T Nation

Muscle Recovery and Protein Synthesis

(i apologize from the begining for bad english)

*Also I 'd like to inform you that i am talking for muscle gains and not strength gains…Sure you can train more frequently if your target is pure strength

Here we go :
Ok imagine a typical day in the gym… You go there and do your thing in order to cause microtrauma (if thats the right name). From now on muscle growth occurs thanks to protein synthesis which lasts for 48-72 hours (maximum). What’s the reason for waiting longer till you smash that same muscle again? Is there anything else needs to be done apart from protein synthesis to cause muscle growth?

[quote]loukiss wrote:
(i apologize from the begining for bad english)

*Also I 'd like to inform you that i am talking for muscle gains and not strength gains…Sure you can train more frequently if your target is pure strength

Here we go :
Ok imagine a typical day in the gym… You go there and do your thing in order to cause microtrauma (if thats the right name). From now on muscle growth occurs thanks to protein synthesis which lasts for 48-72 hours (maximum). What’s the reason for waiting longer till you smash that same muscle again? Is there anything else needs to be done apart from protein synthesis to cause muscle growth?[/quote]

If a muscle is fully recovered, there is no reason to wait any longer.

However people wait longer for several reason…

-Certain muscles are trained indirectly while others are being targeted, so you are never really training just one muscle at a time.
-With that point taken into account some people find it better to get a good workout in training with one specific muscle in mind per workout. So an example would be having a shoulder day and a chest day. Both work the same muscles to some degree in each workout, but the actual deltoid would get hit harder on shoulder day, and chest on chest day and obviously you wouldn’t be training these muscles back to back because triceps, deltoids and chest are being worked with each one of those pushing sessions.
-People don’t have the time to spend hours of the day in the gym. If someone works and has a family he/she may only be able to spend 45-60 minutes tops in the gym, and that’s not enough for multiple muscles.

My suggestion, make your split based on this;

Pick a program that hits your muscles as frequently as possible where once a muscle is recovered it does not have extended periods of time before it’s trained again. Base this off of your schedule, if you don’t have much time to train, you might have a few extra unnecessary days off but that’s life.

For me, I train everything two times per week.

^Share your split puuulease

[quote]chobbs wrote:
^Share your split puuulease[/quote]

I have a very easy schedule and room for a lot of free time so keep that in mind.

It’s a simple split, but I differentiate exercises and emphasize different things workout to workout.

Back/Bicep
Chest/Tricep Morning - Deltoids Evening
Legs
Rest
Repeat

Cardio, 6-7 days a week 45-60 minutes. 2-3 HIIT sessions a week and the rest is LISS.

Should mention I’m going to get shredded hence the cardio. I wouldn’t be doing that much with big muscle gains in mind.

I like that split alot, but I just have to have my weekly split for academic reasons. Good split though

Austin’s got it right. Well said.

That said, if your schedule allows, train a muscle as soon as its healed. I got good results (great actually) with doing concentrated loading for weak points with some of my clients (trained back 3 days in a row). A muscle heals extremely quickly IF you give it the right amount nutrients and some blood flow to pump them in.

The BIG roadblock outside of getting nutrients in is the nervous system fatigue. If you can avoid nervous system faitgue, then you can essentially train as often as you like for whatever nuscles you want. Schedule allowing of course.

[quote]chobbs wrote:
I like that split alot, but I just have to have my weekly split for academic reasons. Good split though[/quote]

I got a nice schedule at school, I’ll be adjusting a little when classes start, but my day is over at 245 pm everyday except Monday’s when I have a night class. Things will change when/if I begin a job, but I have the time for sick workout this year.

thanks guys for your help! really appreciate it !

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
The BIG roadblock outside of getting nutrients in is the nervous system fatigue. If you can avoid nervous system faitgue, then you can essentially train as often as you like for whatever nuscles you want. [/quote]

sir could you explain that a bit? an example or something more simple? :smiley:

how does nerve system fatique and how can i avoid it?

[quote]loukiss wrote:
thanks guys for your help! really appreciate it !

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
The BIG roadblock outside of getting nutrients in is the nervous system fatigue. If you can avoid nervous system faitgue, then you can essentially train as often as you like for whatever nuscles you want. [/quote]

sir could you explain that a bit? an example or something more simple? :smiley:

how does nerve system fatique and how can i avoid it?[/quote]

Aragorn can probably explain more scientifically than I can, but I know a thing or two.

Lifting heavy loads is a function of the nervous system. As your nervous system grows stronger allowing you to recruit more muscle fibers you’ll lift heavier.

Lifting low reps and max reps and training to failure on a very frequent basis is what will fatigue your nervous system.

Prime example of why you won’t get stronger doing a 1 rep max every workout and will eventually digress in strength.

Also a reason why they have periodization programs (start “light,” build up to a new 1 rep max over 12 weeks or whatever.)

If you were going to hit a muscle 3 days in a row, I wouldn’t be doing low reps and I would not be training to failure.

hmm nice there mate think you ve explained it pretty good actually

actually i am on push pull legs 2x since today

gonna do some rest pausing method with progressive overload method via more weight or more reps…(always trying to beat your 10RM and make it 12RM)…also could you explain this to me : Failure is reaching a point where you cant complete a rep (for example 50% is what you got and then you couldnt grind anymore) or when you complete a full rep and you are 100% sure that the next rep is not going to be completed so you stop there? Thought it was the second but i see many people are talking about failure when they are trying to complete the rep and they cant while describing the second version i reffered to as “1 rep before failure”… what should i follow from now on?

Austin is pretty much dead on. And yes, loukiss, since you mention daily training for strength in your original post, that’s largely a function of CNS fatigue governing that. But it can work well if you manage things for muscle growth as well.

And yeah, in my example of doing back 3 days in a row, it definitely was NOT low rep lol. It went basically: morning-heavy, night-light/isolation, morning-rowing for active recovery and activation, Night–light depending on the athlete’s readiness, very very occatsionally heavy, 3rd day was generally morning-rowing, night–isolation or heavy

Only one heavy day in there, things switched up depending on the gal’s readiness, but overall it was heavy, light, rowing, light, rowing, heavy or light.

But that’s beside the main point. Regarding CNS fatigue, there are several things to keep in mind. It’s a sort of in depth and complicated subject to really delve into, but there are a few good guidelines that can really make things understandable and allow you to make good decisions in a general way:

  1. There are two primary kinds of exercises that fatigue the nervous system most are: compound exercises, but very specifically the ones with spinal loading: squats, deadlifts, good mornings. The others are really heavy explosive exercises like clean and jerk, and snatch. This is not to be confused with snatches done as a warm-up, or dumbbell snatches for back work–I am talking about them as main lifts in your focus. GENERAL RULE OF THUMB: the more muscles an exercise uses and the more it loads the spine, the more it has the POTENTIAL to fatigue the nervous system. So, deadlifts = squats > bench > overhead press > isolation stuff… you get the idea. Or competitive olympic lifts done really heavy

  2. The intensity levels that fatigue the nervous system most–regardless of the exercise-- are: max strength (90-100% of your 1 rep max), then 85+%

  3. The types of repetitions that fatigue the nervous system most are: FAILING A REPETITION!!, Forced reps, grinding reps (where the weight moves really slowly and you’re almost at failure but somehow manage to barely get the rep completed), drop sets to failure.

  4. the OVERALL GUIDING PRINCIPLE THAT DETERMINES YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM FATIGUE LEVEL IS: how close and how often you are training to your maximum capabilities in terms of heavy weight.

Think of it on a gradual slide—the more frequently you train an exercise, the less often you can fail a repetition or do forced reps, or grind a repetition out. Basically, the more frequently you train an exercise, the farther away from failure you have to be to successfully keep that frequency. Conversely the less often you train something, the more balls-out you can go: forced reps, beyond failiure, grinding, drop sets, the works.

This is why somebody only training squats once a week (or legs once a week), can absolutely trash themselves, but is incapable of doing it 2 or 3 times a week. This is also how olympic lifters can build big legs squatting 4-6 times a week for months on end: they’re on opposite ends of the slide.

Generally, working a lift or muscle group 2 times a week still allows you to do a lot in terms of pushing the fatigue levels, coming close to failure, some drop sets on occasion, etc. Working a muscle 3 or more times a week, not so much. 4 times a week or more you better not fail or grind a repetition out, you need to be powerful on all repetitions and not fail.

Working the higher rep ranges and staying away from failure allows you to do a lot of frequency on isolation exercises: I can successfully do 6-8 sets of back work every single time I set foot in the gym, so 5-6 times a week. I can’t fail a rep, but it works very well. On the other hand if I were to try that with squats it would be brutally difficult. Compound whole body lifts like squats need to be farther away from your failure limit than smaller isolation exercises like lat pulldowns for very frequent work.

This is pretty much like Jazz–there’s lots of rules that all apply MOST of the time–except for the exceptions when they don’t–and you can break them if you know what you are doing. If you don’t know what you are doing, you need to stay within the rules and just not try to make yourself an exception to be okay.

[quote]loukiss wrote:
hmm nice there mate think you ve explained it pretty good actually

actually i am on push pull legs 2x since today

gonna do some rest pausing method with progressive overload method via more weight or more reps…(always trying to beat your 10RM and make it 12RM)…also could you explain this to me : Failure is reaching a point where you cant complete a rep (for example 50% is what you got and then you couldnt grind anymore) or when you complete a full rep and you are 100% sure that the next rep is not going to be completed so you stop there? Thought it was the second but i see many people are talking about failure when they are trying to complete the rep and they cant while describing the second version i reffered to as “1 rep before failure”… what should i follow from now on?[/quote]

Failure is the first case. I would stop 1-2 before failure on your current scheme.

you guys are awsome very good answers

@Aragorn you devoted some time there to explain me 100% of the thing going on … appreciate it for real mate you rock …

Strange thing though… I am not a beginner (likely an intermediate)and i cant understand why my topic was transferred to the Beginners section from bodybuilding… i think my question is pretty logic and every1 that is on 1xweek body split frequency should start wondering (except non naturals)… anyway…

will propably shoot one more thread here about that program i started , to get your opinions too :smiley:

[quote]loukiss wrote:
you guys are awsome very good answers

@Aragorn you devoted some time there to explain me 100% of the thing going on … appreciate it for real mate you rock …

Strange thing though… I am not a beginner (likely an intermediate)and i cant understand why my topic was transferred to the Beginners section from bodybuilding… i think my question is pretty logic and every1 that is on 1xweek body split frequency should start wondering (except non naturals)… anyway…

will propably shoot one more thread here about that program i started , to get your opinions too :D[/quote]

No worries man, glad I could do something useful. The mods do seemingly confusing things at times, like moving the thread, but it’s all good. I personally hate 1x a week splits.