At the conclusion of the nineteenth century a new awareness of muscle building occurred, not muscle just as a means of survival or of protecting oneself; the Greek ideal was revisited – muscular development as a celebration of the human body. This was the age when the very old custom of stone lifting developed into the contemporary sport of bodybuilding.
The dreaded plateau, the sticking point and/or the proverbial wall are all reasons why bodybuilding techniques were developed. Bodybuilding techniques are fundamental resistance training routines designed to specifically increase muscle mass. Frequently shifting the stress placed on muscle groups prevents adaptation and forces the body to respond.
One shock treatment guaranteed to get the body to respond is pre-exhaustion training combined with a slightly higher rep range. If you are not familiar with pre-exhaustion it is easy to learn, but not easy to do. First you do an isolation exercise aimed at a specific body part and without rest, carry out a compound exercise that also targets that body part. You will need to lower the amount of resistance on the compound set, but don't worry about it.
Giant Sets – a giant set usually consists of a number of different exercises for one particular body part done in tandem.
Super Sets – a super set consists of a number of different exercises for two or more body parts one after the other.
Forced Reps – forced reps is a process that involves working the muscle group to failure.
Stalled Reps/Sets – this method involves stopping the movement somewhere in between the start and finishing position, stalling there for a given time period, and then finishing the movement.
Eccentric Contractions – eccentric contractions are defined as muscle contractions in which the muscle lengthens as opposed to shortening.
Timed Sets/Reps – timed sets or reps involve doing the movement through a specific fixed time or count.
Partial Reps – partial reps or restricted range of motion sets are exercises where the entire set is purposefully done through a partial range of motion.
Pre-exhaustion – pre-exhaustion is a method in which a muscle group is isolated, using an isolating movement prior to doing a compound movement.
Post-exhaustion – post-exhaustion sets involve performing low repetition, heavy weight sets, followed immediately by high repetition, light weight sets.
Load Pyramiding - load pyramiding occurs when each progressive set is done with heavier weights and less repetition.
Repetition Pyramiding – this form of pyramiding is done with a set amount of weight, and you can gradually increase repetitions by one or two per set.
Intermission Pyramiding – this technique progressively decreases the time between sets of a given weight load.
Load Sets – load sets progressively add weight to a given set while the number of repetitions stays the same or decreases.
Drop Sets – drop sets involve decreasing the amount of weight while you decrease or keep the reps the same within the same set.
HIT/Volume Training Techniques
Here is a great method to get some volume work into your exercise program without pounding yourself into a state of overtraining.
Day 1 – chest, shoulders, triceps - volume
Day 2 – back, biceps – low volume
Day 3 – legs – volume
Change this sequence every 2-4 weeks for best results.
Make Use Of A Spotter To Supersize Your Gains
You're going to need to train smart and hard if you truly want to learn to put on lots of muscle mass. Hardcore training to the point of muscular failure can be serious business, particularly if you use heavy free weights, but it is a great way to stress muscular fibers for added growth. An effective spotter should have the following qualities:
• Avoids distractions and pays close attention to you
• Is always ready to help you at a moment's notice
• Is aware of the training volume you can handle
• Makes sure he is actually powerful enough to help you finish the exercise, if not, he looks for help from a second spotter for really heavy lifts
• Provides the smallest amount of effort required to help you safely raise the weight
• Offers help during the concentric stage of the movement, when the muscles are contracting in an effort to raise the weight
• Offers minimum assistance during the eccentric phase of the movement, when the muscles are elongating and gravity is doing the work
• Gives you psychological encouragement when you need it most
Functional Strength Training Vs. Bodybuilding
By definition, bodybuilding training is "cosmetic." Bodybuilding is not intended for increasing strength, suppleness, stamina, swiftness or other physical factors as ends in themselves. Functional training emerged mainly from the sports conditioning and rehabilitation world. This type of training will help improve your performance if you're and athlete: you develop your swing, throw further, run faster or increase your vertical jump.
Training Planning For Bodybuilders
Bodybuilding magazines used to be filled with exercise routines used by the "pros." These days all you will find in the bodybuilding publications are reviews of the most recent professional contests and advertisements for expensive nutritional supplements. There appears to be an assumption that the process of bodybuilding is so easy that only beginners would have a question about the correct way to train for inducing muscular hypertrophy and strength.
Of primary interest to bodybuilders is training for size. What is bodybuilding, after all, if it's not doing all you can to make your muscles larger? The goal now is to use the current knowledge of the way muscle tissue reacts to imposed mechanical overload and micro-trauma to plan a training strategy or routine that best elicits a growth effect.