Bodybuilders can pack on about 5 to 10 pounds of muscle growth by adding an extra bit of intensity to their normal workout routines.
If you’re interested in bulking up this year, try these techniques for taking your workout intensity up a notch and increasing your muscle mass:
- Partial holds – This technique involves holding steady at various points in the path of an exercise with a relatively light weight. It forces the muscle to maintain a constant state of contraction for extended periods. In lateral raises, after reaching failure on the straight set, lift the dumbbells out to your sides by inches and hold them there for 10 seconds. It may not seem like a big deal, but it will add significant intensity to the end of your set. If you are looking for a greater burn, do this once or twice after resting for 15 seconds. Use this technique for an extra nudge when you hit a plateau in your exercise routine. It also works well for increasing pull-ups.
- Multi-exercise sets –Instead of doing four sets of one exercise, do a set each of four different exercises for the same body part. By doing four different kinds of movements, you are using different angles and applying different stresses to the same muscles. When you exercise your chest muscles, you could do one set of barbell incline presses, followed by a set of flat-bench dumbbell presses, then a set of incline flies topped off with weighted dips. Apply this technique to different muscle groups.
- One-and-a-half method – This exercise technique is a way of doing 21s—a routine that allows you to work the top half of a rep seven times, the bottom half seven times, and then a full rep seven times. The goal of this technique is for your target muscles to experience maximum burn. This technique involves following each full rep that you do with a half rep for added intensity. Make sure that you perform each half rep slowly and with precision. Toward the end of the set, your muscles may feel excruciatingly painful, a sign that you are experiencing muscle burn.
Try these straightforward techniques. They may burn like fire in the process, but you’ll feel good later when you see the resulting muscle growth.