How to Build More Muscle with Less Time in the Gym
Trying to build muscle but not seeing the gains? Let's find out why- ditch your 1RM to grow visible muscle gain and strength!
October 27, 2023
Many of us go to the gym to get strong, build visible muscle, and shed body fat. However, sometimes we may not notice any significant difference with our training methods. Why is this? The answer may lie in how we work out and the weights we choose.
While there are many different methods to training and having noticeable physical changes, many use the 1RM method.
What is 1RM?
One repetition maximum in weight training is the maximum amount of weight that a person can possibly lift for one repetition. 1RM has been used to reach hypertrophy in weight training.
What is Hypertrophy?
Refers to an increase in muscular size achieved through exercise.
Do you need to do 1RM to reach hypertrophy? Not necessarily. Let’s look at how ditching your 1rm can benefit your fitness journey.
1. Load only matters to your ego
1RM implies to lift heavy until failure, however sometimes this won't benefit us. Heavier weights can result in quicker fatigue - meaning you won't be able to do as many reps with good form. This can cause our body to give up sooner and the impact of quicker fatigue may slow down our hypertrophy. By decreasing our weights, we can then do more reps with good technique to target the muscles we want to work.
2. Good technique is a broader concept
What do we mean by good technique? We generally mean body alignment and focus on correct muscles groups while lifting weights. You've heard us in the studio - "Are your shoulders staying down?, Is your core stacked and zipped?" Etc.
While there are form standards to body alignment with certain movements, there can different ways to move to get a big result. We want to train for muscles, meaning we want to focus on the quality of muscle contraction. It's all about targeting the right muscle at the right time. Not everyone may be targeting the same muscle with the same movement.
For example, you can elevate your heels to target your quads more. You could also change your torso in your split squat for a more quad or glute focus split squat. Training the right muscles, with appropriate weight, will result in noticeable muscle gain.
3. Time is short - body building is efficient
Slow and steady wins the race. This doesn't mean our workouts need to be drawn out and long or spend countless hours in the studio and gym.
We can shave a good percentage of time off our workouts by training for hypertrophy. Understanding the muscle we want to work, and spending less time prepping and drilling for complex movements, we can load appropriately, move to target the precise muscles groups, and utilize less rest time. By going in to our workouts with this kind of training, we will see bigger results in a shorter amount of time.
So, do we really need to utilize 1RMs to gain bigger muscle? It's an option, but not the only one. We can gain bigger muscles in shorter time by training with appropriate loads- minimizing fatigue and using better form, targeting the right muscle with body alignments, and by utelizing our time efficiently, we will see results appear before our eyes.