This series of articles (March – April 2015) covers the science of muscle development for physique transformation, and the coupling of technology with new training techniques for faster gains. Each article slowly builds upon the information from the previous)
The brick example and the work (or earning rate) in the last post can be related to the gym such that the more money you earn would be similar to the more muscle-growth you “earn”. As promised, we will now relate this more directly to your training in the gym. Consider – where a pro athlete might do 12 repetitions with 100kg for 4 sets – their total work is 12 x 100 x 4 = 4,800 kg-reps. If they do this in 8 minutes, their Work rate is 600 kg-reps per minute.
If, in the same 8 minutes, you lift 10 reps x 50kg for 3 sets, your Work is 10 x 50 x 3 = 1,500 kg-reps. And since it took 8 minutes, your work rate is just under 200 kg-reps pre minute (compared to their 600).
It’s not quite as straight forward as in the simple calculations above. We can clarify it here and show where technology can help you.
A recap of our brick analogy with more detail on the “earning rate” scenario will help clarify the concept of peak muscle overload: (please bear with me as I expand a little more on the earning rate analogy and then tie it across to your muscle growth – it will all fall into place by the end of this article – this concept is important to understand how to achieve peak stimulus on your entire muscle system, which, we have seen earlier, has been missing potential growth as we left “half the data on the table” as explained earlier).
If you’re employed to move the pile of bricks and paid on your effectiveness, your earnings and bank balance (the growth of your muscle) is now dependent upon:
- If you only move one brick at a time, your rate is very slow.
- The more you can move at any time means the greater earning rate (work rate).
- However, if you try to move a massive load and then have to rest after a few steps, then pick up the pile again and take a few more steps before resting again – you may also reduce your earnings.
- You therefore need to find the number of bricks that you can move each trip, to maximise the number you can move in any given time – i.e. at a good work rate and not having to rest too frequently which lowers your overall rate.
- It’s best for you to take on jobs that suit your maximum capacity where you can work at a high rate and be effective – then, after a suitable rest, take on a similar job.
So how do we really do this?
What would you measure now?
It’s clear that you simply don’t measure the number of bricks moved. Again, imagine if it took you a year to move the pile when others can do it in 1 week.
You would now need to take into account:
- If you pick up too many bricks and then have to rest after a few steps, your work rate appears high at first, but drops considerably while you are resting. Each time you put the load down, you are not achieving anything and your value is dropping.
- If you pick up a small load of bricks, you may cope more easily, but again, your earning rate is low.
- You need to ideally see which loads allow you to work at maximum capacity and get the work done quickly.
This analogy can now be related back to the gym.
A weight that is too heavy such that you have to “rest” between reps (i.e. lock out the elbow on bench press or lock out the knees on squats) means that you aren’t effective in that time and the set will take longer to complete (your work rate is dropping).
On the other end, a weight that is too light might mean that you can do more reps, but again the rate of work is low so it takes too long to get the work completed.
The calculations to find your peak work rate and stress on the muscle are very complex and time consuming to calculate.
Technology turns complicated into simple
We need technology to uncomplicated things.
- Smart watches with in-built accelerometers can measure how you do each repetition – are you losing effectiveness in part of the rep where you are not under load?
- Smart-phones can take the information from the smart-watch accelerometer and act like a computer, performing thousands of calculations per second.
- The program in the “computer” can calculate your work rate – including taking into account whether you are “resting” between reps.
- They can calculate the best load where you work at a high rate (the weight of the bricks and how many you should carry).
- They can calculate the optimal weight and rep range (the number of bricks to carry and the distance to carry them) – so you only pick the “jobs” where you work at a high rate
- They then optimise the rest periods for you to maximise the effectiveness of all sets combined (i.e. the rests between carrying the brick piles between the two points without reducing the work rate) The technology can “learn” for each of your exercises, the best rest periods for any given TUT (hence set duration) – in order to maximise the total stimulus on the muscle system
- The total number of sets – i.e. the size of the job or number of bricks that is best for any given distance and brick-weight.
The technology in AMP Your Workout takes it one step further using a kind of AI (Artificial Intelligence). The program in your computer (phone) can learn more about you each job you do (each workout) and find the best jobs for highest earnings (workout styles for quickest gains). This is done by storing the analysis of All of your workouts (every repetition, every fraction of a second, every workout) for All exercises for each muscle and then referring to that data every time you train – to predict and guide you to the most effective workout “combinations”.
AMP Your Workout is the a breakthrough in training science, combining the latest technology that is readily available (smart phones and watches) so that you can track ALL the aspects of your workouts that stimulate muscle (increase your effectiveness) and use the artificial intelligence within AMP Your Workout to guide you to the optimal workouts for your genetics.
AMP Your Workout Smart Tips
The takeaway messages from this article are:
- Simply recording your workout sets, reps and weights leaves half of the data (and your potential muscle gains) on the table. There’s so much more to it than just sets, reps and weights. You need to look at time, rest time and effective force to determine the effective Work Rate – and then analyse the data to optimise (find the peak parameters) to achieve optimal results.
- Monitoring the other important variables (TUT per rep, load work effectiveness per rep, rest time between sets) is impossible without technology operating and monitoring at tenths of a second
- The calculations to find your peak work rate and stress on the muscle are very complex and time consuming to calculate – the AMP Your Workout technology can be used to overcome this.
- AMP Your Workout takes it one step further using AI to find workout styles for quickest gains. Only a computer system with sophisticated database and data-analysis capability can review your entire workout history and “predict” the best combination for you within seconds.
For more information, visit AMP Your Workout.com. AMP Your Workout provides the latest technology to optimise training and match it to our genetic strengths – for faster results.