This consists of two parts – developing more capillaries and more nerve pathways, or better and stronger nerve impulses to the muscle. Also, to acquire larger muscles, you must increase the intensity of work done within a given time. This means minimum rest between sets. (Push yourself.) I feel workouts should be timed, and constantly strive to shorten the time it takes to get through your routine. (This is a form of Progressive Resistance.) It does not matter how much work you do. What counts is how fast you do it. This is known as the “overload principle”. The overload principle explains why sprinters have larger leg development than longdistance runners. It is more work to run a mile than 100 yards, but the sprinter is doing more work per second.
I have found that the maximum amount of sets that can be performed to create a maximum pump to a muscle, is 12 sets. Clancy Ross and Bill Pearl both claim that if you can’t get a workout in 15 sets, you are not concentrating properly. Anything above or beyond this is overwork and causes the muscle to contract and lose its blood supply. I have seen this happen to top physique stars, as well as myself. This is not theory, but fact!!! (This is a major fault I find with most beginners.)
I would like to point out here that maximum pump at every workout does not build tissue. It only keeps it pumped up and bloated, but you cannot grow on this much work. Maximum pump workouts should not be employed more often than once a week. Remember, it takes 72 hours to rebuild tissue after this type of workout. Again, I repeat. There is a fine dividing line between enough work and too much work. If you decide to employ this routine, it is best performed by working with a weight that is about 60% of your maximum. Overenthusiastic workouts produce bloated muscle tissue, but no gains.
Top physique stars take maximum workouts every workout. But they work each muscle only twice a week. Even with their superior metabolism, they still need 72 hours recuperation. Take heed – that workouts tear down tissue – rest builds it. Talk to any champion. Because of his wide horizon of instinctive knowledge, he cannot and will not give you pat answers. Without consciously knowing the reason for his success, he is unable to guide you. Champions, you must understand, are not necessarily teachers. But they are observers. Watch any champion train, and you will recognize the fact that they appear to be doing something extra, even though they are doing the same exercises as you. That something extra is concentration and an absolute singleness of purpose. I find personally that I can get in top condition by deciding to do so. While my workout partners never seem to consider themselves to be in shape, they also say I am doing the same exercises as you and I am using the same amount of weight; that I am working out at the same speed; but I cannot seem to feel the exercise. The answer to this statement is, think about every part of the movement as you do it. Don’t turn your mind off. In short, concentrate.