The Mike Mentzer “X-GROWTH” Muscle Hack
Look at this bloke..
Massive isn’t he? He should be, he won “Mr Olympia” in 1979.
Think he knows a thing or two about muscle and muscular size that the average joe blow on the street doesn’t?
Yeah I would say so.
His name is Mike Mentzer.
Mike Mentzer is generally regarded as having been one of the sharpest thinkers in bodybuilding, a very efficient bodybuilder.
One of the more profound issues he dealt with (later in his career) was the plus factor.
The plus factor is related to a couple of the lessor known but more important factors in building muscle – rest and growth.
Mentzer pointed out that most people get it wrong when it comes to figuring out how the time between workouts actually works. He said they focus on rebuilding the muscle instead of looking at the whole package.
And that full package includes more than just rebuilding the muscle.
Mentzer noted that not only does the muscle need to rebuild, it also has to grow beyond the point of rebuilding to actual new gains.
In effect, it is a plus factor – rebuilding PLUS growth.
To omit the plus factor leaves you back where you were to start.
Add Time Between Training Sessions
To address the plus element, Mentzer revealed that you need to allow even more rest time between workouts (of the same muscle type).
So if you allow 2 days of rest to let your arm muscles rebuild, you should be allowing 3 days to provide for the plus factor.
You want the rebuilding, which comes in the first phase, but you also need that new growth, which comes in the second phase.
So Mentzer suggested adding more rest time. More rest is better than less rest.
Toward the end of his writing career Mentzer started calling for very long rest periods between workouts.
Where he may have allowed just a few days for rest before, he almost doubled that amount later on. Why?
He said that the trainees he was working with actually showed more muscle growth by taking more time off than they did with a shorter time between training sessions.
They grew in both strength and muscle size.
Some of the strength gains fostered by taking an extra long time between workouts were striking – big time gains.
Intensity is a Prerequisite for Plus Gains
Mike Mentzer was right on the extra time between sessions if you meet one prerequisite – intensity.
Taking extra time off for growth won’t help you if your workouts aren’t tough, challenging and intense. Intensity is necessary to push that growth. Then you allow extra long time between workouts, and you start to grow strongly.
The formula is fairly simple – super hard work, and an extra long rest time – and your muscles grow.
As long as you are coming back stronger each workout, then longer workout times are working for you, helping you get the plus factor, that extra growth.
You can experiment a bit with the time off between training sessions.
Take one exercise and note your current strength – write it down – how many sets and reps with the weight load also noted, then take an extra day or two, or even three.
See if you can perform the next session with more weight and/or reps.
If so, add one extra day to the next workout and once again, check and see if you are stronger in the following session.
If so, this indicates that you haven’t been giving yourself enough down time between workouts to get your growth.
You may have rebuilt your muscles, but not got as much growth as possible.
That’s like getting back to the line of scrimmage in a football game. But you want to get down the field.
That’s the plus factor, the growth. And that comes from more, not less, time between training sessions.
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