The Muscle Building Window

In Methods & Success Mindset, Uncategorizedby Matt

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In the past, I’ve believed the opportunity to tell my muscles they need to be bigger and stronger lasted throughout my workout. Now I believe there is a very narrow window of opportunity where I can pull that muscle building trigger.

The muscle building window is a rather small amount of work where your muscles are capable of handling the most tension possible for the longest prolonged time. This window is rather small. It first requires a set or two to warm up, or as I now call it, opening the window. Once it’s open you can use it, but it can’t stay open for very long. ¬†Both mental and physical fatigue can cause the window to close and once it’s shut all you’re doing is further cutting into your recovery.

When I was using a lot of volume I always kind of paced myself for the first 3-4 sets believing that I could really hammer the tension into my muscles later on. The problem was, once I was fatigued my chance had passed. I was trying to work hard but the window had closed. Now, by keeping myself to 2-3 work sets I have a much more serious and focused workout. I know I only have a few chances to really hammer my muscles as much as possible. If I couldn’t get it done in 2-3 sets then chances are I wasn’t going to do it in 5-7.

Here’s a pic to kind of illustrate.

building window

These numbers aren’t an exact science. Some folks might hit their window in sets 2-4 while someone else might need a little more warm up and then hit their window on sets 3-6. Other’s might pour so much into their first 2 sets that they are on the fatigue drop off after 3 sets. Further more, your condition for the day might also play a factor. Some days you might have 3 work sets and other’s it’s 2. Play around and don’t get too caught up in sticking to a formula. The key is recognizing that once you’re warmed up you have only a few sets where you can pull that muscle building trigger.