One of Canada’s best exports to hit the IFBB stage reveals her favourite muscle building techniques that allow her to dominate the condition come contest day.
1) Is it best to vary rep ranges when training solely for hypertrophy/muscle gain, or is there a sweet spot bodybuilders should generally stick to?
There is no real right answer to that. I personally find that different muscles respond to different rep ranges.
For example, when training my delts and legs, I find higher volume works better for growth.
Delts I like to train at about 15 reps with a lot of supersets and legs around 12 reps.
Where as for my back, I like to train lower reps and heavier weight, working up to a heavy set where I fail somewhere around 8 reps.
Remember this is specific to me personally.
I think it’s important to experiment and find what works best for YOU and stick to it. Don’t overcomplicate things.
I think it is more important to find movements that work for you in terms of activating the right muscles. Find those movements, master them, and get stronger.
2) What is the optimal training frequency for muscle growth?
This comes down to the amount of volume you’re putting into each body part. I think if you’re training a body part at a super high volume, hitting it more than once a week puts you at the risk of over training.
If you’re training at a lower volume, you might be able to get away with training that body part twice a week but it is important to listen to your body.
If I am supposed to hit legs on my split and I can feel my legs have not recovered from my last session I will either take a rest day or train something else.
Remember too, if you are eating fewer calories, doing a lot of cardio, or your sleep is compromised, recovery won’t be as fast as you may be used to.
3) Training twice per day: are there any circumstances where you would advise this for muscle growth if somebody has the time?
It could be beneficial if you are trying to burn extra calories into prep, but only for a short period of time. Any longer than 4-6 weeks of this puts you at risk for burnout.
For muscle growth though, your diet would have to consist of a pretty high amount of calories for this to actually be beneficial.
Melissa has made a stunning transformation in the muscle she’s added to her frame over the years, so take heed to her advice and you’re likely to do the same!