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Training Intensity for Optimum Muscle Growth Training Database Advanced Training Tips Training Intensity for Optimum Muscle Growth

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Training Intensity for Optimum Muscle Growth

by Marshall Brown. BSc. Hons., courtesy of Mick Hart's No Bull Collection.

Intensity Techniques 

Descending Sets 
This is a training strategy that allows you to continue an exercise well past the point of muscular failure via the use of exercise weight decreases during the set. For example, say your doing dumb-bell curls with 60- pound weights and reach failure after sever-al repetitions. You would then pick up a pair of 50- or 45-pounders, and continue again to failure. Following this, you could then pick up a pair of 30 pounders and continue again to failure. Take note that there are no rest periods between weight drops, and three decreases in weight is often enough to completely 'fry' the muscle. This technique can be successfully applied to a variety of exercises, such as triceps extensions (machine and free-weight), curling movements, bench presses, leg press, leg extensions and curls etc. In the bench press, two spotters are required to remove plates quickly as you temporarily rack the weight between drops, allowing the absolute mini-mum rest time. This strategy will really put you in the growth (and pain) zone. 

Rest - Pause 
This technique allows the use of heavy weights in a given exercise for the greatest number of repetitions possible. Using the bench press as an example, say you were capable of pressing 300 pounds for 4 reps. You would complete such a set, rack the weight and rest for around 15-20 seconds, and then grind out another couple of reps, rest and then repeat the procedure again. This is great for providing maximal growth stimulation to the muscle with the heaviest weights possible, but remember, you'll need at least one spotter. 

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Another way to vary the stress on the working muscles is the '21s' system. In this technique, a series of half-repetitions and full repetitions are performed in the following way. Taking barbell curls... (continued in member's section)

Partial Repetitions 
The use of partial repetitions allows you to use extremely heavy weights over a limited range of motion, and/or to attack a sticking point in the range of motion of an exercise within which you are attempting to get a great deal stronger. The use of partial reps is particularly useful... (continued in member's section)

Forced Repetitions 
The use of forced repetitions at the end of one or two of your worksets for a given muscle group will greatly enhance the quality of stimulation that the muscle receives, and will lead to faster progress, if used carefully. Forced reps are a way of taking the muscle beyond... (continued in member's section)

I Go/You Go System 
This style of training is well suited to smaller muscle groups such as biceps, triceps or calves, and requires one workout partner. Taking barbell curls as an example, select a weight that you can both get 10-12 reps in good form, but with difficulty... (continued in member's section)

Pre-Exhaustion Training. 
Pre-exhaustion is yet another method for taking a target muscle beyond the point of failure, and involves the use of both a compound exercise and an isolation movement coupled together. If your training chest for example, you could complete... (continued in member's section)

The above techniques are examples of the many ways in which you can increase training intensity.

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