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Add Slabs of Muscle

There are many different techniques out there that can be used to add variety to your training programme and help you to add slabs of muscle to your physique. Here are some of the methods that I believe are truly effective at helping you achieve this.

Paused Reps – For muscle growth paused reps are a fantastic method to use as they result in more time under tension and also ensure that technique is strict with no sloppy reps. They are also great for building strength in an area that most people are weak in, the bottom portion of a lift. When you have a technique that improves form and enhances time under tension of the targeted muscle then good things usually happen and trust me they do. These work well with big compound exercises such as presses and are absolutely fantastic when used on squats. If you are one of those people who find that squats never leave your legs aching and feeling like they have been worked then paused squats will be the solution to your problem. The necessary reduction in weight always results in better technique and ensures that the legs are taxed more than they would be during a heavier squat where the load can sometimes shift to the lower back and other areas. You do not have to go crazy with paused reps by simply adding a press and a squat to your current regime you will reap the rewards of this great technique. Like any technique it is not something that you need to do all the time, by simply using it for 4-8 week blocks you will reap the rewards. Oh and before I forget pauses of 1-5 seconds are what you are looking for here. Obviously the longer the pause the lighter the weights you will have to use. I like to use a count of 1,2,3, most of the time especially when I train on my own as it is just easy to do.

Holds for each rep – When it comes to back training I like to utilise holds on quite a few back exercises. The best I have found are lat pulldowns, seated rows, inverted
Rows and banded face pulls.

By simply holding the rep in the contracted position for a couple of seconds this makes the exercise more intense and again increases the time under tension of the targeted muscles. This technique is great with cable rows / pulldowns and especially with bands where the contracted position is under even more tension – a few sets of these really light up the back muscles. This technique can also be used to good effect when all you have is your bodyweight to train with. On an exercise such as inverted rows you can easily make it harder by holding each rep for a few seconds, if you don’t believe me try it and then come back to me when a set of 10 is suddenly tough.

Backdown Sets – Possibly my favourite technique for blending strength training with hypertrophy work for the same exercise and it is very very effective. Do your heavy sets first think 1-5 reps and then rest 5 minutes before hitting 1 lighter higher rep set for as many as you can ( I generally shoot for 8-10 on this ). The earlier heavy sets ramp up the CNS and also get you used to handling heavier weights so that when you suddenly have a lighter weight in your hand it feels like nothing this also gives you added confidence as soon as you feel the weight which is also important. This technique allows you to get an extra rep or two to what you would usually get if you just went straight in at the lighter weight. It allows you to build strength and muscle and I feel it is one area a lot of people miss out on as they will hit their heavy sets and then just stop, Don’t be one of these people....instead use your head and take advantage and hit some reps. You can thank me when you have added slabs of muscle and strength to your physique.

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