Guest Blog by Tate Tufte Don't Worry About Too Many GAINZ
When it comes to general fitness and performance, lifting plays a crucial role in physical improvement. If lifts are loaded with the proper heavy load, the body will respond in many ways. It releases HGH (human growth hormone), which is essential for body repair and body development. Also, Testosterone is released, which helps muscle and bone mass, hair growth, and many other important functions. With all these benefits from lifting, the most common thing I hear about lifting is, “I don’t want too get big” or “I’m afraid to get bulky”. Well, don’t worry if you are one of the people who have this thought, because you don’t need to worry about it!
For the last 8 weeks, I have been trying to gain lean muscle mass through a high caloric intake and heavy lifting program. Let me tell you, you don’t just bulk up easily (I wish!). I am lifting for sets of deadlift at 315 lbs. and back squats at 285 lbs for a significant number of reps. Along with the heavy loads, I am at a peak age for testosterone levels in a person, meaning this should be the best time for me to put on muscle mass. I currently have 270-1,070 ng/dl pumping through my body, which will go down an average of 1% after the age of 30. Women my same age have 15-70 ng/dl. That’s averaging around a 20x difference!
This doesn’t mean that you can’t gain mass if that’s your goal! If you intentionally supplement, eat, and lift very specific and heavy loads, you can still put on muscle. It just has to be very intentional, driven, and worked specifically towards as a goal.
What these numbers mean for the “I don’t want to get bulky” people is that after 30, putting on muscle mass gets harder, especially for women. Biologically, you can’t just get huge from general lifting, even heavy lifting, especially if you load appropriately for the work at hand.
- 0-5 repetitions equals power, which equals hormonal response and no muscle mass gain. Must be performed at 90% or more of max load.
- 5 - 15 repetitions equals hypertrophy, which equals muscle growth. Must be performed at 70 to 85% of max load. Sidenote: Keep in mind that this requires copious amounts of testosterone and calories.
- 15+ repetitions equals endurance, which equals no change or in some cases degradation of muscle tissue. Must be performed at 65% or less of max load.
So breathe easy, you won’t look like a CrossFit games athlete or Miss Universe from lifting. You’ll just be a strong, healthy, and fit person. *cough* Our motto *cough*