Visual Impact Level 1: Grow and maintain New Muscles
This assessment will develop upon the information and facts already presented in these two articles:
Where Was I?
Prior to I began this regimen I took two weeks away heavy lifting. I had been performing a myo-reps program for 6 weeks whilst preparing my diet plan to boost fat loss. This 12 months has become a fantastic year for weightlifting, with my programs helping me reach new PB’s on many lifts, whilst keeping away from injuries (constantly a real danger when training very hard). A thing that I had been wondering throughout my last program was that my body couldn’t help but feel like it was ready to start ‘pumping’ some weights once more.
For those of you who do not know about myo-reps
, it’s a technique that uses only 1 full set of reps per exercise (to create full muscle ‘activation’), and makes it possible for minimal recovery time to carry out some more ‘activated’ reps. The simple schedule is this: do a full work set, rest 15-25 secs then do 1-5 more reps (depending on the weight you started with), rest 15-25 secs and repeat until either your high quality of lifting decreases, or you’re unable to do any a lot more reps. For a more full explanation of myo-reps, click here
Also this year I have been focused on training myself only for visual purposes (all my prior training has been directed at producing efficiency, not physique enhancement), and, for the initial time ever I’ve been able to observe my abs! For an individual with fairly poor natural abs, becoming able to notice, and feel, my abs has been quite rewarding for the time and effort put in (I remember a trainer I used to work with who would possess the outline of a 6 pack even when he was up in the high teens for body fat percentage).
Back to ‘pumping’.
Why this type of workout?
One thing that the myo-reps routines are wonderful for is producing myofibrillar hypertrophy. So my muscles have been working harder as the year has progressed, but that style of progress comes at the cost of the other main set of structures being built.
What other structures?
Those that are grouped under ‘sarcoplasmic hypertrophy’.
Essentially sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is promoted when you take the muscle toward exhaustion with repeated sets of medium to high reps. You may think of this as draining the muscle over and over again. All this draining takes energy, and makes lots of metabolic waste, and each of these demand lots of blood and fluid to become utilised and shifted. It is that blood which you feel when your muscles are ‘pumped’. The error that lots of gym goers make is only ever devoting time to one form of muscle growth; They either get dependent on myofibrillar hypertrophy, or they prefer the growth and feeling of sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.
If there’s one weakness to myo-reps as a year round routine it is this: That it mainly promotes one kind of hypertrophy, myofibrillar hypertrophy.
So what solutions do we have to promote the other kind of muscle growth, sarcoplasmic hypertrophy?
Some programs are:
- HIT (high intensity training, which I only use as a short term program when other systems have been worn out or didn’t create the desired outcomes).
- EDT (Escalating Density Training, by Charles Staley. I definitely like this plan, and was going to make use of it ahead of coming to Visual Impact Muscle Development).
- German Volume Training (ten sets of 10)
- Most Bodybuilding ‘Split Routines’.
- Visual Impact Muscle Building (at least for the first phase anyway).
How Does Visual Impact Body Building Promote Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy?
For the duration of your first phase of training on the Visual Impact program you are aiming for cumulative fatigue; you do medium to high reps whilst having a short rest. The sets that Rusty has laid out are pretty specific and adjusted for every exercise, leading toward total muscle exhaustion when you have finished (as opposed to employing only 1 exercise per muscle group, where you will only be fatiguing a set of muscle fibres within that muscle, with VI you use several exercises to activate as many unique fibres within your muscles as is achievable). And after my initial few sessions, I can testify that they are pretty exhausting, and I’m fairly sore from performing them (which I like! While soreness is not the aim, continued progression is the aim).
But What’s The Routine?
My routine is distinctive from what the template routine, but that is ok, as Rusty points out, the goal would be to tailor it to your requirements. So, as I mentioned above, I’ve altered the routine to suit my requirements.
What are those?
- Primarily they are; leave the legs alone and get my chest bigger!
Why No Legs?
I once posted an image of a weight lifter with enormous thighs, and that’s precisely what would happen with my legs, if I were to train them consistently. So I’ve chosen to stay clear of them for this routine, they are massive enough and if I was to train them, I’d finish up losing symmetry and probably struggle to fit in trousers even more than I do already (I’ve had to get trousers that are larger than my waist for years, just to ensure that I can get my thighs into them).
In addition to not developing excessively bulky legs, the secondary benefit of taking all leg exercises out of my plan is the fact that i can invest much more time and energy on the areas that I would like to evolve.
Which areas are those?
Well, basically it’s only definitely one location: Chest
As you’ll be able to see in any pic of me, my chest lags behind just about every other region. So it is time to concentrate on it. This means that, for my plan, my chest gets four exercises per session. Compare that to 3 for back, and two for shoulders, abs, biceps and triceps.
And I can confirm that my chest indeed has noticed the difference in what’s being asked of it; it’s achieved a level of soreness not reached for some time!
So each week I’ll be carrying out a split routine that gets me two workouts for each upper body part, each and every week. This fits in with my diary, permitting me to rest on the weekends (when I usually go biking, so it is not really full resting, but resting from fitness center based weight training), and also provides me a day off during the week. Which i rather suspect I’ll need…
So here I am, at the end of my very first week of doing Visual Impact Muscle Building, how do I feel?
Various things; tiredness, soreness, happiness, satisfaction. I’ll explain each:
When you go from not training to training 4x per week, and you add in the shock to your body of doing a totally new routine, you will be asking a great deal of your body. So tiredness is to be expected. It is also totally fine, I mean who would do some training and not expect to be tired? I like being tired from training, it is a satisfied tiredness, not a weary, pulled down, depressed tiredness.
Take this scenario; you’ve taken a couple of weeks off from your training and then started a brand new routine, do you think you are going to be sore? Not surprisingly!
And in the event you then add the effect of a completely different style of routine than previously, you’ll be able to add a bit a lot more soreness to your body. I went from a whole body routine, to carrying out a split routine, and went from low reps, to high reps, I also went from low (ish) volume to high volume, and from massive rest periods to brief rest periods. Do you believe that may cause a state of shock in my body?
I rather suspect you would.
Happiness and Satisfaction
I like training, anyone following my writing for a even though will know this, so to be back training following a brief rest period is generally nice. I was also pretty ready for an alternative from the high intensity and lengthy rest periods in myo reps. The adjustment brought about by employing Visual Impact appears to be just about correct for me, right now. I like that I am working my muscles in a fully diverse way, and due to this modification I also feel my mind is being worked in a distinctly different way. I have a new set of challenges, and I’m content to rise to those challenges.
A while ago a trainer friend of mine saw me carrying out some bicep work and stood aghast.
Why was he aghast?
Because, up till quite recently, I have never worked arms. I have also hardly ever worked above 10 reps!
I spent the first ten or so years of my gym training life becoming much stronger. So aside from the odd 20 rep squat sessions, I have normally gone for low reps with long rests.
So one thing is obvious to me: my abilities at producing the sort of high volume-high intensity work demanded by Visual Impact Phase 1 are a huge shock to me. The inference in this is that it’s going to force my body to adapt to techniques that prior to now it is not actually had to. It would not be too much of a leap of intuition to guess that I will (nearly absolutely) put on some new muscle mass with this plan. And I like the thought of that.
One more thought I like the idea of is how I’m going to shift those muscle mass gains over to Phase 2, but I guess you and I will just have to wait for that.
Concerns Yet To Answer:
Is Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy under reported in the scientific press in the way it’s produced?
If it is, that would lend some bias toward the ‘tension, plus frequency of application’ set of theories getting the selection for those who let science and studies lead their decisions. I’ve wondered for a while though about this; if those two principles are the primary ones involved in muscle growth, why do pro bb’ers nonetheless persist with high volume split routines?
I appreciate that if you juice, the hormonal landscape modifies massively, and higher volume and intensity become a lot more attainable. But optimal is optimal, regardless of how you modify your biology, and a lot more of them (the pro bb’ers) would be making larger muscles with whole body routines. maybe. One factor that occurred to me whilst watching Ronnie Coleman train in a video was this: how much of his body he ends up affecting whilst doing a split routine. What I mean by this is that when he do db rows, for example, he uses his legs and lower back and abs to pull the weight around, in other words his form is appalling. But it does mean he’s utilizing much more muscle mass across the body, somewhat blurring the line in terms of describing what he’s doing as a ‘split routine’.
Stay tuned for an End of Phase 1 Review