Feeder workouts are quick, high-volume, light weight workouts, that can help increase blood improve muscle size and strength. Coined by bodybuilder Rich Piana, feeder workouts can help improve muscle size by constantly providing or feeding the muscle, with more nutrients, blood flow and oxygen. We’re going to talk more about feeder workouts and how this workout protocol can help you grow more size where you need it.
The theory behind a feeder workout, is that low weight, high volume workouts, performed every day, at 2-3 sets of 20-50 reps can help significantly add more size and strength. For example, performing light weight bicep curls, at 100 reps, every night will provide more nutrients, blood flow and oxygen, thus “feeding” your muscle tissue and help you grow more size.
According to the principles of muscle protein synthesis, feeder workouts, should in fact, be able to increase muscle size and strength.
Muscle protein synthesis is the biological process of building new protein cells to rebuild and repair muscle tissue, via amino acid utilization. This biological process is a result of intense physical stress, caused by micro-tears and mini trauma done to the muscle tissue during training. Although you’re not using heavy weight in a feeder workout, does not mean it is not intense, or creating micro-tears in the muscle.
Studies suggest that the intensity/workload is negligible on the rate of MPS. MPS is truly controlled by exercise in addition to nutrient intake.
The human body is comprised of 650 skeletal muscles, composed of thread-like myofibrils and sarcomeres which can achieve growth, through the process of repeated muscle contraction. The metabolic change for how muscles grow, is an increase in net muscle protein balance, which is simply the difference between muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein breakdown. An increase in net muscle protein balance, is a direct response to resistance training and nutrition which stimulate anabolic response through muscle protein synthesis [R].
Muscle growth takes place in two different forms, hypertrophy and hyperplasia. Hypertrophy is an increase in muscle size due to an increased in the size of muscle muscle fibers, while hyperplasia is an increase in the number of muscle fibers. Hypertrophy is achieved through increased muscle tension and physical stress, breaking down muscle fiber. Growth is a result from overcompensation to protect the body from future stress [R].
Resistance training places intense physical stress on your muscle fibers, creating microtears and trauma to your muscle tissue, stimulating the muscle building process. The rate at which you build muscle depends on several variables related to resistance training, such as training volume, load, workout intensity, and duration. Maximizing muscle growth through training, will also depend on how many sets and reps you do.
Training for maximal muscle growth requires higher volume training and more intensity, with minimal rest periods. This will essentially force cellular changes which will result in increased muscle growth.
Therefore, feeder workouts, should in fact work, and work very well to induce more changes in muscle size and strength.
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The other component to muscle growth, is nutrition. Protein is vital to initiate muscle protein synthesis to rebuild and repair muscle. Protein is comprised of amino acids, which stimulate the muscle building process. This is why you see bodybuilders such as Piana supplement with a protein shake. It’s important to flood your muscles tissue with the fuel it needs to maximize performance. Drinking a protein shake before your workout will help elevate amino acids in your bloodstream at a much faster rate, than food alone. The short rush of amino acids is known as hyperaminoacidemia and stimulates greater amounts of muscle protein synthesis. Having a flood of amino acids post-workout is just as important, as it will help with muscle growth and optimize your post-workout recovery.
If you’re not exactly sure where to start with your nutrition, schedule a free nutrition consultation with a certified nutrition coach at The Swole Kitchen. Take the guess-workout out of your nutrition and get results right away.
Adding feeder workouts to your normal training protocol, or workout split, could in fact help you grow muscle size and strength in acute areas of focus. If for example, you need to grow your biceps, or quadriceps for a more balanced physique, then you can add a feeder workout, with more volume, of 50-100 reps of bicep and leg curls to help grow more size and strength. Rich Piana was one of GOATS in bodybuilding and always had an amazing physique. So, it’s probably worth a shot.
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