Change Exercise & Nutrient Strategies – Grow More Muscle, Part 2

20 07 2013
Task Specific Training for Muscle Growth Success

Task Specific Training for Muscle Growth Success

Click on Read Part 1, or cited article link, How to Grow Muscle Naturally, Part 1, below to get the full muscle growth and strength story.

Muscle growth is dependent upon protein synthesis [process in which cells build and repair themselves].  An adequate supply of essential amino acids is necessary to grow muscle and keep it in a good state of repair.  It is wise to ensure you consume a diet high in essential and nonessential amino acids for muscle during high intensity weight training cycles.  The mix of amino acid through proteins comes from a variety of whole foods: poultry/eggs, fish, beef, seafood, beans, nuts/seeds and dairy (Healthaliciousness 2013).

“The United States RDA is 0.8g/kg or 0.4g/lbs. This is 80g protein per day if you weigh 200lbs. But this recommendation is based on studies done on average, sedentary people.  The minimum if you train hard is 1g protein per pound of body-weight per day. That’s 200g daily protein if you weigh 200lbs. You’ll reach this amount easily by eating a whole protein source with each meal.”  (Mehdi 2009)

Professional body builders and athletes frequently consume three times that in food calories and supplements to grow muscle and increase strength.

Most Americans, unless you’re adverse to eating animal products get enough protein in the average diet. But this does not guarantee your getting all essential amino acids from the proteins you consume in a day.

Your body needs 20 total amino acids to build and repair muscles and tissues.  The nine essential amino acids are histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan and valine.”  If you are stressed or severely sick, you need to get dietary non-essential amino acids as well.  Non-essential amino acids, made by the body include alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, arginine, cysteine, glutamine, glycine, ornithine, proline, serine, tyrosine and glutamic acid.” Meat, dairy, eggs, poultry and seafood provide all nine essential amino acids and are known as complete proteins. (Coffman 2013)

If you do not eat seafood or animal-based foods, your diet is likely lacking in essential amino acids.  This is one reason power lifters supplement their diet with an amino acid or protein supplement drink or power bar.  By doing so ensures muscle tissue has adequate nutrients to optimize muscle growth and strength potential.

Their supplemental nutrients taken daily also often include a daily vitamin and mineral complex.  These are the staple nutrients necessary to ensure the bodies muscles can optimally repair and grow.

 Changing exercise strategy to grow more muscle,

Frequently switch up your exercises.  Don’t get stuck on the same routine week in and out.  Use a wide array of weight lifting equipment and target muscles you typically don’t train.  For instance, the bench press focuses on the mid-pectoral chest muscles, but it does not maximally stress the upper or lower pectoral muscles.  Be sure you’re adding an incline and decline chest exercise to round out the chest area (symmetrical).  After 72 hours when you work the chest again, use stationary bench press equipment, or dumbbells as opposed to the free weight bench press to perform similar chest exercises.

If you typically look the other way as you walk past a workout station… this should tell you, you have weak muscles that need work.  Many experienced bodybuilders never do the same workout twice.  How do you think natural body builders sustain their size for decades?  They work other supporting muscular structures that assist weakening muscle fiber.  In this way, if strength diminishes through the aging process; muscular bulk is maintained through other variations of less intense exercise activity.  It is possible to sustain muscle mass and not have great strength.  It’s really about how you train and set fitness goals.

Until the weakest muscles are worked, for example by varying the angles of the muscle group articulations it will be harder to optimize symmetrical muscle growth and overall strength-power.  Why’s that?  Because the muscular inter-tie and effort per muscle group is dependent on the weakest bundled muscle fibers that work in sync to achieve maximum muscle torque per grouping.

You’ve heard that team that work together win championships right.  The same is true of a body’s internal musculature groupings and forces.  The first place to visually observe an interlinking muscle grouping weakness can be seen in an outer appearing muscular symmetry beneath the skin.

So how do you view this to determine muscle group weaknesses?  Stand in front of a mirror and you’ll note the developing muscles vs. muscle depressions/or size differences from one arm or shoulder muscle, from the other side as an example.  The muscle groups required to compete cannot with an underdeveloped or depressed, undersized, or underdeveloped muscle grouping.

For example, if the bulk of your chest development resides within the mid chest and front shoulder areas, your upper and/or lower chest muscles will appear to be deflated or depressed.  If your goal is to win a national body building competition, or become a great fighter for example, how can you compete with the elite if muscle symmetry and/or full strength ROM (Range of Motion) per task specific body segments is underdeveloped?  Point and case, you’ll face competitive challenges.

When you pay attention to muscle development deficits, it makes it easier to take a corrective weight training (task specific) exercise action to keep the team of muscles within any muscle grouping symmetrically trained, especially if you plan to compete in competitive sports.

Can you train competitively without the steroids and growth hormones?

I don’t believe anabolic steroids should be allowed to create a performance advantage for competitive sports for ethical and health reasons.  But the fact is they are used by many professional athletes.  Note I said many, I didn’t say all.  I recommend you follow professional athletes that train muscle naturally if you want to steer clear of the unwanted health risks associated with anabolic supplements.

Does this mean that Growth Hormones and steroids have no medical use?  There is literature that makes good sense out of its use to benefit health and quality living experiences.  But it is only through a doctor’s care and treatment and when used correctly can provide a health benefit while minimizing health risk.

“Suzanne Somers states, Growth Hormone is one of the most studied compounds in medicine.  When growth hormone deficiency is present, growth hormone replacement therapy has widespread health benefits on quality of life, body composition, cognitive function, cardiovascular outcomes, bone density and exercise capacity.  Growth hormone replacement therapy has been studied with published results in major medical journals reporting on more than 100,000 patients.”   (Somers 2012)

It is the abusive and unnecessary overuse of steroids and growth hormones that skew the benefits vs. health risk.  In other words, science can find ways to keep us healthy longer, but ultimately it is man’s abuse, greed and vanity that seeks to deliver a performance shortcut and achieve a short-term competitive edge.  In using a pharmaceutical or supplemental product above and beyond its safe use throws blinds over impressionable eyes.  And in doing so delivers unwanted health consequences for too many of our young athletes.

If you want to gain strength and grow muscle safely, work for it by doing it naturally.  Working hard without the use of dangerous chemical short-cuts will reward your body by supporting a long-lived quality lifestyle.  If you suspect you need hormone therapy, ensure you consult with a doctor.  Or if your intent on using any type of steroid or growth hormone supplement, do yourself a favor, first read the article link below to learn more about them,  “GH-Hormone Stimulator the Fountain of Youth. ”

Works Cited,

Coffman, Melodie A. “Do You Need to Eat Essential Amino Acids Every Day?” Healthy Eating. Hearst Communications, Inc., n.d. Web. 17 June 2013. <;.

Healthaliciousness. “Top 10 Foods Highest in Protein.” Top 10 Foods Highest in Protein., 2013. Web. 17 June 2013. <;.

Mehdi. “Protein 101: How Much Do You Need & Best Sources of Protein | StrongLifts StrongLifts.” StrongLifts RSS., 25 May 2009. Web. 17 June 2013. <;.

Somers, Suzanne. “Human Growth Hormone Update.” Suzanne’s Blog., 5 June 2012. Web. 17 June 2013. <;.

Woodard, Marc T.  How to Grow Muscle Naturally, Part 1.  Mirror Athletes Fitness Secrets., 18 June. 2012. Web. 20 July 2013. 

Woodard, Marc T.   GH-Hormone Stimulator the Fountain of Youth.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets. 3 Feb. 2012. Web. 17 June 2013. Elixir?


Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, CPT, MSC ARNG Retired.  2013 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @:,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

Muscle Growth Using Task Specific Training is Powerful Knowledge

23 11 2011

Task Specific Training for Muscle Growth Success

It has long been the practice for athletes and body builders, when conditioning muscle “regardless of fitness goals,” the repetitions per set would be in the ranges of 4-15 reps per body part.  And to vary the repetition range and weights within each set would set the foundation for the greatest muscle mass and endurance gains.  The exercise physiology behind muscle growth shows us that 4-8 reps per set will stimulate strength while growing and bulking muscle.  While 9-20 reps (and greater) per set will stimulate muscle for greater endurance and body building symmetry.  And while knowing this information, learning how to apply it toward task specific fitness goals to competitively excel above others is the challenge.

Body builders and athletes for years have been using various types of “high speed low drag” practices to build muscle mass, strengthen and tone the body.  In many cases, novice followers attempt to understand these practices and duplicate the results.  Many tend to over train and train without variation of exercise and use incorrect technique that also risks injury.  When these bad practices occur repeatedly, capitalizing on the effort spent in the gym does not yield the expected results.

Exercise performed repeatedly without the right workout modulation, “work and recovery time” does not allow the muscle to “self correct” its muscle memory course to greater gains when work effort to body is not commanded correctly by the brain.

Simply stated, if you continue to apply the 4-15 repetition rule using essentially the same poundage, per repetitive set each day, your muscle can not be stimulated in a way to further activate muscle growth, strength and/or make significant endurance gains for lack of memory to do so.  The physical and mental body must be connected to stimulate and yield the physical results you seek.

When you stick to a strict repetition/weight training rule, you then begin to stick to an exercise conditioning program that doesn’t change your desired fitness outcome.  Stimulation of the muscular neural highway becomes very dependent on the brain’s central nervous system to hyper activate its psyche for further physical performance gains.  And in order to do this requires focus to work more intensely, while conditioning the body to fatigue during each set, for each muscle group.

So the question now becomes, how do you psych the mindset to “self correct muscle memory” for greater enhancement of the working muscles?  You must train yourself to change your routine frequently.  This technique yields a higher motivational effort each time you work the body.  The motivational mindset regardless of physical work must also focus intently to continue supercharging the electrical signals to working muscle.

And in changing your routine, you will want to consider adding in cross-training activities such as swimming, jogging, walking, hiking racquetball, etc.  This will provide variation in your daily routine, which is also something to consider incorporating into your days of rest.  Cross-training activities have a way of stimulating the motivational centers of the brain to muscle memory connection for the greater good of the fitness goal.  But if you incorporate a cross-training activity on a day of rest, you would serve your mind, body and spirit well “not” to work your body too hard.  Make it a fun day and enjoy yourself.

But only through knowledge of understanding task specific training, cross-training, muscle fatigue, and proper rest-recovery principles, then one can excel and rise above “any” physical challenge.

This is why when you focus on task specific conditioning like walking, or jogging the motivational electrical stimulus to endure this type of activity does not require the same motivational “mindset” stimulus that is required of heavy squats, or sprinting.  Regardless of whether you want to build huge python arms, or become a world body builder, or a professional football player; apply task specific conditioning principles with intense focus and you’ll see positive muscle growing results.

Task specific conditioning means, if you condition muscle groups to become a competitive body builder for example, this does not mean you’ll become a competitive NFL tackle.  Why?  Because to become competitive within either aspiration will require training “uniquely” for the task specific activity, or event that muscle memory is required to compete.

Also, one must consider there is no guarantee that one’s genetic physical build will yield the right balance of metabolic tissue composition “in any muscle grouping,” or to tolerate a chosen physical work stress.  This is true even when a balanced fitness conditioning program is applied.  If the latter is the case, this does not mean you should quit the competitive game; rather you would likely excel at another fitness goal.  Although many have aspired to replicate Hulk Hogan’s or Arnold Schwarzenegger’s physiques not all are genetically coded to do so.

Every one of us has the physical ability to develop muscle to become competitive at any age.  It’s more a matter of finding a passion complementary to your strengths that motivates one to become competitive.  And if you can find what you’re good at while enjoying the activity, you can excel at it if this is your desire.

Another good example of task specific training; if you’re training to become a competitive biker you need to train on the bike you’d be racing.  If you’re spending most of your time in the gym using a stationary bike and weight lifting equipment, your chances of placing in the actual bike race event is not good. Why?  The muscle memory becomes conditioned for stationary equipment, not road resistance and atmospheric conditions.

In this case, the “partially” conditioned muscle memory and psyche become disconnected during the actual bike race event if you train mostly indoors. The brain to muscle stimulation electrically is not trained to fire muscle maximally throughout the competitive event.  If you don’t train mostly on the actual bike and on environmental road surface, it’s like running your car with low tire pressure; you don’t get the same traction.

So how would one train to condition muscle fiber to stimulate muscle growth, tone, strengthen and improve muscle condition to achieve a competitive fitness goal?  Regardless of whether you want to grow the biggest biceps, or become a competitive runner, walker, hockey, football, baseball, or basketball player, etc., knowing how to condition muscle maximally for any event or fitness goal will depend on knowing how to vary training technique for each muscle group.

Case and point:  When considering a weight lifting program:  Training to failure may require you to change your 8-12 repetitions per endurance exercise activity to fall more into the variable range of 12-20 reps.    This is especially true if you’ve not changed up your weights and your 8-12 repetitions don’t work your muscles to failure.  And if you’re truly working towards a muscle endurance-sculpture goal, 12+ reps per set “to failure” must be your fitness exercise goal to yield the results you seek.

The lower the repetitions per strength exercise set will mean heavier use of weights within the following ranges (4-8 reps/set).  This low range will grow muscle and increase strength if your last repetition is to failure per each set.  The higher the repetitions per set (12-20 reps/set) will require lowering the weights to complete the high rep end/set to condition muscle for muscle toning and endurance.  And to reach the maximum muscle benefit will require the last repetition be done to failure and muscle fatigue is realized.

This means it is very difficult to complete the last repetition.  It is wise to have a spotter to assure you don’t get stuck and hurt yourself using free weight equipment during your training sessions.  And you should not seek to complete any more repetitions “even with a spot” after extreme muscle fatigue.  To do so would overwork muscle and risk possible injury!

When you hit that end rep count per set, the muscle should be fatigued.  If not, your training is not intense enough and your muscle memory to maximize growing muscle strength and/or endurance will stall.  And in training, you must choose exercise sets to train for task specific activity that will condition you to failure with each set, or activity event.  If you condition your body to muscle failure, muscle will be trained with high electrical brain stimulus which will keep muscle conditioned for task and you will be more competitive during an actual event.

When your training becomes routine without variation in frequency, duration, or intensity; the drive to push yourself to failure stalls for lack of mental stimulation and muscle memory disconnect.  And low motivation will ignite an equivalent electrical signal stimulus to working muscle.  This is what stalls many athletes’ that want to increase their competitive game.  Finding a long-term conditioning program that trains to optimally boost muscle memory stimulation is the name of the game.

There are a lot of training techniques out there on how to grow and strengthen muscle.  But you also must be aware that when you train muscle to fatigue, you must also allow enough time to rest before you work the same muscle groups again.  The rest periods vary amongst the professional fitness think tanks.  But a winning consensus appears to be, give each muscle group (legs, calves, arms, chest, back, abs, shoulders) at least 48hours before you fatigue them again.  And other professional sports and body builders will tell you to wait 72 hours before working the same muscle grouping.

Why is this?  You’ll end up over training and then muscle will weaken, growth-strength will be compromised, which can also put you at risk of injury.  The 1-2 day rest rule is dependent on what fitness task specific goal and competitive event you want to participate in.

If you want to learn more about task specific training and training techniques to grow-strengthen, tone, increase muscle endurance and rest training cycles etc., you can find much more information through any Internet search engine.

What should take away from this information?  To get out of stalled muscle building routine you must change your daily repetition/set and exercise activity to vary with more focus and intensity to muscle failure per exercise set.  You must also build in enough rest time throughout the week while not doing back-to-back similar routines.  And while doing these things, remember to incorporate cross-training activities that compliment your overall competitive fitness strategy.  These techniques will stimulate muscle memory to fire muscle fiber using all 8 cylinders.  If you train this way, your muscle growth, endurance and strength goals “will not” stall, you’ll prevent injury and you’ll maintain a competitive edge above others.


Woodard, M.T., Science Proves Exercise Alone May Promote Weight Gain, October 2009, Science Proves Exercise Alone May Promote Weight Gain.

Mejia, M., Men’s Health.  October, 2005,

McCarrell  Jeff.  S.A.I.S Mass-Building Routine, November, 2002,

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET. 2011 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @:,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.