Nuclei Overload Training: What it is and does it work?

In this article we dive into the details of the training method, known as Nuclei Overload Training. We will learn what it is, how it works and should you give it a try.

Why Nuclei Overload Training?

If you have been lifting weights for a couple of years, you know that those days of rapid muscle gain when you were a beginner are long behind you. Now your muscles growth happens at snails pace. This mainly happens because your body has developed a protection mechanism against muscle damage. The same exercises caused more muscle damage when you were a newbie then they do now. Nuclei overload training is a technique which many people use at this stage to make gains again. Generally this training is only performed on one muscle group, which is lagging.

The training involves targeting the same muscle group on every day for a set amount of time period, usually a month and then return back to standard training. In order to understand how this type of training works, we need to first get into a little bit of biology.

Basic Biology of Muscle Gain

We have learned in our middle school biology that our body is made up of cells. All cells have a nucleus inside them, where most of the genetic code is stored. It is true for our muscles also, however there is a difference. Our skeletal muscle cells are very large in size for just one nucleus; therefore they have multiple nuclei inside them. Since the nucleus of all cells consists of the genetic code for the functioning of a cell, for muscle fiber cells these nuclei play a crucial role in increasing the size of the muscle fiber. The more nuclei are there inside a muscle cell, the larger it can become.

There are two ways by which our body can gain muscle size.

Increased muscle volume around nuclei: When you train very hard in the gym, small micro-tears happen in your muscles. The nuclei inside your muscle cells then repair these micro-tears by converting the protein you consumed as food into muscle. Each nucleus is responsible to maintaining a certain volume of muscle around it. As you strength train and take protein, this volume increases and you gain muscle size.

Increased number of nuclei inside muscle cells: When you lift heavier and heavier, the micro-tears increase and nuclei in your muscles cells need to increase in quantity so that our body can repair the micro tears. These new nuclei come from the satellite cells that surround our muscles. Since each nucleus maintains a certain volume of muscle around itself, when you increase the number of nuclei in a cell, the overall volume of the cell also increases.

How Nuclei Overload Training Work

As the name suggests, nuclei overload training is focused on increasing the total number of nuclei in your muscles cells and as a consequence increase your overall muscle mass. The idea as mentioned previously is to train a muscle group everyday. The hypothesis here is that if you train your muscle everyday then you will cause enough damage to your muscles such that your muscles will be forced to increase the nuclei count.

Generally it is recommended to do this for a limited time, such as a month, so as to not cause overuse injury. As an example, let’s assume that you are not seeing any growth in your biceps. Then to force growth into your biceps, you will take your biceps to failure everyday for a month. The workout, depending on the amount of weight you lift, will include two to four different bicep exercises performed back to back with 3 sets of 8 reps. The workout will be performed everyday for a month after which you can take a rest for 1 week and then return to your regular workout program.

Does Nuclei Overload Training Work

It is extremely hard to say, if it will work specifically for you or not. I personally am not very excited to try nuclei overload training but that is not because I do not believe that it works, but because I am not interested in muscle size. I am more interested in performance rather than size, so performing same exercises for 30 days straight will be very boring. If you are the same then there is no need for you to perform nuclei overload training, unless you want to do it for fun as a challenge.

For those of you who are interested in gaining muscle mass and are seeing a plateau, I would definitely recommend you to give it a try. Biggest criticism, nuclei overload training receives is that training a muscle everyday is going to lead to overtraining. Although it may be true in some cases, I am not fully convinced that it will be true for every case. There are a lot of people who perform strength-training type of activity everyday. Think about all the manual laborers, they push, pull and lift heavy stuff everyday as part of their occupation. They do just fine, performing their job everyday for many years.

There is a good amount of genetic diversity amongst human beings. People respond to physical stimulus very differently. Some people respond better to high volume training, while others respond well to high intensity training with heavy lifting. You need to keep an open mind and try out different types of training and see what works and what doesn’t.

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Rahul Yadav

Rahul Yadav

Discover Indian Heritage: Arts, Science, Religion and Philosophy of India

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