UNDERSTANDING THE POWER OF
MUSCLE FASCIA TRAINING
By Team iForce Nutrition
“1. Fascia: pl. fas·ci·ae : Anatomy A sheet or band of fibrous connective tissue enveloping, separating, or binding together muscles, organs, and other soft structures of the body.” - (FST7.com)
What is the muscle fascia?
Muscle facia is the three dimensional casing that holds muscle fibers together. It increases the structural integrity of the functional group.The fascia also modulates hemodynamics and intercellular communication. Furthermore, it is considered one of the restricting factors of optimal muscle growth. This is because the fascia keeps a tight hold on the internal fibers, so loosening that restriction might allow the fibers to more freely grow and expand.
How can we train the muscle fascia?
There are two popular methods of training the muscle fascia. Both have been proven in the gym as an effective means of increasing the density, fullness, and shape of the muscle group.
Extreme stretching: Holding a static stretch in the peak stretch position for an extended period of time either weighted, assisted, or with bodyweight.
Example: For a chest stretch, take a dumbbell that is roughly 50-60% of your working set weight, and bring one repetition to the top of the ROM and slowly lower it down into the bottom position with your elbows pointed out and the weight stretching the chest. Hold in that position for 30-45 seconds, or work up to more time as you progress. Be careful not to overdo the stretch, don’t come down so far that you feel pain in your shoulders, bring it down just enough to get a good stretch and fight the resistance in that position
Hemodynamic Pump Sets: A consecutive string of sets in relatively higher repetition ranges that focus on pumping as much blood into the muscle as possible.
Example: Using the chest again, select an isolation exercise such as pec deck. Perform 5-7 sets with 50%-75% of your working set weight and complete 12-14 repetitions or each set. Lower the weight accordingly to keep the rep range higher. Focus on contraction and forcing as much blood into the muscle as possible. Rest only 30-40 seconds in between sets and be sure to sip water during those intervals.
Why should I do both?
Both of these address the issue from 2 unique angles, Extreme Stretching is from the inside out and Pump Sets are from the outside in. Utilizing both is a great way to hit the muscle fascia every way possible in order to insure maximum growth.
How can I incorporate these principles into my routine?
Fascia training is best done at the end of a workout. After you have completed your compound power movements, utilize one or both of the extreme stretching techniques. Be careful to adjust your volume accordingly. This fascia training is extremely demanding when performed correctly.
While you are streching this fascia between sets, you want to flood it with amino acid rich blood. This will help you grow and recover. BCAAs may not be the best solution. Try using COMPETE™. Not only does it have BCAAs but also EAAs, which makes it a perfect combination to flood your muscle during stretching!