Compensatory Acceleration Training: Speed Up Your Strength Gains
The first thing you need to do when you want to increase your strength is to get rid of some of the body fat. If you are not familiar with what constitutes “fat” then it means any kind of excess weight around your waist or hips. You will see that most people have a lot of extra fat around their upper bodies, especially around their stomach area (this is called visceral fat).
They usually don’t even realize how much they weigh because their body mass index (BMI) doesn’t include their belly fat. So if you are a guy, your BMI would be 25 and your waist circumference is 34 inches while if you are a girl, your BMI would be 24 and your waist circumference is 32 inches. These numbers tell us that you have a very high percentage of abdominal fat.
Now let’s say you want to gain muscle mass. Most guys think that gaining muscle mass is all about bulking up on food. But there is another way to gain muscle mass without adding excessive amounts of calories.
That method involves using a technique known as “compensatory acceleration training”. Basically, it involves increasing the amount of work you perform during exercise so that your muscles produce less fatigue and strain after each set of exercises. Here’s a step-by-step guide to how you can use this technique for yourself.
Performing Compensatory Acceleration Training
The amount of muscle mass that you gain from this method will not be as much as if you were to focus only on gaining muscle mass through traditional bulking up methods. However, it will ensure that you don’t put on any unnecessary fat while you are trying to bulk up your body. The following are the steps involved in performing this kind of training:
Step 1: You should first of all determine how much weight you can lift by performing a set of five repetitions of an exercise. Let’s say your maximum weight that you can lift for five repetitions is 100 pounds.
Step 2: Now you have to work out how much you should increase that weight by. In other words, how much you should lift for one repetition in order to gain more muscle mass. To do this, you should multiply your maximum one repetition weight (in this case 100 pounds) by 1.1.
In other words: 100*1.1=110 pounds.
Step 3: That’s it! Now you just have to make sure that you are lifting 110 pounds for five repetitions. If you can lift more than that, then the weight is too low and if you can’t lift it five times, then the weight is too high.
You should aim to always use the same amount of weight and repetitions for each workout.
Step 4: You need to continue doing this for at least six weeks before taking a week off from training altogether. After the week of rest, you should begin the cycle all over again but increasing the amount of weight that you lift by 2.2 pounds.
(In our example, you would increase it from 110 pounds to 112 pounds).
Note: It is important that you always increase the amount of weight that you lift in accordance with the formula described in Step 4.
There are many risks involved in taking this path to gaining muscle mass. If you don’t know the proper techniques for each exercise, then you could get yourself seriously injured and not be able to train at all. I only recommend that you try this if you have a trustworthy and qualified personal trainer who can oversee your training sessions.
The internet is also a good source of information on these techniques so you might want to have a look at various bodybuilding forums if you want to take this route.
Like any other training technique, compensatory acceleration has its pros and cons. I have listed some of them below:
* If you don’t know the proper techniques for training, then working with a personal trainer will help you get better results in less time.
* There is a risk of injury involved if you don’t know the proper techniques for each exercise.
In my opinion, compensatory acceleration is really only suited to people who want to gain as much muscle and strength as quickly as they possibly can. It is NOT suitable for beginners since there is a real risk of injury if the techniques are not performed correctly. It is also not suitable for the average person since the cost of hiring a personal trainer on a regular basis would be very expensive.
K. Compensatory Acceleration In Practice
Now that you fully understand what compensatory acceleration is and how it works, I will give you an example of a real world training session and show you how it would be done properly. Let’s say that you are a beginner and you have decided that you want to gain as much muscle and strength as quickly as possible. You have also decided to hire a personal trainer to oversee your training sessions.
Your personal trainer has had previous experience with this type of training and is well aware of the proper techniques required for each exercise. He has also worked out a six week training program for you that involves both traditional weight exercises as well as compensatory acceleration techniques.
Your first training session begins with some basic exercises to warm you up. Once you are fully warmed up, your trainer shows you a few techniques that you will be using during the training session. After these techniques are taught, you perform a series of warm-up sets for the first exercise in your training routine (a bench press).
You will be doing five sets for the first exercise and four sets for the remaining exercises. It is important that you warm up properly before each set to reduce the risk of injury. The number of warm-up sets that you need to do depends on how many working sets you are planning to do, as well as your own personal fitness level.
In this instance, you are planning to do five sets so you need to do at least two warm-up sets.
Since this is the first exercise, your trainer has decided on a relatively low number of warm up sets. Here is what your warm up routine looks like:
Bar x 12
60 lbs x 10
80 lbs x 10
100 lbs x 5
120 lbs x 2
The bar is represents the weighted bar that you will be using for this exercise. Once you have completed the above warm up routine, your trainer has you put the bar on the squat rack and then stands behind you during the remainder of your warm up sets to make sure that you are performing the exercise properly.
When putting the bar on the rack, it should rest comfortably in the “cups.” If it leans to either side more than a few inches, then add or remove weight to bring it into balance. Grasp the bar using an “intermediate” grip.
This is a style of grip where one hand is positioned slightly higher than the other. Your hands should be about even with your shoulders when you are looking straight ahead. Lean the bar against your chest and then step back from the rack.
Your trainer stands behind you and to the side at the bottom of the rack to make sure that you are performing the lift properly. You take a deep breath and exhale as you push the bar away from your body, straightening your arms completely. Your trainer cues you to begin the lift when he thinks that you are ready.
You pick the bar off of the rack and begin the lift, following your trainer’s instructions to “take a big breath” and exhale as you push the bar away from your body. You do exactly what you are told–you know any mistake here could lead to a disastrous injury. You complete the repetition and let your trainer know that you are ready for the next one.
You continue in this fashion, performing all five sets with your trainer giving you constant encouragement and guidance. After you set the bar back in the rack, your trainer calls out how many more reps you have left on each set to make sure that you are keeping proper form during the exercise.
After you are done with your five sets, you take a long drink from your water bottle and then stretch your legs in preparation for the next exercise. Your trainer gives you a big thumbs up and a smile–you get the impression that he is very happy with how things are going so far. You smile back and then move on to the leg extension machine.
You finish the last rep of your last set and your trainer tells you to “put the bar back on the rack.”
After giving you a short break, your trainer walks over to you and gives you some advice about how to improve your technique. He mentions that you started to lean too far forward during your last few sets and urges you to focus on keeping your body straight during the exercise. He then reminds you to keep your eyes on the TV screen in front of you.
He tells you that there are two more exercises after this one, but that he is going to give you a few extra sets of rest in between them since you pushed yourself so hard during this one.
Your trainer walks away and gets ready for the next exercise, leaving you to focus on your breathing and keeping your body straight as much as possible during your rest period.
After several minutes, your trainer returns and calls you over to the leg press machine. This is very similar to the extension machine, but you will be pushing a weighted sled into the air instead of just extending your ankles. Your trainer gives you one last bit of advice before he starts the exercise:
“Keep your eyes on the TV screen at all times. Don’t look down at your feet.”
He stands behind you and starts the machine, giving you a short rest before starting the exercise for real. He calls out the weight number and you push hard with your legs to lift the sled. You do this for all of the prescribed number of reps, never letting up until your trainer tells you to set the sled back down.
After your last one, your hands are sweaty and shaking slightly from all of the effort. You wipe them off on your towel and sit up straight in your chair, preparing yourself for the next exercise.
Your trainer walks over and looks intently at you. A couple of other guys who were working out in the background stop talking and start walking over to where you are sitting.
Your trainer looks you in the eye and says, “I need you to stay calm, okay?
Don’t freak out.”
You are starting to feel nervous despite his request, but you manage to calm yourself down and look at him questioningly. He begins speaking again.
“You have a pebble in your shoe. Slide your foot out of it.”
He takes a step back as you slowly slide your foot out of your tennis shoe. You can’t see anything inside of it, so you slowly start to bring it back into view…
The next thing you know, you are falling off of your chair and onto the floor. Your trainer is helping you up to a sitting position and asking you if you are alright. Several others in the gym are also looking over at your stall.
You take a minute to get back up to speed. When you try to stand up, you realize that your legs are wobbly. Your trainer tells you to take your time and walk it off.
He mentions that you should go see a doctor if you are still having problems later, but that you just strained a muscle and should be fine with some rest.
You slowly make your way out of the gym with the help of your trainer. You have to sit in the lobby for a while before your legs feel strong enough to carry you.
You spend the rest of the day on the couch doing nothing and trying not to move your feet too much. The next day, you are able to walk around without feeling like your muscles are gonna fall off, but the first time you go back to the gym, you find that you can barely do five minutes on the treadmill. You’ve gained more weight than ever before in your life and it’s mostly fat.
You have to do something about it, but the thought of working out still makes you shudder.
Take another week off from the gym and try to get back into a normal routine after that?
Or go back to the gym and try to pick up where you left off?
You think you are ready to get back into a normal routine. As long as you are extra careful with your foot, you don’t see why you should stay off of your feet for another week.
You slowly get up from the couch and waddle over to the kitchen to get something to eat. When you finally make it to the cabinet, you find that there is barely ANY food left. You haven’t been doing your share of shopping recently; you’ve been getting take-out or else eating out.
You waddle over to the phone to order some chow mein, but when you pick up the phone, you notice there’s already a menu for a pizza place next to it.
It would be pretty easy to just call and have them deliver a large cheese pizza. It’s Friday, so maybe you can treat yourself since you’ve been good this week.
Ordering the pizza is going to make you late for work, though. You are already going to be late because it takes longer for them to deliver than to just go pick up the food yourself.
You could get fired if you are too late, but maybe they’ll understand if you have a good excuse…
What will you do?
If you call and order the pizza, go here.
If you just go get some take-out, go here.
You decide that it would be best to take the day off. You’ve been working so hard lately that you need a little break.
Getting up and walking is extremely difficult today. It feels like every movement is agony for you, but somehow you manage to make it to the phone to call in sick. The next couple of hours are spent laying around doing nothing.
Eventually you fall asleep and don’t wake up until the next day.
When you wake up, you are overcome with pain. Your whole body aches and the soles of your feet are throbbing. It feels like you just went on a twenty mile hike in broken glass.
You try to make it to the bathroom, but before you even get out of bed, the nausea hits you hard. You barely manage to make it to the toilet before purging what little food was left in your stomach. The pain afterward does not subside and you begin to think that you may actually be dying.
You crawl back into bed and drift in and out of consciousness for the next few hours. You are never fully awake, but the pain does not return. Eventually, you do fall asleep and don’t wake up until midday on Sunday.
Looking at yourself in the bathroom mirror, you find that all the hair on your head is gone. You have a large bald spot on the back of your head that is about the size of an orange. You also find that the toenails on both of your big toes have turned a dark yellow.
You need to see a doctor, but going out is just going to be too painful for you right now. You doubt that you can even make it down your stairs to get into your car. As well as the hair on your arms and legs.
You’ve never been so ill before, but this has got to be the closest you’ve ever come.
“INKY!” your Mom yells from downstairs. “
What’s going on up there, are you alright?”
“I’ll be down in a minute!” you yell back, trying to come up with an excuse for why you didn’t come down yesterday.
“Come on, I don’t have all day. I need you to go to the store and pick up a few things for me. I’m tired and my sciatica is acting up.”
You hear her walking toward the back door. You’d better get down there before she leaves.
“I’ll be there in a minute!”
You quickly come up with an excuse.
You come up with the excuse that you fell asleep and day-dreamed for most of the day. Your Mom, fortunately, believes this and doesn’t give it a second thought.
A few weeks pass and you don’t have any more episodes like the one you had. You still feel terrible, though. You have no energy or motivation to do anything anymore.
The hair loss continues as does the loss of nails on your toes and fingers. Although your belly has decreased in size, you’ve started getting strange cravings for items that you had never craved before.
You begin to search the internet for what these symptoms could mean and are horrified by what you find.
You have contracted a rare strain of HIV.
The horror doesn’t stop there, though. If you carry one of these strains, it is extremely deadly and nearly unstoppable.
You begin to cry. Not for yourself, but for your Mom. She is going to be crushed when she finds out what you have done.
You don’t even know how you are going to do it. You can’t contact her in the next two weeks as you are supposed to wait that period of time before having any contact with anyone you have exposed the virus to.
Your life is over and you have nobody to blame but yourself. You wonder if suicide would be an acceptable way out for you when the symptoms finally become too much for you to handle.
Weeks pass and you still haven’t come up with a solution. You’ve barely eaten anything during this time. The only thing keeping you going is soda and chips that you’ve been stealing from the store.
You’ve also managed to stretch out the time between your trips to buy groceries by taking advantage of the deliveries that people have been placing at the store.
Your belly is swollen from all the soda and chips that you’ve been eating and it’s hard for you to walk around or even get up from a seated position.
You can hardly breathe and you’re starting to get nosebleeds.
Your last moments are painful. You fall to the floor and attempt to reach your bag of chips that you had gotten from the store. Your reach falls short and while you’re desperately trying to push yourself forward, you have a massive heart attack and die.
It is at that moment that your Mom comes in. She had come home to check on you as she hadn’t seen you around or heard anything from you in days.
She finds you still sitting in a pool of blood and your stomach looks as if it has exploded. She calls the hospital immediately and you are taken to the emergency room where you are pronounced dead on arrival.
The cause of death is listed as HIV/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. They place your body in a rubber tent and burn it immediately. Your Mom never finds out what happened to you.
You’re gone and you aren’t coming back.
How you’re managing to experience all of this is a bit of a mystery, but it seems that you aren’t completely gone yet. Perhaps something else is at work here. Whatever it may be, you aren’t going to question it.
You have been given a second chance and you are going to make the absolute best of it.
You have transformed yourself.
You are no longer the person you were two weeks ago.
Who are you now?
That’s for you to decide.
Sources & references used in this article:
Maximizing strength development in athletes: a meta-analysis to determine the dose-response relationship by MD Peterson, MR Rhea… – The Journal of Strength …, 2004 – pdfs.semanticscholar.org
Maximal intended velocity training induces greater gains in bench press performance than deliberately slower half-velocity training by JJ González-Badillo, D Rodríguez-Rosell… – European journal of …, 2014 – Taylor & Francis
Thick Handle & Fat Gripz Training for Serious Strength Gains by HG Design – homegymlife.com
Programming for Maximum Strength by D Stephenson – idealstrength.com
Acute Training Variables, Muscle Growth, Strength, and Power–Velocity and Frequency by MS Wilson – Citeseer
Effect of movement velocity during resistance training on dynamic muscular strength: a systematic review and meta-analysis by TB Davies, K Kuang, R Orr, M Halaki, D Hackett – Sports Medicine, 2017 – Springer
A meta-analysis of periodized versus nonperiodized strength and power training programs by J Bryant – 2013 – BookBaby
Fundamentals of resistance training: progression and exercise prescription by MR Rhea, BL Alderman – Research quarterly for exercise and sport, 2004 – Taylor & Francis