The human body is an amazing piece of kit due to its ability
to adapt to new environments and stresses placed upon it. When you look at the
way we have evolved over the centuries depending on climate, the day to day
lifestyle the body had to go through and the difference between the genetics of
different races across the globe it is absolutely amazing! I may well be wrong,
however I don’t think it is any coincidence that generally the best sprinters
of the world are generally of afro-Caribbean origin, some of the best long
distance runners in the world are from African backgrounds and many of the
world’s strongest men are from Eastern European countries. This is not an
exclusive rule, but there are certainly strong themes across the globe in the
majority of sports. This article isn’t here to study the history of sport
though, instead it is going to try and show you to force your body to adapt. What
I mean by this is forcing the body to grow, gain lean muscle tissue simply by
applying the principles of forced adaptation.
What is forced adaptation?
This is simply the labelling of a process which means you
are placing your body under the necessary amount of stress which forces it to
adapt, usually in the direction you desire. For example, to increase strength
you lift heavier weights and continue to increase the weight over time which
forces the body to adapt. This is a very simply principle, yet many people fail
to apply it correctly.
This style of training is actually very similar to the
infamous HIT training system adopted by 6 times Mr Olympia, Dorian Yates. Intensity
is absolutely key because you have to push yourself beyond pain barriers to
force adaptation. Why? Simply because where you would normally fail is where
your body is currently comfortable with, if you want to make the muscle grow
you have to push it on further than it is used to – remember, intensity people!
Training techniques to force adaptation
Forced reps – forced
repetitions are something which I feel way to many people avoid doing. The first
hurdle they face is not wanting to go through that extra pain. As your muscle
has reached its failure point you will be in pain, now to do another 3-5 forced
reps with a training partner will take that level of pain to new heights! However,
by doing so the shock which you place upon your muscle will no doubt force the
muscle to grow. To begin with, try doing forced reps at the end of your last
set on each exercise.
Partial reps – so when
you fail and then you go through your forced reps it is time to try partials. Doing
5-10 controlled partial reps means that your target muscle is spending that
little bit longer under tension. This again allows you to take your muscle
beyond failure and force a state of growth upon your muscle.
Lift more – it isn’t
always necessary to pay great attention to the weights you are actually using,
but to force adaptation try and go heavier every other week! This only needs to
be by 2-3% and over time this will add up to a significant amount.
As the start of the article said, the principles of forced adaptation
are simple but they are not easy!