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Triple ​Star Records

Lost Children Foundation, Incorporated

Literacy, Personal Training, and Continuing Education

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Recomping ???

Posted on January 7, 2015 at 8:45 PM
Recomping ???

First, to offer some perspective, let’s briefly talk about bulking and cutting. Bulking is trying to gain weight, and ideally most of that weight would be muscle. When Bulking one intentionally consumes more calories than their body needs, in conjunction with weight training, in order to gain weight with the understanding that fat gain will be inevitable. The idea is to limit fat gain as much as possible while maximizing muscle gain. Cutting on the other hand is the exact opposite. When cutting, one intentionally consumes less calories than their body needs in order to lose weight with the understanding that muscle loss will be inevitable. The idea is to limit muscle loss as much as possible while maximizing fat loss.  

You can see how it's impossible to achieve these two goals simultaneously . You cannot not be in a caloric surplus and a caloric deficit at the same time. 

Now when recomping, the idea isn't to get the number on the scale to move up or down, but to improve body composition. In other words, one isn't interested in weight loss, they just want to have less body fat and improve the appearance of their physique by increasing the size of their biceps, their shoulders, and maybe decrease their waistline. 

Now this is possible with people who are untrained. In fact clients of mine will frequently tell me that their clothes fit differently after several months, but unless their diet is such that it allows them to lose weight, the number on the scale stays put. 

Also, recomping is only worthwhile if you're someone who is unhappy with a particular part of your body, or your physique, rather than how much you weigh . For instance, many dresses are sleeveless. If you're a woman who isn't over weight, you can certainly improve the appearance of your arms without losing or gaining weight, but if you have too much body fat the muscles of your arms won't be visible due to the layer of fat covering them. 

In essence, if you're happy with your weight, but not your physique, than recomping is for you, but if you're not happy with your weight, than you need to focus on increasing or decreasing your weight. 

As for the exercises you should employ,  the rep ranges should be in the 12-15 range for three to five sets. If someone wants to improve the size of their chest, the exercises should include bench press, incline bench press, chest flyes  and cable cross-overs. For triceps and shoulders, in addition to bench press and incline press, because those two movements hit the shoulders along with the chest, military press should also be included, and to further isolate the shoulders, you can include lateral raises, front raises, and rear delts flyes.  For compound exercises ( bench press, military press, and shoulder press ) a lower rep range ( 6-8 reps, 8-10 reps, or 10-12 reps ) is fine. For back, bent over rows, lat pull downs, single arm dumbbell rows, and cable rows are compound exercises that will hit the back and ,to some extent, the biceps. 

Now isolation exercises for the biceps and rear deltoids of the shoulders are crucial due to the size of the muscle groups in the back. Just relying on compound movements for biceps and the rear deltoids is insufficient because ( since the back is such a large muscle group ) they aren't as involved in those compound movements. They're involved, and it's fine just to rely on them if your goal is simply a full body workout, but if increasing the size of your biceps or rear deltoids is your goal, you'll need more stimulation. For isolation exercises ( lateral raises, front raises, etc. ) one should stay within the 12-15 rep range. This is for two reasons. The first reason is safety. Isolation exercises involve one muscle and one joint. The higher the rep range, the lighter the weight, and the less pressure that is put on the joint responsible for flexion or extension during the contraction of muscle. The second reason is that your body is a machine that's designed to work together. When "isolating" a muscle, you're not isolating the muscle in the sense that the muscle is the only muscle that's involved in that movement. What you are doing is limiting the involvement of any other muscles that are involved in that movement. The heavier the weight, the lower the rep range, and the lower the rep range, the more other muscles will become involved. Obviously, that's not what you want.

Categories: Routine advice

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