5 Tips for Building Muscle in the Winter

For dedicated lifters, the fall and winter months are known as growing season. With the increased presence of calorie-dense foods around the holidays, it’s the perfect time to add quality muscle mass to the frame. Doing so will not only make leaning out much easier but will reveal an even more impressive physique when summer rolls around. To take advantage of this prime muscle-building time of year, you should follow a few guiding principles for optimal results.

Focus on Compound Movements

Heavy, compound movements that simultaneously recruit several muscle groups should be the foundation of a building routine. They develop explosive power and strength while taxing the fast-twitch muscle fibers. You should include squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead press, and rows in varying forms. These add mass to the most prominent muscles in the body while developing the smaller stabilizers. They are also metabolically demanding, allowing for higher caloric consumption to further fuel new tissue growth.

Use Shorter Rest Periods

While heavy, compound movements may require extended rest periods than accessory exercises, keeping the rest periods shorter is essential to growth. When aiming for substantial strength gains, rest periods should be quite long to allow for full nervous system recovery. Size gains, however, require much shorter rest periods, along with substantial poundage. This thoroughly stimulates both slow and fast twitch muscle fibers and encourages new growth.

Incorporate Drop Sets

You can seamlessly incorporate drop sets into compound exercises. This adds volume to the workout, further activating fast and slow twitch muscle fibers and stimulating new growth. While the training session should focus on heavier movements, once you perform those sets, you can reduce the weight. You can also execute the same exercise with a lighter weight to further fatigue the muscle.

Include Tempo Training

While heavy movements focus more on fast-twitch fibers, tempo training focuses on slow-twitch fibers. One can implement this type of training with a lighter weight and focus more on the eccentric aspect of the lift. Since this portion of each movement typically takes a backseat, developing the muscles to better handle a slower tempo may increase muscle strength and size.

Perform Low-Intensity Cardio

While it may not be the most exciting or adrenaline-inducing type of training, cardio is essential for the development of the vascular system. This system is the delivery mechanism for the body’s blood, oxygen, and nutrients. Without a highly developed vascular system, the body cannot deliver nutrients to the muscle tissue. This makes it virtually impossible to gain appreciable size and strength. Including a few low-intensity cardio sessions per week will keep the vascular system functioning optimally, allowing for increased tissue growth and repair.

Don’t let bulking seasons pass you by! Titanz Fitness offers:

  • Group fitness
  • Strength training
  • Boot camp
  • TRX training
  • Weight loss
  • Competition coaching
  • Personal training

Our Smyrna fitness center has all you need to take advantage of the upcoming winter training season. Contact us today to discuss your training efforts with a personal fitness expert!

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