Stimulate don't annihilate

Stimulate don't annihilate

Mike Demeter
Recently a study came across my desk, the underlying tenet being, "...strength athletes should push their muscles, but they'll grow faster if they are not pushed to the limit. Always leave a little bit in the gas tank." (J Physiol. 2016 Sep 15;594(18):5209-22.)
Boy if that didn't harken back to Vince Gironda and his cautions of "ovetonis" or overstimulationg the musculature such that recuperation became impossible specially for the natural athlete. Charles Poliquin would echo this sentiment years later and if I can parpaphrase, "if you are in the gym longer than an hour you're making friends not muscles". It's inevitable that we worry we do enough to make our pumping hours at the gym worth our while, but you can train hard or you can train long, but no one sprints for an hour and if I may, sprinters always trump marathoners for muscularity and athletisicm.
We have in our physiology, a check-measure known as the Golgi tendon reflex response. In a nutshell, the moment we try to push a muscle to or beyond failure, the body protectively shuts off this prime mover and tries to make the synergists take over.
Ever tried forced reps on an incline press only to see your pec pump disappear and next day, the front of your shoulder capsule and tricep tendons are questioning why you did what you did ? Or cheat curls that gave you a terrific forearm pump and enough fascial adhesions to warrant benefits that cover A.R.T. ?
Yep - the genetically gifted and enhanced may get away with it for now- although truly- take it from any Coach with years under the belt, there's a reason the tortoise won the race and not the hare. So what am I getting at ?
If you are on a strength regime, the supplements with CNS kick, rife in caffeine and other stimulants can work if you control volume and take extended rests between sets (like up to 3 minutes as you reach the 3-4 rep range).
BUT if training volume is up there and you are pursuing the pump and hypertrophic response, No to stimulants and NO to painkillers but yes to those supplements that give you mental focus and maximize the NO response of vasodilation and then much healing elements to ensure you gain all you could from this regime. While I know none of us want to rattle as we walk- full of pills nor slosh as we train having consumed litres of  liquid to ensure we downed all successfully, let me give you a sample regime for pecs an delts for the natural (read that again) intermediate:
Pre-workout:
Your workout (physique not function based)
  • BB Neck Press 4x12 32X0 r75s
  • Gironda Dips 4x12 32X0 r75s
  • Low Pulley Cable Crossovers 4x8 1014 r 75s
  • Palms Up DB front raises 4x12 2020 r. 60s
  • Prone 75' Incline DB side laterals 4x12 2020 r. 60s
  • Bent Over DB Rear delt raises 3x25 1010 r. 45s

Peri-workout:
  • IBCAA 2-3 scoops (finish by mid-workout)

Post workout:
Get where we went? Open up the pump and clear the mind pre-workout support anti-catabolism peri-workout and heal the body with a bath of nutrients YIN in nature PWO. Both Vince and Charles Poliquin have always been adamant that the nutrition surrounding the workout is far more important than other times.
So stimulate don't annihilate and bullet proof yourself to endure a great workout.

@atp_labs

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