Training

The Big 25

25 training tips for maximizing mass.

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 9. INCORPORATE REST-PAUSE 

Rest-pause is a neglected technique for pushing your sets beyond failure. When you can’t get another rep, set the weight down or hold it in a resting position just long enough to regain a limited amount of strength (about 15-20 seconds). Then eke out another two to four reps until you reach failure again. Repeat this pattern a second time, getting one or two additional reps.

 10. DIFFERENT ISN’T ALWAYS BETTER 

Ronnie Coleman has done virtually the same workouts for more than 15 years. Variety can spice up your workouts, shocking your muscles into expansion, but if you’re continually growing stronger in one exercise, don’t drop it for another merely for the sake of doing something new. Find the exercises that work best for you, and use them until you reach a plateau.

 11. HEAT UP 

As reported in our Gym Bag (April 2007), scientific research on heat shock proteins indicates they may boost muscle growth. To increase HSP levels in your muscles, sit in a sauna or soak in a hot tub or hot bath after a hard training session. Ingest 500-1,000 milligrams of vitamin C, 400-800 international units of vitamin E and 200-300 mg of alpha-lipoic acid postworkout to combat the free radicals that can stifle heat shock protein-induced growth.

 12. THERE ARE NO “SHAPING” EXERCISES 

Weight training is for gaining muscle mass; diet and cardio are what bring out the details. Don’t get the two confused. Even if you’re doing so-called “shaping” exercises, such as cable crossovers or leg raises, your focus should be on muscle growth.

 13. PREPARE FOR BATTLE 

Give your body the fuel it needs to work hard: ingest 20 grams of whey protein, 5 g of creatine and 20-40 g of slow-digesting carbs within 30 minutes before your workout.

 14. PREPARE FOR RECUPERATION 

Fuel for recovery is also important: ingest 40 g of whey protein, 60-100 g of fast-digesting carbs, 5 g of creatine and five to 10 g of glutamine within 30 minutes after your workout.

 15. SLOW DOWN 

Try using a significantly lighter weight than usual, but take five to 10 seconds to lower it and five to 10 seconds to raise it, emphasizing a full stretch and contraction. In this way, training lighter is harder.

 16. PRE-EXHAUST DEADLIFTS 

Victor Martinez usually ends his back workouts with deadlifts (three sets of 10 reps), as did Yates (one set of eight reps). As a bodybuilder concerned more with growth than strength, try moving deadlifts (sets of eight to 10 reps) to the middle or end of your back routine. Of course, you won’t be as strong in deads if they follow rows and pulldowns, but you will focus this compound lift more on your pre-exhausted back and less on your glutes and thighs.

 

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