During your muscle building workout program, you'll at some point see a slow-down in your progress, particularly as your body becomes accustomed to your weight training exercises and routine. Therefore, the best way to take your muscle building workout to the next level is to change it. I do not just mean change the exercises, I mean change everything, including the way you usually train.
Fortunately, to advance your muscle building workout, you just need to make a few simple changes every couple of weeks. This will keep your muscles “shocked” and stimulated, encouraging your body to build muscle faster.
Here are my top 10 tips to take your Muscle Building Workouts to the next level:
1. Change Exercises – This is the most obvious thing to do, but still some people do not change their exercises. At least every 8 weeks, change your workout and replace the exercises. For example, change the leg press machine for squats. This will target new muscle groups and requires different form.
2. Do Heavier and Fewer Reps – Decreasing your reps and increasing the weight will mean your body must utilize more power to lift the weights, resulting in more strength gains and quite, better muscle mass gains. If you normally work in the 10-15 rep range, try decreasing to 4-8 reps for a few weeks, where on the last 1-2 reps you train to failure.
3. Reverse Your Workout – Rather than doing your exercises in the same order each workout, reverse the order completely and vary the exercises slightly. This means you'll be your strongest on the exercises you normally finish on. For example, to vary an exercise slightly, do incline bench press instead of flat bench press.
4. Shorten Rest Times – The less time you give your body to recover between sets, the harder your muscles will have to work on the next set. This can be harder than you think, so make sure maintain proper form and decrease the weight if you can not.
5. Do Drop-Sets – A drop-set is where you start off your exercise reasonable heavy (after a warm-up) and continuously performing the exercises by dropping the weight off until you can do no more. For example, you start off barbell curls at 40kg, do 8 reps, then you drop to 35kg and try and do 8 more, you then drop off another 5kg and do the same. You'll be surprised how quickly the energy seeps from your muscles until even the lightest weight feels like it weighs a tonne!
6. Do Super-Sets – A super-set is when you do 2 (or more) exercises back-to-back in a cycle. It's great for boosting your metabolism too and should make you sweat buckets. This is my favorite method for 2 reasons; it speeds up my workouts and I really get a fantastic burn in my muscles.
7. Split You Muscle Building Workout – If you are not already doing a split routine, I suggest you do so. You can perform say legs one day and upper body the next, or even split your routine over different body parts if you are at the gym daily.
8. Use a Stability Ball – Do not shy away from the stability ball as they allow for a great variation of exercises that require excellent balance and strict form, which in itself is great for your core.
9. Progressively Add More Weight – This is the easiest and most common muscle growth technique of all. Just remember, if you are not increasing your weights on a regular basis you are not getting stronger, so you will not gain muscle mass, you'll simply maintain your muscles as they are now.
10. Switch Weight Training Equipment – This is another simple method that's often over looked. You may prefer doing the barbell bench press, but switching to dumbbells will hit a different variation of muscles. Variation is the key.
In Summary .
Periodically, by adding a few of the above changes to your muscle building workout, you'll see continued muscle growth and a noticeable increase in your overall fitness levels. If one of these methods does not suit you, then do not do it, but do try and mix up your workouts often. To reiterate my first and most important point, I personally change my entire workout routine every 8-12 weeks after taking a week off, to allow my body to recover completely before resuming training on a new workout regime.