Higher Volume For More Muscle

The genes located in the cell nuclei and mitochondria (the powerhouses of the cells) control protein synthesis. Muscle cells have more than one nucleus. The nuclei must increase in number as muscles increase in size to maintain the cells’ capacity for protein synthesis. Nuclei increase in number by incorporating satellite cells, which are small cells found adjacent to muscle cells that contain a single nucleus. A study from Østfold University College in Norway found that high-volume weight training programs increased satellite cell formation better than low-volume workouts. Also, it is easier to add satellite cells in lower body than upper body muscles. The take-home message is: if you’re looking to build muscle, you’d be wise to add some higher-volume – meaning 25 sets or more -workouts to your program. (Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science Sports, 23: 728-739, 2013)

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