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Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.


2012 Releases


By Frédéric Delavier
ISBN: 978-1-4504-1989-5
Binding: Paperback
Pages: Approx. 352
Price: $21.95
Available: March 2012



The five factors that stimulate muscle growth 

Powerlifting champion Delavier outlines ways to stay focused on muscle development


CHAMPAIGN, IL—To be successful in building muscle, people taking part in strength training activities need to keep their focus on the elements that directly stimulate muscle growth. This may sound like common sense, but according to powerlifting champion Frédéric Delavier, many of the things people think of as important regarding strength training—such as lifting heavier weights, doing additional repetitions, and completing more sets—are actually no more than the means to an end. “If you want to make training productive, you must be sure that you truly understand and not lose sight of the final goal, which is muscle development,” Delavier says.


Delavier, whose first book, Strength Training Anatomy, has sold more than a million copies worldwide, pinpoints five factors that stimulate muscle growth. They are featured in his forthcoming title, The Strength Training Anatomy Workout II, a more advanced way of creating power and mass that expands on his first edition:


  1. Stretching tension. When a contracted muscle is not ready to lengthen to its stretched position, and the muscle is moved forcefully by a weight, the confrontation of those two resistances causes a lot of cellular damage. That is exactly what happens during the negative phase of a repetition, a weight-muscle confrontation that damages the fibers and forces the body to repair itself and grow. “The stretching tension is a powerful signal for growth,” Delavier says. “To exploit this potential for growth, you need to accentuate the negative phase for each repetition.”
  2. Contraction tension. When a muscle has difficulty contracting because of the force exerted by a very heavy weight, the muscle must strengthen itself. Delavier stresses, “To ensure that you provoke a significant muscle-building response, you must continually apply force on your muscles by using heavier and heavier weights.”
  3. Time under tension. The weight used during a workout is not the only factor that affects muscle growth. The amount of time that the muscle remains under tension also plays a fundamental role. If too light a weight is used, the time under tension will be longer, but the force of the contraction will be too weak for muscles to take notice of the growth signal. Delavier says that people must find an ideal compromise between absolute tension and time under tension. Scientific research shows the compromise to be a weight that is about 70 to 80 percent of the maximum strength.
  4. Muscle burn. The arrival of lactic acid in the muscles means that they have reached the end of what they can endure metabolically. Enduring this burn for as long as possible takes the muscles to the edge of metabolic rupture. Muscle burn is another means of progressing that is different from the heavy, traumatic work that exploits stretching tension, contraction tension, and time under tension.
  5. Muscle pump. As someone continues doing repetitions, his or her muscles fill with blood. Called muscle pump, this blood flow brings nutrients and “deforms” the muscles in an unusual fashion. The more intense the muscle pump is, the more the muscle fibers are pressed together. “Because muscle pump training is not traumatic, it can be done frequently, especially as a way of accelerating recuperation,” comments Delavier.


Focusing on more elaborate techniques that people with experience in strength training can use to accelerate their progress and build more power and mass, The Strength Training Anatomy Workout II features 60 exercises, 19 stretches, and 9 programs, along with 1,200 full-color photos and 160 of Delavier’s unparalleled illustrations.


For more information, see The Strength Training Anatomy Workout II.


About the Authors

Frédéric Delavier is a gifted artist with an exceptional knowledge of human anatomy. He studied morphology and anatomy for five years at the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and studied dissection for three years at the Paris Faculté de Médecine.


The former editor in chief of the French magazine PowerMag, Delavier is currently a journalist for the French magazine Le Monde du Muscle and a contributor to several other muscle publications, including Men’s Health Germany. He is the author of the best-selling Strength Training Anatomy and Women’s Strength Training Anatomy.


Delavier won the French powerlifting title in 1988 and makes annual presentations on the sport applications of biomechanics at conferences in Switzerland. His teaching efforts have earned him the Grand Prix de Techniques et de Pédagogie Sportive. Delavier lives in Paris, France.

Michael Gundill, MBA, has written 13 books on strength training, sport nutrition, and health. His books have been translated into multiple languages, and he has written over 500 articles for bodybuilding and fitness magazines worldwide, including Iron Man and Dirty Dieting. In 1998 he won the Article of the Year award at the Fourth Academy of Bodybuilding Fitness & Sports Awards in California.


Gundill started weightlifting in 1983 in order to improve his rowing performances. Most of his training years were spent completing specific lifting programs in his home. As he gained muscle and refined his program, he began to learn more about physiology, anatomy, and biomechanics and started studying those subjects in medical journals. Since 1995 he has been writing about his discoveries in various bodybuilding and fitness magazines all over the world. 



Part 1

New Goals to Help You Keep Growing

Five Factors That Stimulate Muscle Growth

Free Weights or Machines: How to Make the Right Choice

Compound or Isolation Exercises?

How Can You Strengthen a Weak Area?

Changing Motor Behavior

Advanced Techniques for Increasing the Intensity

TNT for Explosive Muscle Growth

Adjusting the Speed of Your Repetitions

The Best Bodybuilders Train Explosively

A Physiological Dilemma: Should You Slow Down the Negative Phase?

When the Negative Phase Is Not Accentuated


Continuous Tension or Full Range of Motion?


Manipulate Your Genetics Using Sets of 100 Reps

How to Improve Your Mind–Muscle Connection

Recovery: An Increasingly Limiting Factor

Muscle Soreness

Learn to Manage Your Ability to Recover

Strategies to Accelerate Recovery

Segmenting Muscles So You Can Dominate Them

Dealing With Injuries

Optimizing Your Strength by Holding Your Breath

Paying Attention to Head Position

Protective Equipment

Part 2

Exercises for the Main Muscle Groups

Get Bigger Shoulders

Shoulder Exercises

Develop a Complete Back

Back Exercises

Latissimus Dorsi Exercises

Do Not Neglect the Infraspinatus

Infraspinatus Exercises

Build Impressive Trapezius Muscles

Trapezius Exercises                                                    

Develop Strong Lumbar Muscles to Protect Your Back       

Exercises for the Lumbar Region

Create Balance in Your Chest

Chest Exercises

Build Your Biceps Quickly

Biceps Exercises

Attain More Developed Forearms                                                     

Forearm Exercises

Develop Impressive Triceps

Triceps Exercises

Take Steps Toward Massive Quadriceps

Quadriceps Exercises

Bring Your Hamstrings up to Speed

Hamstring Exercises                                                  

Develop the Calves Evenly

Calf Exercises

Chisel Your Abdominal Muscles                                                       

Abdominal Exercises

Part 3

Workout Programs

Beginner Program for Putting on Muscle Quickly—2 Days per Week

Beginner Program for Putting on Muscle Quickly—3 Days per Week

Advanced Program—4 Days per Week

Advanced Program—5 Days per Week

            Programs for Building Up Weak Areas