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Muscle Overload Techniques
Going to failure is a good way to ensure significant muscle growth. But there are other methods, known as "muscle overload" techniques, that can help to push you beyond normal failure. These high-intensity methods are used only by those who are serious about getting the most out of everyworkout. Utilize these techniques on only two sets per muscle and only during your high-intensity weeks. If you overuse these Top Muscular Strength Exercises and variations, your muscles will not be able to recuperate and grow.
1) Forced Reps: This is the most common technique of the three. Have your training partner or a spotter assist you in doing a rep after you are no longer able to do one on your own. Two to three forced reps per set are all you need.
2) Drop Sets: This is a popular variation because it can be performed without assistance. It also gives you a great muscle pump. Complete the number of reps indicated in the exercise program. (If you are using enough weight, this should be the point at which you reach failure.) Then, immediately pick up a lighter weight and continue with the movement until you again reach failure. Repeat the procedure a third time for maximum effect.
3) Static Rep: On your final rep of a set, hold the weight in the contracted position for 30 seconds, or as long as you can. This forces your muscle fibers to keep on resisting gravity even though there is no movement. Static reps can be combined with forced reps or drop sets.
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