In many of our programs, including the new Anabolic Reload Mass Workout, we emphasize stretch movements. Fiber elongation against resistance is one of the keys to freaky muscle size due to the addition of sarcomeres in series…
We often reference the bird-wing study by Jose Antonio, Ph.D., et al., that produced incredible muscle size increases. For the uninitiated, here’s what he said about it:
I performed the study using the stretch model. I used a progressive-overload scheme whereby the bird was initially loaded with a weight equal to 10 percent of its weight followed by increments of 15 percent, 20 percent, 25 percent and 35 percent of its weight. Using this approach produced the greatest gains in muscle mass ever recorded in an animal or human model of tension- induced overload, up to 334 percent increase in muscle mass with up to a 90 percent increase in fiber number!
Recently a new study has emerged that verifies stretch-overload as a significant get-bigger trigger…
Stretch training induces unequal adaptation in muscle fascicles and thickness in medial and lateral gatrocnemii [Scand J Med Sci Sports, Jan 30, 2017]
It was the calf muscles that were stretched against resistance for bouts during a six-week period. Muscle thickness increased by 5.6%. And remember, that was with ONLY stretch stimulation.
Our favorite hypertrophy researcher, Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D., had this to say about the study…
Studies in animals have shown that loaded stretch is a potent stimulus for muscle growth, most notably shown by the early work of Jose Antonio…. [But] this is the first study I’m aware to show that a relatively modest loaded stretching protocol produces significant hypertrophy in humans.
An interesting finding here was that at least some of the growth was due to the addition of sarcomeres in series (as opposed to in parallel growth, which is predominant in traditional training protocols). The authors speculated that muscle damage was a driving force in the growth process.
As we discuss in Anabolic Reload, stretch moves produce unique microtrauma for another layer of growth. That’s why muscle stretch is one the 3 key hypertrophy triggers you should emphasize for freaky muscle growth. In other words…
Include muscle elongation for massive size stimulation!
For a look at the latest hypertrophy studies along with a complete “ultimate-mass” program that incorporates that research, check out the new Anabolic Reload Mass Workout e-book.
It’s jam-packed with information that can help you get the best muscle gains of your life–new mass-building info you can use to get huge.
Till next time, train hard–and smart–for BIG results.
–Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson