Here at Flying Fantastic we just launched our ‘Nail your Invert’ class and lots of you have been loving it - I’m here to explain from a personal training perspective why these classes could be the key to your muscle gains…
During these classes we spend the majority of the classes doing conditioning, only actually trying our inverts at the very end of the class. This has caused some confusion with people telling us they are too tired to invert by the end of the class!
That is the point!
The key to muscle hypertrophy (an increase and growth of muscles cells!) is training our muscles to rep failure. Simply put, that means doing reps until you can do no more. There's good evidence to suggest that training to failure creates more muscle stimulation, which could potentially boost improvements to muscle strength and size.
"Exercising to failure can fully activate your muscles and lead to more muscle growth," Mazzucco said.
It works by maximizing the stress and tension on the muscle fibers, which prompts them to adapt as the body builds them back stronger and larger.
Training in this way can also increase the fatigue resistibility of our muscles. Although the amount of inverts you managed in the session may be less than normal, the volume of conditioning and therefore the amount of strain you put on the key muscles is higher. This can result in improvements in the efficiency of slow twitch (fatigue resistant) muscle fibres. This improves our stamina and can play a role in increasing muscle hypertrophy.
The volume of repetitions can also increase the mitochondrial density in your muscle cells, allowing them to more efficiently convert energy into fuel. This means you can sustain higher rates of muscle contraction before fatigue.
However, we do need to point out that in order for this to work there needs to be enough time for recovery, during which the rebuilding occurs. So rest up, take it easy and join Jemima next Tuesday to Nail Your Invert!