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Plus, each player receives a customized training regiment designed with their specific sport of choice in mind. Our mission is to put an athlete in the best position to maximize their strengths, achieve their personal goals and to become healthy. Each athlete is taken through a comprehensive evaluation of strength, speed, and agility to determine their base level of performance. This evaluation will allow our training staff to fit the athlete into the best performance level Rookie, Junior Varsity, Varsity, and Elite.
This test will be reviewed and used to track improvement. Often they look for guidance through various channels of information, the most common being Google, YouTube, or a fitness blog.
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These can be a great place to start, but all beginners and many intermediates run into the same fundamental problem. A common trend is to look to the professionals who have accomplished a great deal in an attempt to learn from their experience. But this poses an additional problem since even accurate information applied incorrectly will be ineffectual.
This article will explore critical aspects of the development of an athlete and mechanisms of hypertrophy to elucidate the unseen pitfalls of following the advice of professionals. We will then summarize the findings to come up with practical, actionable steps to improve your own training and hypertrophic gains. This can go on for weeks and even months as the athlete is developing.
The first is an inability to exceed the athlete's recovery capacity which is commonly observed in novice athletes. Due to the relative inexperience of the athlete, motor skills are undeveloped which prevents the use of heavy loads. The increased difficulty in exceeding the trainee's recovery capacity means that common features in more advanced program designs such as deloads are inappropriate. Additionally, percentage-based programs that take a non-linear approach to load progression become ineffective since the rate of adaptation is rapid and unpredictable.
For this and several other reasons, research on youth and novice athletes often recommend higher repetition ranges to increase exercise exposure, improve skill acquisition, and indirectly manage load. During the initial training process auto-regulation is an effective method to adapt each training session to the athletes level of preparedness. As trainees progress from novice to advanced, training variables shift significantly. A study by Kraemer et al.
These findings are in line with the larger body of research showing the high adaptive potential of novice athletes compared to their advanced counterparts who require greater specificity and structure. Due to undeveloped motor ability, the novice lifter should avoid loads or repetitions in reserve approximating failure to minimize risk of injury.
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Beyond that, the volume requirements are much lower for novice lifters than advanced. Four sets per muscle group elicited maximal gains in both trained and untrained individuals. Distributing volume across more exercises can allow you to maintain higher volumes without accumulating excessive specialized fatigue and produce greater hypertrophic responses.
Training frequency is also an important factor, with novice lifters typically requiring less recovery time between training bouts when appropriate loads are selected. The use of androgenic-anabolic steroids and other pharmacological interventions is a stark reality in sports. Suffice it to say that training and nutrition protocols differ between natural and enhanced lifters.
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Therefore, training tactics and strategies used by enhanced athletes have diminished application to natural athletes and especially novices. Although there are several factors mediating the hypertrophic responses, by and large, the two most significant are mechanical tension and volume.
As you can see there is a substantial difference in what can generally be deemed an effective protocol for novice and intermediate lifters. This gap only increases as the lifters become more advanced.
Studies consistently show that higher volumes produce greater hypertrophic responses than low volume interventions. There is also a significant observable difference between a novice lifter and a professional bodybuilder. An elite professional bodybuilder is likely close to their absolute genetic potential.
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Because of this, extra emphasis needs to be placed on selecting the appropriate exercises to perfect their physique. Novice lifters, on the other hand, are quite literally the farthest possible distance away from their genetic limit. This distinction is critical to make because while a professional bodybuilder may emphasize specific exercises or body parts , the primary concern of a novice lifter should simply be to build as much muscle mass globally as possible.
This means emphasizing compound movements where load and volume intersect for optimal hypertrophic adaptations. To the advanced lifter, rear deltoids may be a weakness, but to a novice lifter, everything is a weakness.
By understanding this we can apply the principle of overload effectively to produce superior adaptive responses. The overload principle states that training must become progressively harder in order to elicit positive adaptations. When we look at the potential overload stimulus presented by various exercises it presents a definitive case for preferencing compound movements like bench press, squats, deadlift, pull-ups, etc.
For example, let's compare the dumbbell chest fly to the barbell bench press. Since we know that mechanical tension and volume are the primary drivers of hypertrophy we can determine with ease which will transmit better outcomes.
The figures above represent my individual training values, however, the relative scale to a novice athlete would be similar. In the example above, the barbell bench press accrued 3. The absolute mechanical tension was also significantly higher in the barbell bench press since the load was also 3. This does not mean the DB chest fly is a useless exercise. The difficulty for novice lifters to exceed their recovery capacity is multifactorial.
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Some primary influences are muscle size, strength, and motor control. More muscle means more contractile tissue to repair following an intense bout of resistance training. Training with heavier loads requires greater motor control and generates more localized damage to contractile tissue while increasing stress on the peripheral nervous system which increases recovery requirements.
A squat workout of an advanced athlete generates substantially more homeostatic disruption compared to a squat session of a novice. The stimulus to fatigue relationship shows a clear preference for the higher frequency of training exposures in novice lifters.