5 Good But Painful Ways To Build Muscle Mass!
As you probably know, in order to build muscle mass increasing the load and metabolic pressure on the muscle is one of the most important components. Everyone knows how to lift heavy weights. The trick is to lift wisely and be the one who controls the weight and the pace of movement and not let the weight control you.
There are quite a few different training techniques that can give some “advantage” for your training and some of them are scientifically proved to help build muscle mass. But as I always say, it is very important to look at the big picture and make sure that you always improve over time whether it’s the weights, the number of repetitions and sets, to see the maximum results.
1. Intra set stretching
Perform a long set for failure (8-10 repetitions) and then remain in the stretch position of the muscle for 30 seconds (try not to cry while doing so). Although this is one of the most painful and difficult techniques that exist but if performed properly, it can be an excellent tool to increase metabolic pressure on the muscle and thus increase muscle mass.
The key here is to achieve total mechanical failure and only then, remain in the stretch position of the muscle. For starters, I would recommend starting with one stretch set of 20-30 seconds after reaching failure. For the very advanced: 3-4 stretches of 20-30 seconds between the DROP sets in the exercise itself.
8 reps with 14 kg/30 lbs
30 seconds stretching
Immediately reduce to 10 kg/22 lbs and perform another 8 repetitions
30 seconds stretching
Immediately reduce to 6 kg/13 lbs and perform another 8-10 reps
30 seconds stretching
And that’s it!
2. Drop sets!
Once you reach failure, reduce 15-20% of the weight and continue to fail again. Repeat this between 1-3 times. Although this is an excellent muscle fatigue technique, I would not recommend doing it on any set, but only in the last set of each exercise.
In the next video, a DROP set is shown. Notice that once you reach the point where you can not make it back in full range, lower the weight.
3. Partial Reps
Once you perform an exercise and you reach a failure in the full range of motion you continue to perform the exercise in partial motion. Partial repetitions, when performed intelligently and wisely, can lead to a higher level of muscle failure.
Video example (starting from 1:10):
There are a few things to keep in mind when performing partial repetitions. The most important thing to notice is the range of movement you perform the partial ROM (range of motion). Partial repetitions can be performed at the beginning of the movement when the muscle is stretched or at the end when it is contracted.
In order to achieve an absolute level of failure and metabolic pressure, we would like to focus on partial repetitions in the beginning of the movement when the muscle is stretched
4. Isometric Stretch Set
Once you have reached complete failure, you will remain in the middle of the movement in an isometric contraction. This sends a lot of blood to the muscle.
Warning! This is not a technique that is intended for everyone and certainly not for a beginner who does not know how to control the movements and the workload. This is a very difficult and intensive technique and there is quite a psychological element of how far you can push yourself.
5. Giant Set
Combine several exercises that involve the same muscle with a minimum rest between switching between exercise and exercise.
GIANT sets can cause very high metabolic pressure and thus cause an increase in muscle mass.
The purpose of combining such sets is to know how to combine exercises that work on the same muscle only from a different angle. For example, a combination of leg presses and knee extensions can produce a different tension on the tissues.
So these were 5 great techniques to put some hardcore intensity in your training. But as I always say:
Remember that the key to growth is progress and as long as you focus on the big picture and make sure you are improving over time, whether it is with these techniques or not, you will see an excellent change in muscle mass. Be consistent and I promise you that you will not be disappointed.
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