These 6 advanced methods are a sure-fire way to take muscle building to a whole new level.
Any lifter who’s been in the lifting game for quite a while knows that while it’s easy to experience huge muscle growth while first starting out, your muscle building progress will inevitably start slowing down eventually reaching a plateau. You can’t experience the same linear progress you experienced as a beginner. These are the muscle gains commonly known as “noob gains”.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that what you are doing is wrong. It simply means that as with any other outward stimuli, your body will slowly adapt to the training process. This is the exact time to introduce a change in your workout routine and make your body guess what comes next. What we suggest is increasing the training intensity. We present to you 6 methods with which to break those dreaded plateaus and trigger new muscle gains.
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The single biggest difference in how non-experienced and experienced lifters should employ these methods is by how many they add in one training session. A non-professional may add one or two of these methods in one session, but the pros can use multiple, if not all of them. For the average recreational lifter, we suggest that you use only one method in a training session. As you start reaching new strength levels, you can slowly add all of the methods one by one to keep making new gains.
You might not know this, but you are actually stronger when lowering a weight than when lifting it. The lowering part is the eccentric part of the movement and the lifting part is the concentric. When doing negative reps, you should find yourself a spotter that will help you during the the concentric part of the movement while you’ll do most of the work on the eccentric part by lowering the weight more slowly. Beginners should do these early in the workout. Professionals should do three to five additional negative reps after finishing their last set.
As the name itself says it, these reps are done on one part of the entire movement and are meant to stimulate a specific muscle area. For example, you can do these after finishing the last set of cable curls without stopping on your last rep and proceeding to curl only at the half-to-top portion of the movement which will target the biceps’ peaks. Do 3-5 of after the last set or at every working set.
Adding a pause of 2 seconds at the middle of the rep will keep you from using momentum to lift the weight, will prolong the time under tension while the muscle is fully contracted and will engage more muscle fibers. Pause at the last three or four reps of the last working set.
Supersets are done by doing one movement and then proceeding immediately to doing another movement without resting. For the 2nd movement, we suggest that you train the same muscle from a different angle and doing as much reps as possible until you reach failure. One pair of exercises you could try are dumbbell flyes combined with push-ups.
Drop sets are done by lowering the weight by 20 to 30% after reaching failure and proceeding with the lighter weight until you reach failure, then lowering it again etc. etc. This way you can engage a bigger number of muscle fibers and fully exhaust the muscle.
Flexing between sets
Flex the trained muscle for 15 to 20 seconds between sets. When training chest or shoulders, do the “side chest” or the “most muscular” pose. For arms, do the “front double biceps”, for your back, do the “back double biceps”, for abs the “abdominal” and “thigh” pose and for the legs get yourself in the “front relaxed pose” and put pressure on the outer part of the foot.