Make Gains Like a Beginner: Novelty and Hypertrophy

For the first few weeks in the gym, you notice the effects quickly. You feel sore easily, for days, but you feel great, and not long after, you can see the difference when you look in the mirror. It’s an uplifting and confidence inspiring time, but one that doesn’t last as long as we’d like.

Once we get more experienced, once that initial effect has worn off, gains become much more difficult to come by. We hit a plateau, a point where we can work as hard as we have been, perhaps even harder, yet there’s no change, we simply stay how we are. The trick to getting by this inconvenient hurdle is not to just push yourself even harder, but to introduce some novelty, as Breaking Muscle explains:

If, for whatever reason, I needed to be sore tomorrow, I?d do something unfamiliar. This might mean an unfamiliar exercise or loading pattern – high reps, slow tempos, or anything I haven?t done in a long time.
As it happens, I am quite sore right now, and it?s from doing ab rollouts a few days ago. Prior to doing that, I haven?t done a single rep of anything that could be termed ?ab work? in well over ten years. I am not sore because of the intensity or volume of the ab work I did. I only performed 3 sets of 5 reps with bodyweight. I?m sore because roll-outs are a novel form of stress for me.
In the same way that our most overused behaviors become habits, our?bodies adapt to our most common exercises. To introduce something new is to keep your body on edge, which can greatly influence muscle gain. Check out the full post for more tips.

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About Sam Brinson Sam is a writer living in Uruguay. Sam follows the latest in aging break throughs.

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