You can walk into any gym, go to any forum, or browse any website, and you will find the same-old techniques being used to build muscle: drop sets, super sets, heavy negatives, and the list goes on.
What if you’ve been there, done that? When training becomes boring you have nothing to look forward to, and most importantly you aren?t seeing results.
If you’ve tried all of the popular muscle building techniques, here are 4 new bodybuilding tools you’ve probably never tried.
Trick #1 – Run the Rack
Running the rack can be a refreshing change from your usual training. This technique can be inserted into nearly any split.
There are a few things you need to know about running the rack:
- Rest – Rest between sets is important. You need to be ready for the next set. Running the rack is not a technique for the squeamish. Rest anywhere between 2-4 minutes between sets as needed, once the weight gets heavy.
- Form – Use good form on every set. If you feel your form is breaking down, stop. The rest between sets is important to maintaining your form. Do not train any set to failure.
- Set Progression – The amount of sets you will depend on your starting and ending dumbbell weight. You will be running up and down the rack in 10 pound increments.Running the rack can be used for many exercises, but for explanation purposes I will choose an example using dumbbell bench presses.
The first step to this technique is deciding where in the rack you are going to start. I recommend picking a weight that will allow you to perform 15-20 reps.
Once you have your starting weight, you are going to ?run up the rack? in 10 pound increments, performing as many reps per set until you are only able to perform 5 or fewer reps. The set you can only perform 5 or fewer reps will be the final set in the run up the rack
Trick #2 – Reverse Rep Pyramid Technique
The reverse rep pyramid technique is a great way to cut down time spent in the gym while recruiting maximum muscle fibers. This technique is great for building muscle as well as strength.
The reverse rep pyramid technique technique does not require any special calculations or a stopwatch; it is a simple, effective, and straightforward approach to muscle building.
When running the reverse rep pyramid, there are 3 simple things to remember:
- Pick a weight 75-80% of your 1 rep max and use this weight every set
- Rest between sets should be 2-3 minutes max
- On your all-out set, do not go until complete failure; go until your form starts to break down
The rep scheme for this technique goes as follows:
- First Set: 1 Rep
- Second Set: 2 Reps
- Third Set: 3 Reps
- Fourth Set: 4 Reps
- Fifth Set: As many reps as possible
This technique is great because the first 3 sets do not fatigue you and get your nervous system properly warmed up to complete an all-out set.
Trick #3 – Pre AND Post-Exhaustion Technique
Pre-exhaustion is not a new technique. It is commonly used to fatigue primary muscles with an isolation movement before you target them with a heavy compound exercise. For instance, you would pre-exhaust your triceps with a few sets of cable extensions before you perform close grip bench.
The benefit of pre-exhaustion is to push your primary muscles to the ultimate breaking point; this is what builds muscle.
This pre AND post-exhaustion technique ups the ante’. You will fatigue a muscle before training a compound movement, and then hammer it again after you perform this major movement.
A simple way to introduce this technique into your current workout routine is to perform whatever finishing exercise you normally do immediately after your big compound lift. For example, running 3 sets of 12 on the pec deck before you bench, and then performing a finisher of 50 rest-paused reps on incline dumbbell flyes right after you bench press.
Trick #4 – Rest Pause Training
Rest-pause training is not for the faint of heart. It will skyrocket muscle gains when used properly. This technique uses very short breaks in between your sets which create a growth-inducing pump.
Since there are very short breaks between sets, you are able to get in and out of the gym much more quickly and have a substantially higher intensity workout. Rest-pause training works for compound, isolation, and machine exercises which makes this technique easy to implement.
]There are a few basics to rest pause training:
- Use the same weight between each set – Once finished with your warmup, you will use the same weight for each of your working sets.
- Do not train until failure – Just like many techniques in this article, there is no need to train until complete failure. Stop your set when you feel you may fail your next rep.
- Use good form – Letting your form break down will cause injury and will set your gains back.