I seldom get a descent pump in the muscle i'm training. It's not that I don't feel it working, but I train with few reps (6-10). That means not enough time to make the blood flush into the muscle. I don't like high-reps training. Since I cannot stand the painâ€¦What I do instead is, stripping the weights. E.X: I do 6 reps on the leg curl and then reach failure. After that I lower the weight 25% and keep going for another 3-5 reps, hit failure, decrease the weight one more time with 50% and rep out 5-6 more. I enjoy the feeling this method gives me.
I read something Skip La Cour wrote in Ironmag: 'you can do hundreds of pushups to get a great pump in your pecs, but when you bench press 300 pounds for 6 reps you don't. Hey, what do you think leads to growth?'
I can only agree with him! Sometimes I get irritated because I don't feel the muscle working, but the very next day it can be enormously sore. Soreness means you have put more stress on the muscle than it's used to, and thus tears apart. This is what you want it to do; get overloaded so it must grow!
A lot of people claim only beginners get a lot of soreness and the more experienced the trainer, the less sore he/she gets from the workouts. Well, that doesn't apply to me. I get sore all the time, even though I stretch, eat the right stuff, take my vitamins and lift correctly. In conjunction with all that, I strive for soreness. For me, that means I did well. This doesn't mean YOU should do the same, as it seems my body easily gets sore.
One mistake trainers do is not paying enough attention to the eccentric part of the rep. I know, you THINK you do, but you cannot overemphasize it. I promise. This means you probably won't be able to use the same weights as you use to, but if that is what matters to you the most - how heavy weights are you using, that is - you're in the wrong sport. Bodybuilding is not powerlifting. I never will be. In bodybuilding the most important thing is stressing the muscle right and supply it with nutrients to rebuild and build more.
Cheating in bodybuilding doesn't mean cheating yourself. Some believe it is, it seems to me. There is no meaning to lift a weight you cannot handle with good form. At that point, your body tries to make up for your sloppy form and brings all muscles available into play in order to save yourself from injuries. What's the point with doing a barbell row for your lats, if the load is too heavy and thus you must stand almost straight? Once again, skip the slogan 'more weights equals more growth'. It's more like 'the more load on the specific muscle, the more growth'. You bet a lot of muscle groups get overtrained if they have to assist during all workouts you do.
I cheat all the time when I train. However, I do it just a little to assist the muscle in focus. I never use my spine to assist, neither my shoulders to help out pecs in distress. Some things are just plain stupid. And that is when you use your tendons to work more than your muscles who are there for doing it and protect your joints and tendons.
In my next article, I tell you what methods I use when I cheat and how you can do it too in a safe, but effective way.