold motor units are recruited at lower levels of force. So even though it might be a bodyweight exercise or an exercise with sub-maximal weights, high-threshold motor units are recruited as a result of muscle fatigue. (Drum Roll) This can result in muscle hypertrophy.

MUSCLE HYPERTROPHY

Muscle hypertrophy is a term used to describe the growth and increase in the size of muscle cells. “The muscle fibers that are governed by high-threshold motor units are far less oxidative than those that are governed by low-threshold motor units, and are also more responsive to the mechanical stimulus that leads to hypertrophy.” Chris Beardsley does a fantastic job of explaining how this all works - check out his article.

WHAT’S IT LOOK LIKE?

One very effective way to recruit high-threshold motor units with very little or no equipment is to do a combination of SPEED/POWER + GENERAL STRENGTH TRAINING:

So something like this:

  • Squat Jumps (SPEED/POWER) + Reverse Lunges (GST)
  • Plyometric Pushups (SPEED/POWER) + Conventional Pushups (GST)

And heads up - you need to go straight into the GST exercise - DO NOT REST after doing the POWER/SPEED movement!

SHOULD I TRY IT?

If you’ve been strength training consistently over the past few months, the power movements might be a great thing for you to add to your program. If you’ve been hit or miss with training, stick GST for 3-4 weeks before adding Power/Speed exercises!

LET'S TALK!

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*As with any fitness program, individual results may vary. Success Stories and Testimonials are REAL GRASSIRON CLIENTS and are meant to be a showcase of the best results the program has produced; they are not intended to represent or guarantee that everyone will achieve the same or similar results. You should consult your physician before starting any fitness program to determine if it is right for your needs.