simple and straightforward way to know how much growth a muscle has
A simple and straightforward way to know how much growth a muscle has.
When we ask ourselves why certain muscles or muscle groups grow more slowly as a result of training, compared to others, the impulse is to blame the composition of the muscle fibers in that muscle. Muscles that have more fast-responding muscle fibers grow a little easier, and conversely, those with more slow-responding muscle fibers grow harder.
But what if there are other factors that play an important role in muscle growth? It's about something you can diagnose instantly without the need for any special equipment.
That's what Andrew Huberman, a professor at Stanford Medical School, suggests. Here's what it says: "Go mentally all over your body and see if you can tense your muscles independently. For example, if you're sitting on a chair or standing, see if you can contract (tense) your calf muscles."
Huberman believes that the ability or inability to isolate and tighten your muscles is a good predictor of how effectively you will build strength and size in that muscle. It's all about the neurons that control the voluntary movements and contractions of the muscles.
Continuing the example of tightening the legs, Huberman says that the ability to tighten the muscles of the legs strongly, to the point where you almost feel cramps and a little pain, indicates that you have good neural control over these muscles, and you have decent potential. to increase their strength and mass, if you train them properly.
Conversely, if you can't properly stretch your legs or any other muscles or muscle group, it will be difficult for you to develop them.
What is old is new again
What Huberman suggests is not a new concept at all. 100 years ago, a German strongman named Maxick attributed much of his success to his fine muscle control. He said of this practice that it is "the ability to have the will to tighten certain muscles while relaxing the antagonistic (opposite) muscles."
As Huberman suggested, Maxick mentally traversed his entire body and tensed every muscle along the way. He believed that this ability contributed to his impressive strength and muscular development.
Maxick is the father of this system, but many other famous strongmen have used it.
Indeed, I have muscles that I can barely contract voluntarily (such as the chest). On top of that, those muscle groups are the most stubborn when it comes to strength and growth.
The question is, what would happen if I mentally practiced to strain them? I'll probably get better at tightening them up, but will that translate into bigger increases in strength and size?
That's what Maxick thought, that's what Huberman suggests, and it's an easy experience for me and anyone who wants to try. After all, we have nothing to lose!