by Vince Del Monte -- Muscle Building Expert and Author: No Nonsense Muscle Building
This article is going to show you 3 more methods that are usually untapped by most when trying to gain new muscle...
Untapped Target 1 – High Frequency Lifting
The reason it works: If you could train a muscle group 50 times a year or 150 times a year, which would get you better results? 150 - assuming you are recovered before the next stimulus on the muscle.
How to make it work: train each body part with up to 3-4 workouts per week. But you must manipulate the weights, exercises and rep ranges. You will not lift heavy weights 3 days in the week all on the same muscle group or else the joints and nervous system would be overtaxed.
Methods you can experiment with: An example is training a body part 3 times in a week, while incorporating a heavy day, medium day and a light day; using all different exercises, sets and reps. Here's an example using chest:
On Monday you do a power day of 4 sets of 6-8 reps, 2 minutes with bench press. On Wednesday you have a hypertrophy day of 3 sets of 8-10 reps, 90 seconds rest with Incline Dumbbell Press. On Friday you do an endurance day of 2 sets of 25, with 30 seconds rest, for Decline Chest Flyes.
Untapped Target 2 – Positions of Flexion Training
The reason it works: hit each muscle group from three different angles each workout.
How to make it work: For your first exercise you hit the bulk of the muscle fibers with a mid-range mass-builder exercise, which would be a multi- joint/compound movement. Shoulder Presses, Bench Press, Squatting and Deadlifting are all perfect examples.
Your second exercise would target the muscle from a stretched position – a very vulnerable angle that forces a lot of untapped fiber recruitment. An incline bicep curl is a great example.
Your third exercise you select a peak- contraction exercise, which challenges the muscle to contract against resistance. This further helps activate every single muscle fiber without over fatiguing or over killing specific movements of a muscle (a very common mistake). A tricep kickback is a great example of a peak contraction exercise.
Methods you can experiment with: When you split up your body- parts, I see very little reason to incorporate more than 3 exercises per body part. Each body part should have a mid-range movement, a stretch movement and a contraction movement to maximize all the muscle fibers and prevent overtraining. A killer bicep workout would only include standing barbell curls, incline bicep curls and concentration curls.
Positions Of Flexion is the most sensible way to organize your exercise choices instead of the shotgun way of just picking a multitude of exercises for a body part without any specific reason.
Untapped Target 3 – Significant Amounts of Unilateral Lifting
The reason it works: it’s harder for the body to recruit the growth muscle fibers during bilateral movements than during unilateral exercises. Beginners often hit a plateau because of an inefficient nervous system so they can’t recruit the high threshold growth fibers. People with longer limbs experience the same difficulty in recruiting their high threshold motor units.
How to make it work: incorporate 3-week training blocks of pure unilateral (one arm or one leg at a time) movements to better recruit the nervous system and ultimately improve the recruitment of the high threshold motor units when returning to bilateral movements.
Methods you can experiment with: Don’t drop all of your bilateral work and use this method sparingly, especially if you’re not a beginner or have shorter limbs. Here are unilateral exercises to target each side independently or alternatively: alternating lunge, 1 leg-curl, 1-leg deadlift, 1-leg squat, step ups, 1-leg hop, 1-leg press, 1-leg stiff leg deadlift, 1-leg back extension.
Better training and regular inclusion of unilateral training will optimize bilateral training and maximize the high threshold motor units for growth.
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