“How to build muscle?” It’s probably the most common question I get. Oh, actually it’s number two. The first one is how to lose this (and the person asking the question is ALWAYS shaking his/her/its big fat belly during the question)? Anyway, people today are very concerned about getting fit (or insert any trendy word like “toned up” or “functional”). Most of them should loose fat. Some of them should add slabs of muscle to their frame (I just couldn’t resist using this combination of words). And all of them need to get much stronger than they are. They need to stop looking in the mirror every free moment and start training and eating right. That’s what they need. But back to the theme of the post, what to do if their goal is to build muscle? Well, it all depends on the training experience of the trainee. If it’s beginner-to-intermediate then he/she should concentrate on basics. Period. You can read more about it here. If he/she is on intermediate-to-advanced level then it is possible to take advantage of the technique I’m about to share with you here.
Feel the Muscle?
Yepp. It is often overlooked technique by many trainees as well as strength coaches and personal trainers. I learnt it from my friend and bodybuilder (he’s not natural or clean (as all this sport called “bodybuilding”) but he definitely knows what he’s talking about). Most of the good smart results-oriented trainees just concentrate on basics and getting stronger (and it’s right thing to do; I totally endorse this). But if we are talking about building muscle it’s not enough at intermediate-to-advanced level. Basics are great but they don’t take into account individual muscles. For example, we are getting stronger at weighted dips. We add weight and reps. We follow high-protein diet with enough calories. And with time we’re moving some pretty heavy weight. Of course, we became bigger during this process. But here’s the problem. Our chest and shoulders continue to grow but our triceps is lagging. It just doesn’t grow. I think, some of you were in such situation. What’s wrong? We don’t feel the triceps during dip movement, chest and shoulders do all the work. What’s the solution? We should add an additional exercise that will target triceps musculature. In other words, we should find an exercise during which we should feel exactly our triceps. For me, for example, this exercise is ring bodyweight triceps extensions or one-arm cable triceps extensions (credit joshua). For you it may be diamond push-ups or ring dips or something else. Everybody is different, you should find what works for you (or let the professional do this for you). You can apply this example to any compound exercise. Use your feelings and imagination.
So now you have it. Of course, getting strong should be your number one priority. And before you move some pretty serious weight (something like 1.5 x bodyweight bench press, 2 x bodyweight barbell squat and 2.5 x bodyweight deadlift) or perform bodyweight exercises that require decent strength (something like full planche push-ups, full ROM free-standing handstand push-ups, one-arm chin-ups etc.) you shouldn’t be concerned with this. But if you do – give this technique a try. Feel the muscle and you’ll be able to build more of them. As always thanks for reading. Comment. Share. Like.