Heavy and light days. Probably my favorite
way to shock my muscles is to use heavy and
light training days. On heavy days, I use
as much weight as I can for 3-4 reps and on
light days I put on as much weight as I can for
12-15 reps. This is good for me because I
train 6 days a week doing each body part twice
Forced reps are pretty popular. I don't
like them too much but people do get pretty good
results from them. A forced rep is when
you are trying to lift more weight than you can
lift by yourself and you need your partner to
help you get it up. The only time I like
these is when you are at your failure point and
you just need a little help to get the last one
Partial reps are a great way to get your muscles
to burn. When doing partial bench press
reps, you should only lift the weight about 4
inches off of your chest. This goes for
any other exercise as well. Only do the
first half of the rep. (don't do these for
squats- they are a waste of time).
Isolate your muscles to get the most out of a
particular workout. Doing leg extensions
are a great isolation workout for your thighs.
for biceps I recommend doing dumbbell curls.
Isotension is imperative if you want to be a
competitive bodybuilder. This is when you
continuously flex and relax your muscles before,
between, and after your workout and even between
reps. Practicing your posing routine is a
form of isotension as well.
Negative reps are when you are lowering the
weight. My favorite exercise to do
negatives on is with straight bar curls.
To do this, you curl the bar up as normal then
lower it very slowly. Concentrate on
holding the weight as hard as you can. If
you can hold it easily, then its not enough
Cheating is when you lose your form just for a
second to help get you through a tough spot in
your workout. For instance, if you are
doing standing military press and you can't seem
to push out the last rep and you begin to use
your legs to give you momentum to lift it, this
is cheating. Keeping good form in general is one
of the most important criteria to becoming
strong and staying healthy so this type of
practice should be avoided as much as possible.
Heavy Duty training is when you go to your usual
workout weight right after warming up. Usually,
I do a few (3-4) sets to pyramid up to my
workout weight and get the blood pumping.
With the heavy duty method of training, you skip
the pyramid and go straight to the top.
Staggered sets are usually used to help develop
an underdeveloped area. For instance if your
calves were a little smaller than you like, you
might incorporate an extra day of calf exercises
on a day that they aren't scheduled for.
So when chest day comes around you would do a
set of calf raises between each exercise you do
that day. By the end of the day you may
have done 20-30 sets!
Prioritize your workout so that you are putting
a specific emphasis on your "weak" areas.
Personally, My back could use a little more
work. On back day I could use one or more
of the techniques above to help make my workout
more enjoyable and effective. I could also
schedule my back day on Monday so I am more
fresh... get the point?
Supersets are one of my personal favorites!
This can be done two ways actually.
You can superset the same muscle group. i.e.:
doing pushups between sets of bench press.
You can superset opposing muscle groups. i.e.:
doing pull-ups between sets of bench press.
I like doing them both ways.
Stripping weight as you go is a very effective
way to build muscle. This allows you to
work through your fatigue. Basically, you
do as many reps as you can until you are
completely fatigued, then you "strip" some
weight off of the bar and immediately go again
until you are fatigued at that weight. This is a
good way to make you feel weak, but you really
get a pump!
I Go/You Go: This is a pretty fun exercise especially when
you and your partner are about the same strength and size.
Basically, if you are doing curls, once you are done with your set
you hand the weight off to your partner then he goes. You can
go back and forth until one of you gives up. Or you can do one, then
your partner does one, then you do two, then he does two, then three
and go up to 15 or so then back down.