Kolumne 11 | Leistungsplateau - Demo-Frey-Nutrition

Column 11 | Performance plateau


Column 11 - Performance plateau
I am 1.89 meters tall and weigh 84 kilos. I don't know my body fat percentage exactly. But I'm not fat - I'm rather well-trained, as I do a lot of sport. I have a little bit of love handles that I want to get rid of. But I would much rather build more muscle mass in my legs and overall. I've been going to the gym four times a week for years. But I still feel like nothing is changing. What can I do to achieve lasting success more quickly?


Andreas Frey answers
In order to build muscle mass effectively and in the long term, there are three areas to consider: nutrition, training and discipline or perseverance to implement the first two aspects consistently and purposefully. Since you have been training for several years, I strongly assume that there are deficits in at least one of the three points mentioned.

Let's first look at nutrition: If you weigh 84 kilos and have a normal metabolism (no previous illnesses) and do an average of four hours of exercise per week, you should consume around 3,000 kilocalories to avoid losing or gaining weight. This value should be increased by 500 kilocalories if you are aiming to build muscle. If the desired result, namely weight gain, is not achieved in the first two weeks of such a mass phase, increase your calorie intake by another 300-500 kilocalories per day.

You should divide the 3500 kilocalories as follows:

  • 250g protein
  • 475 g carbohydrates
  • 70 g fat
  • This will create the basis for constant muscle growth, namely an optimal supply of nutrients. Next, we need to provide the necessary stimulus - this is achieved through intensive strength training.
    To build muscle mass, higher repetitions of 15 to 20 are more effective in leg training.
    The negative movement should last 3-4 seconds
    You should follow the following basic rules:
  • Training time maximum 60 minutes
  • max. 10 sets for large muscles
  • max. 6 sets for small muscles
  • 2 min break between sets
  • intensive training up to MV*
  • correct execution of the WH**
  • Emphasis on negative movement
  • * MV = muscle failure
    ** WH = repetitions

    Every single repetition with full concentration!
    But that's not all: When training, concentrate fully on the repetitions you have to complete. This means you should be able to visualize the movement sequence. By concentrating as much as possible on the muscle you are training, you create further positive stimuli for muscle building.

    There are no rules for the third point - discipline. In simple terms: it is your personal ability to do something correctly and consistently.

    "I recommend a maximum training time of 60 minutes and up to ten sets for large and up to six sets for small muscle groups." (Quote: A. Frey)
    Leg stretching is one of the effective leg exercises
    In terms of the desired leg muscle building that you mentioned, I think a higher rep count (15 to 20) is more promising than a lower one. This also eliminates a large part of the risk of injury that comes with exercises like squats and deadlifts. Incidentally, it is not necessary for squats and deadlifts to determine your training plan. Although these exercises trigger a great growth stimulus, they are still considered dangerous, especially when performed with a lot of weight.

    Machines now enable intensive training
    Nowadays there are very good and stable machines that can replace squats and deadlifts and still provide high-intensity training.

    The primary goal in bodybuilding should not be to reach the genetic limit in the shortest possible time, but to be able to perform the sport healthily and safely in the long term.

    I wish you much success on this path!

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