Weight Training Variables for Muscle Growth and Explosive Strength
One of the biggest mistakes that beginners tend to make once they first join the gym is their clouded judgment of weight training as a whole. Not many understand that bodybuilding is a long and difficult journey, filled with countless secrets and variables that may not be apparent to the untrained eye at first.
Bodybuilding, just like many other disciplines, is filled with many quirks that can drastically transform one's perspective of the discipline for the better. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an expert, if you want to grow and get stronger, try incorporating the following weight training variables for maximized results.
A very important variable needed for increased muscle growth and explosive strength is the constant incorporation of paused repetitions. While the name is self-explanatory, it's common to have a difficult grasp on understanding how to exactly perform this type of variable and under which circumstances. It's worth mentioning that while paused reps tend to be commonly used in machine-oriented movements; many professional bodybuilders can't help but stress their importance in free weight exercises.
A paused rep is easy to perform and consists of holding the peak contraction of the movement for three seconds or longer; repeating the process after each rep. A short pause will exponentially improve the muscle contraction and explosiveness throughout the whole motion. Other benefits include enhanced strength and a greater mind-muscle connection. Due to their risky nature, a spotter during free weight exercises is a definite must.
One and a half reps
Unconventional but highly effective, one-and-a-half reps are a great way to add variety and intensity to monotone workouts. These types of reps are not only incredible for increasing the intensity during a given set but they are also unbelievably effective for reaching mind-blowing pumps.
The one-and-a-half repetition principle states that every full repetition needs to be instantly followed by a half repetition, and every half repetition by a full one. The increasing blood flow, pump, and intensity will all be exponentially heightened and result in an enhanced level of muscle hypertrophy.
The last training variable that most beginners seem to lack within their workout structure is the use of controlled negatives during a given exercise. Scientists have proven that muscle breakdown and hypertrophy occur at a greater level during the negative portion of the movement and not the positive like most think.
Controlled negatives are a part of the basic principles of High-Intensity Training (HIT), developed by Arthur Jones -the creator of Nautilus weight equipment- and promoted by bodybuilding legends Mike Mentzer, Ray Mentzer, Casey Viator, and Dorian Yates. Controlled negatives build strength, balance, explosiveness, promote the greater use of stabilizer muscles, and offer a greater level of muscular development.