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Form Friday: The 3 Mechanisms of Muscle Growth & Biceps Curls Done Right!


Have you ever wondered, "why" we do "what" we do at PFT? Is there a method to the madness?!!! You bet your core of steel and sweet biceps peaks there is!

When it comes to building muscle, there are three proven mechanisms for hypertrophy (enlargement of muscle tissue). All of which, can work together to build that jaw dropping, knee buckling and well earned aesthetic masterpiece.

Let's take a look at each one below and how they play into our overall strategy at Pure Form PFT.

Mechanical Tension: Skeletal muscle is highly responsive to alterations in mechanical loading. This is where you create maximal tension through the muscle tissues, by using the heaviest load (weight) possible (with proper form) for the prescribed amount of time or repetitions. Simply put, this means BIG WEIGHTS YO!!

PFT Strategy: Think "Meat Head Fridays" and sets where we are using 5 reps and/or shorter timed periods. This allows for a heavier load to be used.

Metabolic Stress: Exercise-induced accumulation of metabolites, lactate, cell swelling, etc. This mechanism is stimulated during longer timed sets; putting more stress on the muscle tissues by increasing time under tension.

PFT Strategy: Think longer duration sets, ISO Wednesday's, etc. where you create maximal burn and stress in the targeted muscles. These days, lighter loads will be used to compensate for the extended time under tension. Hello Awesome Pumps and "Smedium" Shirts!!

Muscle Damage: Exercise-induced muscle damage can be caused by a variety of factors, such as intensity of training, experience of training, new stimulus, etc. However, it's highly correlated with eccentric training (slower negatives/lowering of load). It's also closely linked to delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). That 3rd day can't get out of bed feeling!!

PFT Strategy: Rotated training protocols and workouts (new stimulus) every 4 weeks. Also, if you find yourself between dumbbell sizes, this would be a good time to use momentum (with proper form) to cheat the load up and then control the negative on the way down. This will overload the eccentric portion of the lift and allow you to get stronger.

All three of these mechanisms (Mechanical Tension, Metabolic Stress, Muscle Damage) married together; will allow you to maximize hypertrophy and get those ever elusive GAINZZ!!

Now...with that being said, at PFT we are all about "Pure Form". Without it, none of the above works and risk of injury is greatly increased.

So in this week's "Form Check Friday", we are breaking down the mechanics of the biceps curl. Why the biceps curl?...Cause...biceps are AWESOME!!

Mechanics of a Proper Biceps Curl:

Isolated Function of the Biceps (Concentric Action):
Elbow flexion, supination of the radioulnar joint, shoulder flexion

Cues to maximize this exercise:

  • Don't think about curling the weight up, think about moving the weight forward (for the first half of the rep) and backward (for the second half of the rep.
  • Focus on closing the gap between your forearm and biceps Minimize movement of the upper arm. The majority of the movement should occur at the elbows NOT the shoulders. (Keep your shoulders down and elbows back) Do your best to keep your wrists neutral (not curled up).
  • Let's face it, we all love walking around with some sleeve busting and/or slim & trim guns. It just plain feels better!! Follow these cues and you'll be well on your way to making the arms of your dreams a reality.

Well that's all folks! Just know, at PFT we always have a reason (well almost always, sometimes we do just go crazy) for the training we have you do. The methods are proven and designed to all build together, culminating with a hard earned and well functioning body.

#BetterEveryDay #PFTfamily #PFTlifestyle

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Wednesday, 26 February 2020

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