Sometimes your training will hit a wall and that’s not such big of a deal – your muscles simply have to be targeted with some new stimuli from time to time. With a smart change in the routine, range of reps, targeted area or weight, new growth will be just around the corner. But while you’re at it, why not incorporate some pro tips in your new routine and watch your gains go through the roof?
A number of top bodybuilders have been more than willing to reveal their award-winning methods and techniques about stimulating maximum growth. So make sure your motivation is at the right level and challenge yourself beyond the edge by following in the footsteps of giants like Jay Cutler, Victor Martinez, Ronnie Coleman, Chris Cormier, Johnnie Jackson, Melvin Anthony and Darrem Charles.
We hope you’re mentally prepared to bring your game to the next level, because these workouts are designed for nothing less than top results. Welcome to the backstage of bodybuilding’s Herculean league!
1. Jay Cutler: mind-to-muscle connection
IFBB pro Jay Cutler’s method for building huge and powerful muscles revolves around the rest-pause principle. He avoids performing continuous repetitions at a steady pace and instead makes two-count pauses to give his muscles an intense squeeze at the top or bottom portion of the movement.
Maintaining balance and control while focusing the weight on the targeted muscle is a priority for this legendary bodybuilder. But just like Coleman, he also states that with many exercises, more muscle groups have to work as one to allow for optimal contraction and full range of motion.
Cutler’s biceps workout:
• Barbell curls: 5-6 sets, 8-10 reps
• One-arm dumbbell preacher curls: 3 sets, 8-10 reps
• Incline dumbbell curls: 3 sets, 8-10
• Two-arm high-cable curls: 3 sets, 8-10 reps
• Hammer curls: 3 sets, 8-10 reps
2. Victor Martinez: high intensity
The Dominican pro bodybuilder Victor Martinez likes to hit his muscles with strict, high-intensity reps for maximum impact, making sure the focal-point muscle gets all the workload. During his early years, the jacked IFBB star had a lot of trouble developing his arms, which were his greatest weakness.
He states he was training them twice a week for a long period of time with no substantial results before becoming frustrated enough to actually reduce his efforts to one arm workout every two weeks. And that’s when he first experienced real growth. So when it comes to building massive arms, his advice is rather simple: don’t overtrain. Keep in mind that your arms already get a piece of the action during your chest, back and shoulder workouts, so don’t push it too far with excessive isolation work on top of that. Rest and recovery is crucial for growth.
Martinez’s triceps workout:
• Close-grip bench presses: 4 sets, 10 reps
• Weighted dips: 4 sets, 10 reps
• Pushdowns: 4 sets, 10 reps
3. Ronnie Coleman: explosive power
The eight-time winner of the Mr. Olympia title stresses the importance of using explosive power and strict execution on every single rep. Instead of opting for lighter weight and focusing on the contraction, Coleman prefers forcing his muscles to work to their full capacity with as much weight as possible, while maintaining a perfect form.
In fact, he would rather perform fewer reps with high intensity and full range of motion, pushing all muscles in a given area to work together than to repeatedly hit one isolated muscle group. In the case of the biceps, Coleman adds: “To get those puppies to work, you have to use your delts, forearms and even your abs as you tense to explode into the rep.”
Coleman’s biceps workout:
• Barbell curls: 4 sets, 8-12 reps
• Standing alternate dumbbell curls: 3 sets, 8-12 reps
• Cambered-bar preacher curls: 3 sets, 8-12 reps
• Standing cable curls: 4×2 sets, 8-12 reps
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