Workout Programs For Men: Adaptation Stages
Setting a long-term bodybuilding goal is a serious commitment toward athletic advancement – a pledge to put up with aches, pains and adversity. Stages of physical and mental development must be conquered before any significant results can be seen – nobody but Bruce Banner blows up overnight! Four major adaptive responses are mandatory for a more muscular body: first, develop the motivation for routine exercise; second, strengthen connective tissue, cartilage and bone; third, increase mind-muscle coordination to effectively execute movements; lastly, encourage enhanced mental toughness for increasingly intense workouts.
Initially, developing the motivation to routinely report to the gym is the greatest hurdle. Behavioral, social and overall lifestyle adjustments may be required before any real progress can be obtained. Workouts must be seen in the same light as other routine chores; such as basic hygiene or housework – no excuses, it must be done! Effective time-management skills help balance bodybuilding into otherwise busy day-to-day schedules.
Habitual resistance training helps protect connective tissue, cartilage and bone from heavy loads. The sheaths of connective tissue surrounding muscle fibers adapt; muscular hypertrophy is accompanied by increases in collagen, the main protein in connective tissue. Ligaments increase their thickness, weight and strength. Cartilage thickens to provide a shock absorber between bony surfaces. Although slower at adapting to heavy resistance training, bone is also sensitive to compression and strain. Over time, routine resistance training strengthens the body’s structural tissues; consequently allowing increasingly heavier loads to become more feasible. Formerly sedentary people will take longer to graduate from this phase.
Matured neuromuscular coordination is required to adequately train and subsequently exhaust individual muscles. Proper routine rehearsal allows smoother and more focused movements, with less involvement from supportive and antagonist muscle groups. A stronger mind-muscle connection results in greater degrees of muscular failure. This promotes greater performance inroads after training, requiring quality rest and relaxation techniques to recover and progress – as well as ample nutritional support to feed the adaptation processes. While nervous system changes present the most dramatic effects up front, muscle tissue architecture (fiber type) also adapts to resistance training. This remodeling process helps increase a trainee’s ability to generate brief and powerful feats of strength, as the anaerobic energy systems become more efficient.
After the framework is laid, the greatest limiting factor in advanced bodybuilding, other than personal genetics, is mustering the mental toughness to cope with increasingly more intense workouts. Progressively heavier loads require a positive and determined outlook – often a “do or die” attitude. It becomes increasingly more important to focus on proper exercise execution and fight instinctive desires to break form while manipulating heavier loads. Working sets must keep tension on the agonist muscle group without giving into poor mechanics or locking out. More than ever, a journal is needed to chart progression between training sessions. Muscular size becomes directly related to limit strength.
Professional assistance and ergogenics help push an athlete through the ranks of advanced bodybuilding, but the initial stages require little monetary investment – mostly patience with a whole lot of motivation.