The Dynamorphic Training System (DTS): A return to first principles
The second principle in training for muscle growth is progressive resistance. You should attempt to slowly increase the amount of work you do on each set every time you perform an exercise. That’s why I always keep a workout log. If you are serious about making progress and not just going through the motions then keep a record of your workouts. I can never keep in my head all the weights and reps from each set done throughout the week. This log can be very simple indicating the exercise done, weight used, and repetitions performed. Below is an example of a beginner’s log with respect to the flat bench press (FBP):
To indicate a little of the future of what you will learn, for an intermediate DTS trainee these sets would also have a work factor of 1620, 1600, and 1480 and power factors of 45, 53, and 61. An advanced DTS trainee would be performing these with specific high intensity techniques and select exercises and methods that challenge all three of the muscles energy systems as well as the cardiovascular system as a whole.
Minor improvements in an exercise each week is what you are after. 99% of people who lift weights train the other way: haphazardly, doing whatever they feel like and lifting as hard as they can. Some have even given it a fancy name for a method that justifies this lazy approach: “Instinctive Approach”. In the beginning this can work due to the novelty of your body’s exposure to this type of training. However, it is never sustained long unless the trainee is using some form of pharmacologic aid (anabolic steroids). The reason the initial response to lifting is so noticeable is a rapid adjustment of the neurological system to the new stimulus with minor increases in the contractile machinery (muscle mass). Once the nervous system adapts, and without an ever increasing intensity of stimulus (heavier weights), these people then go into what they call a “rut” or “plateau.” This doesn’t have to happen; at least not until you are near your genetic potential, which is years away. Remember also that a 5 pound increase in your bench every week is a 60 pound increase in 12 weeks. With the proper training, if you’re not going up a little each week in resistance then there are adjustments that need to be made in your nutrition and recuperation. Plenty more on that to come.
The second principle in nutrition, as it applies to becoming stronger, leaner, and more muscular, is proper protein intake.
The current literature is citing 1.2-1.7 grams of protein per kg of body weight. I use a little more because I’ve adjusted it over the years to fit my own metabolism. My intake is a gram per pound of lean body mass. You need to have the grams/day divided fairly equally over the course of the day with the highest protein meals being post workout and before bed. The type of protein you consume, and the time and amount that you consume it in does matter.
The body cannot use more that approximately 40g of protein in any one meal, however. Of course, proteins come in different types, each with different bioavailabilities and with different ratios of the amino acids. The most bioavailable of the protein types and also the one with the best amino acid ratio is whey protein. The rest are, in descending order, Albumin (eggs), casein (milk), the regular meats (chicken, turkey, tuna, beef, etc.), and finally soy.For example, whey protein is absolutely the best post workout because of it’s rapid absorption, bioavailability, and essential amino acid constituency. Actual protein from food (chicken, eggs, etc.) is best before bed because it breaks down more slowly providing a steady presence of amino acids to the recovering muscle cell during the overnight fast.
-Lanny Littlejohn, MD