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Four Workouts From Today You Can Be Stronger Than You've Ever Been!
My name is Pete Sisco and I have developed a better way to lift weights and build muscle.
I’ve been telling people about it for a several years. I’d like to explain my training to you as if you and I knew each other and you just wanted plain talk without the psychological sales tricks used to manipulate and pressure you.
There is a huge amount of confusion in the realm of strength training, or weightlifting or bodybuilding or whatever name you want to give to the task of making your muscles and body stronger. I think the confusion is spread deliberately so that people become reliant on ‘experts’ to help them. As George Bernard Shaw said, “Every profession is a conspiracy against the layman.”
But the honest truth is there are only a handful of very easy to understand fundamental rules that govern muscle and strength building. And once you know what they are you can quickly tell whether or not a training method is rational. I’ll tell you those fundamentals right now.
The Law of Muscle Fiber Activation
Every muscle basically consists of million of individual muscle fibers. When it receives an electrical signal from the brain a fiber contracts and becomes smaller. To visualize, picture a one inch long fiber suddenly contacting to ¼ inch. (Or a 4cm fiber contacting to 1cm, for my metric friends.)
That simple function is responsible for all movement in the human body. From a watchmaker’s fine tinkering to swinging a sledgehammer, muscle fibers create all motion.
OK, here is the important characteristic we need to know about. When a muscle fiber is activated it contracts completely, not by degrees. So it either contracts fully or it does not contract at all.
You do (or, at least, you should), because this fact – above all others - determines how you should stimulate your muscles to get bigger and stronger. For example, when your biceps muscle tries to curl a dumbbell that is 30% of the maximum you could lift it does not activate 100% of the muscle fibers to contract with 30% of their power. They can’t do that. They can only contract fully and completely. What happens is 30% of the fibers contract fully, lifting the dumbbell, and 70% of the muscle fibers do nothing and therefore – this is important – 70% of the fibers receive no stimulation to grow bigger or strengthen.
That’s the way muscles work. It’s been known for nearly a century and it’s simple to understand. Your body only uses the muscle fibers it needs to use and no more. This is the law of muscle fiber activation and it’s why we need to lift heavy weights if we want to stimulate as much of a target muscle as possible.
Muscles Must Be Stimulated In Order To Grow
The second critical concept is also very easy to understand. For this concept the analogy of the suntan is often invoked. Your skin has the ability to adapt to bright sunlight by growing darker. It will do this only if it must and only if the stimulation is sufficient. Sit under a shady tree or a car’s dome light and you get no tan. Everyone understands that.
Muscle also has the ability to adapt by growing bigger and thus stronger. But it will do so only if the stimulation is sufficient. Lift a relatively light weight and there is no need for your body to adapt. Lift a relatively heavy weight and you get stronger. And, just like the tan analogy, you can get slightly stronger (a bit of a tan) or maximally stronger (a very dark tan).
Stimulation is the indispensable condition. Studies at Harvard University proved that muscle grows even without testosterone, growth hormone, insulin and even food! Obviously, none of those is desirable, but the point is stimulation is the central issue if you want to build bigger, stronger muscles. In fact, even if you injected steroids, HGH and a bunch of the other misused and abused drugs into your body but did not lift weights, you would not grow new muscle.
OK, so far we know this.
a) Muscle will only grow if it is stimulated to grow.
b) The required stimulation is the use or activation of many muscle fibers.
c) The way we activate the most muscle fibers is by lifting the heaviest weights possible.
(Note to women. ‘Heaviest weight possible’ might be 20 lbs for you so please don’t be intimidated by what could be construed as macho talk. ‘Heavy’ is a relative term. So don’t go away, this training really will help you reach your weight and fitness goals.)
So far we don’t need any experts or professionals to understand that, right? And it meets the common-sense test; if you want to get stronger you need to lift weights that are heavier than you are used to lifting. And, your body will only adapt if it needs to adapt. Nothing controversial there.
Knowing a, b & c, How Can We Engineer a Better Workout?
We lift weights because muscle grows in response to high intensity overload. Just pumping your arm up and down all day won’t increase its muscle size or strength. But if you hold a heavy weight in your hand while you pump up and down, your muscle has to work at a higher rate of intensity…and that triggers new growth.
That’s easy to understand, right? So if you want to increase the size, strength and tone of, for example, your chest muscles…you’d do a high intensity chest exercise. But guess what? Nobody seems to know what exercises really deliver high intensity. Why can I say that? Because I actually measured the intensity of the ten most popular chest exercises and I know what intensity they really generate.
No other training method has hard facts like these to back it up. That's just one reason why magazines like Muscle & Fitness, Flex, Muscle Media, Martial Arts Training, Men's Journal and so many others have repeatedly hailed this training as "revolutionary."