6 Off Season Muscle Building Techniques
In my last post on advanced techniques I gave you 6 general techniques to incorporate into your workouts. Now the difference from those are that they were a mix of techniques to stimulate different types of fibers and create maximum exhaustion, where as these ones are specific and heavy and really stimulate those type IIB fibers and flirt with the fine line of strength and growth.
When I say off season I mean a time where you want to gain muscle as the main priority. For me, I have 34 weeks left of tweaking my workouts for gaining as much muscle as possible. There for I'm currently using these techniques in my workouts. These techniques are designed to recruit as many motor units as possible while using a surplus of weight to signal your muscles to grow and be able to handle heavier weight the next time around. I see many people using techniques for muscular endurance, like doing push ups to failure. But I rarely see them do it for strength/hypertrophy. What you need to understand is that your muscles need a reason to grow and the more weight it can "feel" for a prolonged period of time (minimum 24 reps) the more it will need to grow to keep up with the demand placed upon it. So here they are:
Note: Before performing any of these techniques it's extremely important that you use all safety measures possible like for example safety bars in the squat rack. These are truly for advanced lifters and should not be performed every workout or things will start to break down.
1. Forced reps
This is were you need a personal trainer or a partner that will provide you with a spot. Perform 5-10 repetitions leaving 2 reps that are impossible without a little help.
2. Partial reps
Overload the muscle with a weight that would be impossible to perform in a full range of motion and perform 5-10 repetitions. (be careful)
3. Pre exaustion
It's important to work on your weak spots when trying to gain muscle. If your shoulders over power your chest, try pre-exhausting your chest with a few cable crossovers before you hit the bench press.
4. Rest pause
These are great, unlike a drop set where you would reduce the weight every interval, a rest pause set manipulates the rest time. Use a weight that you can perform 5 reps, then take 30 seconds to rest and try to perform another 4-5, then rest another 30 seconds and try to perform another 3-4.
Negative are the ecentric or lowering/releasing portion of an exercise. In this technique you have someone help you lift the the weight and you focus your energy on resisting the weight in the ecentric portion. Try to resist at a 4 second count and perform anywhere from 3-6 reps or perform negatives at the end on a regular set.
Here you would perform a movement with two limbs on the concentric part of the motion and use one limb for the ecentric portion. For example while performing a lying leg curl you would lift the weight with two legs and release the weight under control with 1 leg.