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Question for Homonunculus about Training

AJ

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Jun 4, 2003
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Hello Mr. Homonunculus,

This is my first post, but I have been reading the boards here for a while. I am very impressed with your knowledge in bodybuilding.

I've read in your posts that you use many different ways to train. For ex- 3day split - hitting each part once a week or hitting parts more often with less volume. I agree with this. I think you have to stimulate growth and then let it happen, regardless of the manner in which it's done.

My question has to do with recovery. If soreness is not a reliable indicator of recovery, how do you know when a muscle is ready to be trained again or if it needs an extra day of rest. Is there a certain feeling to it? Example - all soreness is gone, but it still feels tight and can flex it well?

Thank you for any advice you can offer.

AJ
 

homonunculus

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Hey AJ!

First off, thank you for the compliments! I don't know that I know that much more about BB'ing than the next guy - I just don't hesistate to try to give my opinion on many things.

As far as whether or not a muscle has recovered, soreness is certainly one good indicator. Another is strength. For instance, you might hit legs one day and on your first set of squats you get 315 for 10 reps (max effort). You have minimal soreness 4 days later so try the next workout - you again warm up and do a max set w/ 315, but only get 9 reps. The answer is obvious.

You can keep a training log and look at these things, as well. For instance, what is the rep max. pattern for your first set of squats w/ 315. If it is barely budging, especially in comparison to strength in other muscle groups, ONE possibility is that you're overtraining d/t frequency being too high (too often).

If you have been training enough, you can tell when a muscle is ready to train. It contracts painlessly and "easily" (you can twitch it easily and the muscle seems to spring into a contraction - this is likely also a matter of nervous system recovery), feels full and you have the general impression that you would be strong doing exercises for that bodypart.

Some will argue that changes in protein metabolism following a bout of resistance exercise are essentially finished after about 48hr. On the other hand, there is a certain type of MRI scan that can detect alterations in the tissue following a traumatic exercise session up to a couple months after just 1 bout. I would not be surprised if the some of the architetural alterations ("remodeling") that lead to an increased fiber are not detectable with a protein synthesis assay (e.g., radio-labeled leucine incorporation).

There are also individual diffrerences - compare Ronnie C. to Dorian's training programs. Both were very effective, but I wouldn't be surprised if Dorian would not have been as good of a BB'er if he had trained like Ronnie, and vice versa. A training log can help here, especiall if you write down your impressions of you energy and general felling of strength. There is also the recovery of the nervous system to consider - variable as well.

A last thought - if you take a week off training altogether and find that you are tremendously stronger (like sets of 12 w/ what you could previously only lift 6 times), then you might be overtraining. You can try this experiment with different muscle groups as well, if you do not want to stop training altogether.

I hope the above gives you something to chew on. Bottom line - trial and error will be your guide. Learning by "mistakes" unfortunately seems to be the rule here...

-Randy
 

LATS

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i dont know about all that fancy mumbo jumbo...i just put in a mtv workout with puc and grab the pink dumbells on the end of the rack and go for the burn.....yeah:mad:
 

AJ

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Jun 4, 2003
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Homonunculus,

Thank you for such a detailed response. I definately have a better idea and confidence in how to train now.

AJ
 

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