There comes a time when 3 sets of 10 and traditional straight sets just don't do the trick anymore. Too bad, eh? And at some point, no matter what supplements you're taking you just can't max out any further with the big lifts.
You've given up flirting with the front desk girl to redirect your efforts into raising the intensity of the workout and you've even started wearing an iPod to ward off distractions but are still lifting the same weights as last month.
Come on, you can admit it. You're even checking out the other dudes in the gym more often than the girls because it boggles your mind why everyone else seems to be growing—except you.
You've even ditched your muscle rags and have dropped the 2-hour body part workouts and have started resorting to old-school, drug-free bodybuilding techniques and the nut still won't crack. What gives?
You're starting to discover that bodybuilding is not as easy as when you first started and you're starting to believe that you may have reached your genetic potential. What a bummer because you're nowhere close to your dream physique!
Don't panic because I have walked in your shoes many times before but have been able to come out the other side with more mass and more strength and new sense of confidence and pride.
Today I'm handing you a bag full of counter-intuitive tricks that are going to require courage and trust. You're first reaction will be to say, "That's not going to work because... blah blah blah."
I encourage you to take on a powerful philosophy in life called, "Learn by doing, not by talking about it." Results are the only thing that matters and as the old saying goes, "Insanity is expecting to get a different result without doing anything different."
Sometimes the biggest gains are rewarded to you when you go against your intuition, against convention, against tradition, against your gut and against what everyone else is doing. That's why I must reinforce that these tricks will require courage in yourself and trust in me.
In order to tear through this plateau, you need to think unconventional. Many of the secret muscle-building tricks I'm about to share with you may seem to go against everything you've read before and some of them are completely opposite to what once worked for me too. But that's why they will work. Few guys know about these, but those that do stand out from the crowd.
I recommend you only incorporate 1 or 2 of them right now and see what your body responds best to. You will not be able to, nor will it be necessary to resort to more than two of these tricks at once. Reach back into your bag of tricks when the original ones lose their effectiveness.
Here are ten things you can choose from to bust through your rut and start growing again. Again, don't attempt these all at once because I warn you, they are intense.
Muscle Building Tricks
1. Flip Your Program Upside Down
Most of you get into a groove with your workouts—you'll begin the week with chest, hit up legs next, and so on. For one week, switch that around. Start the week with something you normally finish with and vice versa.
So if you train chest on Monday and arms on Friday, switch that around. Often a simple switch such as the order is enough to shock the muscles and get them paying attention again.
2. Swap Your Sets And Reps
Are you typically doing 4 sets of 8 reps? Let's change that this coming week. Instead, do 8 sets of 4 reps.
Note that the weight will have to be adjusted accordingly, but you will be amazed at what this technique can do for you. One week—that's it. Then go back to your normal rep and set scheme.
3. Drop Your Supplements And Focus On Whole Food
I'm not here to tell you that the supplements you're taking aren't having positive effects on your workout program. There's a good chance that if you're using smart supplements, they are in fact making your workouts more effective.
But what can also be extremely effective is to come off the supplements entirely for one week. Force your body to do it alone with only the intake of quality food. Many guys get so wrapped up around their supplement intake that they forget what a proper diet is.
This will force you to start paying attention. Food is the most anabolic substance there is, so start treating it as such.
4. Set A New Bed Time
Sleep is when you're really going to grow, so you must maximize this time. For one week, turn off the TV or skip going out to the bar with your buddies and go to bed two hours earlier. In return, get up two hours earlier.
You'll surprise yourself with just how much more you can accomplish during the day as well as the influence this will have on your ability to build more muscle.
5. The 50-Rep Set Technique
For every exercise you're doing in your workout this week, add one set of fifty reps at the very end. If you haven't been pushing yourself maximally, you will be now.
This technique is very exhaustive on the system, so at the same time be extra sure you're eating and sleeping enough. Note the weight will also be reduced when using this method. The goal is to get to the fifty reps, regardless of what you're lifting.
6. Pre-Exhaust Those Muscles
Alternatively to the 50-rep set principle, try some pre-exhaust work. Begin each exercise in your workout with a set of 75 reps using 50% of your max weight.
Take 10 seconds rest after each block of reps until you reach a total of 75 reps. Use an isolation exercise. After doing this for a week, when you return back to straight lifting, your strength will be through the roof.
7. Set A 'Must-Eat-Diet'
If you don't take in enough calories, you won't grow. It really can be that simple. For one week, set a food intake that must be achieved each day and then try and add whatever other foods you can to it.
For this week, shoot for 12 eggs, 2 gallons of milk, and 2 large chicken breasts each and every day.
Or hit the grocery store and spend more than you would normally spend and plan on having the fridge and cupboards empty by next Sunday. Get that in and start growing.
Click Image To Enlarge.
Set A Food Intake That Must Be Achieved Each Day And
Then Try And Add Whatever Other Foods You Can To It.
8. Go To Failure
You've probably read articles telling you to avoid failure as it's the short-track to overtraining. This is true, when you're always going to direct failure with each lift you do. For this week, forget about reps.
Just lift until you can't lift any more. Then rest and do it again for your next exercise. You might not be able to finish your pre-set workout. Don't worry about it for this week.
That point in an exercise at which you have so fully fatigued your working muscles that they can no longer complete an additional repetition of a movement with strict biomechanics.
9. Run Hard Before Your Workouts
Typically you always want to save cardio until AFTER you've done your weight lifting. For one week, try doing a ten minute hard run right before your weights.
It'll boost your metabolism and cause your appetite to shoot through the roof and mentally put you into a intense mode to carry through the rest of the workout. Try this technique along with the Must-Eat-Diet technique for best results.
10. Start Yoga
Think yoga is a place to pick up women? While it very well may be, it's also a great way to boost your muscle building potential.
Yoga increases circulation, enhances range of motion, and will help to reduce stress. All factors that go into building muscle. Try it for one week and see if you don't notice a difference.
Don't sit around and wait for results to happen. You have to do something—kick-start the body, and get those results for yourself. Remember, the definition of insanity is expecting a different result without doing anything different!
Only guys who take action are going to grow, so don't be that guy on the sideline who's at the gym day in and day out but never has anything to show for it.