Find out what is better than sets and reps for muscle growth. And yes, there is one cue that is highly more effective than making sure you hit a certain number when lifting weights.

3 sets of 12? Sounds good enough for most people. That is the typical number most people strive for, and that is because it’s not a bad idea to hit a specific muscle group with three sets and doing 12 reps. Honestly, it is not a bad approach.

However, some people might say that, for you to build muscle, maybe you want to increase the number of sets, or number of reps, or the weight you are lifting – again, these are all valid questions and factors that determine if you are progressing in the gym.

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However, there is one crucial element that overtakes all of these variables. We are not kidding here. Have you ever pondered what transpires when you invest in the expertise of a high-calibre coach for one-on-one guidance? Marcus Filly unravels the layers of premium coaching, revealing insights that may catch many by surprise. Marcus Filly is the creator, founder, and CEO of Functional Bodybuilding. He is a six-time CrossFit Games athlete (2016, 12th fittest) with decades of experience coaching and designing individual and group training programs.

Individuals who seek out a coach often arrive brimming with motivation, prepared to elevate their fitness journey to new heights. They are ready to delve into the depths of their potential, entrusting their aspirations to the guiding hand of a coach, eager to uncover the coveted ‘secret sauce’ of fitness success.

The majority of clients, as Marcus Filly elucidates, are not paying for some arcane knowledge or mysterious techniques. Instead, their investment is channelling them back to the core of success in fitness—the unyielding adherence to fundamentals.

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This is Better than Sets and Reps for Muscle Growth

In Marcus Filly’s coaching paradigm, the fundamentals are not mere stepping stones; they are the bedrock of fitness progress. He advocates for a meticulous and objective tracking regimen encompassing various crucial aspects. Nutrition is dissected into proteins, calories, and macros, urging clients to maintain a vigilant eye on their intake. Body progress monitoring transcends superficial observations, delving into photos, measurements, body weight, and composition, ensuring a multi-dimensional view of one’s physical evolution.

The rigour extends to training, where every lift, rep, set, and the intensity of effort is logged, providing a clear picture of one’s performance trajectory. Even beyond the confines of the gym, the tracking continues—monitoring steps and overall daily activity, along with the often-overlooked yet critical aspect of sleep, assessing both duration and quality.

the best indicator that you are making gains in the gym is not reps, sets, or weight lifting, but rather effort done.

A unique aspect of Marcus’s coaching is the emphasis on visual feedback. He encourages clients to film their training sessions, particularly the weightlifting segments, offering him a window into their execution and effort levels. This practice unveils nuances that might escape the unaided eye, enabling tailored guidance that pushes clients to their optimal performance edge.

This is why we at BOXROX have said many times over that training to failure is the best thing you can do to make sure you are training enough and making progress.

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The Visual Cues of Effort and Progress

Best Science Based Dumbbell Biceps Workout for Size and ShapeSource: Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels

Marcus Filly’s coaching eye discerns effort and potential in the nuanced details of a client’s workout. He analyzes the speed and form of the final reps, looking for signs of form failure or absolute exhaustion. The range of motion, particularly at the exercise’s sticking point, offers clues about an individual’s proximity to their limits. Even incomplete repetitions, or ‘bro reps,’ find their place in the assessment, revealing potential for growth and areas requiring focus.

Interestingly, Marcus integrates contemporary fitness dialogues, such as the benefits of lengthened partials, into his analysis, demonstrating a holistic approach to coaching that is both scientifically grounded and pragmatically flexible.

Empowering Clients with Knowledge and Tools

The crux of Marcus Filly’s methodology lies not just in rigorous tracking and observation but in empowering his clients with the knowledge to gauge their own effort and progress. He introduces them to the concepts of rate of perceived exertion (RPE) and repetitions in reserve (RIR), tools that enable individuals to self-assess their proximity to failure, fostering a deeper connection with their physical journey.

These tools, coupled with the objective evidence gathered from their training videos, equip clients with a comprehensive understanding of their effort levels, paving the way for consistent, measurable growth.

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Beyond the Fundamentals

Source: ŞULE MAKAROĞLU on Unsplash

Marcus Filly’s coaching philosophy underscores a profound truth in the realm of fitness—success is not hinged on secretive strategies or elusive techniques. Instead, it’s anchored in a steadfast commitment to the basics, coupled with an informed, introspective approach to one’s training journey. By demystifying the coaching process, he not only elevates his clients’ physical capabilities but also cultivates their autonomy, enabling them to navigate their fitness paths with confidence and clarity.

In essence, Marcus’s coaching transcends the mere act of guidance; it’s an educational odyssey that empowers individuals to become the architects of their own fitness destinies, underpinned by the timeless pillars of diligence, knowledge, and unwavering focus on the fundamentals.

Watch the video below of Marcus Filly to fully understand why effort is much better than sets and reps for muscle growth.

Read More: 5 Methods of Progressive Overload to Force Muscle Growth

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