This is our collection of Weight Lifting Tips to step up the intensity to any weight training routine.
1. Shocking Principle
This is what you want to do to your body and muscles every workout, shock the body into growing!
This is done by switching up your workout, doing different exercises that you’re body is not used to and using advanced techniques such as stripping sets and supersets
Switching up you’re weight lifting program is a good idea, switch it when you’re body is no longer soar by the next couple of days after a workout. If you need ideas use the weight lifting program page for help.
If my muscles are not soar by the second day after a workout I consider it that my muscles have not been shocked by my workout. It can be for a number of reasons, training intensity was not there and / or my body is getting used to my weight lifting program.
2. Instinctive Principle
Everybody is different, and every body responds differently, after you have been body building for awhile, you will learn what your body responds to well, use that to your advantage. Switch up your weight lifting program to do more alternating curls on an incline bench instead of just standing bicep curls if you feel they get you a better pump. Be instinctive, let your body help make your program.
Starting a training journal may not be a bad idea, you can analyze what has done good in the past for you and what has not done so well.
In-between sets stand in the mirror and flex the muscles you are working out. This helps keep the pump and helps flush out the muscles of buildup such as lactic acid. Isotension also helps to add definition to your muscles and helps show your muscle striations.
Now when you see people flexing in the mirror you know what they are doing even if they don’t!
4. Pre Exhaustion
Isolate a muscle with a specific exercise that targets just that specific muscle without too many secondary muscles. This could be a very targeted exercise such as dumbbell flys. Do a normal workout with a warm up then 3-4 sets.
After move on to a broader exercise such as the flat bench press which mainly targets the chest but also uses the triceps and back muscles. This method of pre exhaustion is a great way to shock a targeted muscle.
5. Flushing you Muscles
Use a very light weight and hold it at various points in your rep of virtually any exercise. When doing a barbell curl start at the bottom of the rep, move up a few inches, hold it for a few seconds then move up a few inches, hold, move up a few inches, hold, etc. Finish the rep doing this through the positive and the negative.
This helps to flush out all the lactic acid that has been built up during you’re workout and will also help to reduce soreness
6. Partial Reps
After you have done a set and you cant do that last rep, do another half or 3/4 rep. (or as much as you can) Do a few of them, this helps to use those few last and unused muscle fibers that otherwise would not have been used.
Try this with almost any exercise in your workout program
7. Different Exercise Sets
Do 1 exercise, then do a different exercise for that same muscle for your second set. By the end you will end up doing 5 sets of all different exercises for the same body part. This has also been called a Giant Set.
Example starting with Seated Dumbbell Curls and doing each exercise until you end with Standing Alternating Curls.
- Seated dumbbell curls
- Standing barbell curls
- Cable curls
- Incline seated alternating dumbbell curls
- Standing alternating curls
Start of doing an exercise but do 7 half reps at the lower part of your rep, then 7 reps at the higher part of the exercise (the top half), then 7 more complete reps, this is one set.
Use a lighter weight so you can actually complete the set even though I constantly find myself ending at 4 or 5 reps. Don’t go too light so that you can finish with ease. It may take a few sets to find a good weight to do this with.
9. Forced Negatives
This works great with the flat bench press. Have a partner push down the weight on the negative part of the rep for added resistance that you can handle.
Also try this on barbell curls and the incline bench press
Put on a heavy weight, do the negative part of the rep, and have your partner help you lift it back up, then do another negative, this is a great method in increasing your max rep for any exercise.
Try targeting your max for bench presses, put on an extra 10 pounds to your current max and do negatives with that weight. This helps to get you used to this weight and forces your body to adapt to the heavy weight.
11. Forced Reps
Start an exercise and when you get to the failure point have a partner help you lift the weight to get an extra rep, or even 3 or 4 more reps.
This helps to use up almost every available muscle fiber left and will shock your muscles into growing. These work great for bench presses and barbell curls but can be incorporated into almost any exercise.
12. Giant Sets
Giant Sets generally range from 3-5 Sets all targeting a single muscle group. Each set consists of a Different Exercise. (see Different Exercise Sets above)
Lets put this into action for a Giant Set Chest Workout and also for a Biceps Workout. Example 1 focuses on your Upper Chest / Pectoral.
Example 1: Giant Set Chest Workout
- Incline Bench Press – 1 set of 8-12 reps
- Incline Dumbbell Fly’s – 1 set of 12 reps
- Cable Crossover’s – 1 set of 12 reps
- Pushups – 1 set to Failure
Example 2: Giant Set Biceps Workout – Targeting Peaking Biceps
- Standing Barbell Curls – 1 set of 8-12 reps
- Dumbbell Hammer Curls – 1 set of 10-12 reps
- Preacher Machine Curls – set of 10-12 reps
- Concentration Curls – 1 set of 10-12 reps
Giant Set Tips
Planning your workout and setting up your exercises, weight to be used, etc. all need to be planned ahead of time. This can be difficult in a gym environment but can be easier to do if you use a lot of free weights and dumbbells as a certain machine you plan to use may be taken.
Rest time should be extremely minimal between sets so keep to 10-30 seconds in between with high intensity.
13. Widowmaker Sets
These are performed on the Last Set of your Workout Routine. For example we will say you are exercising Hamstrings doing a normal 4 sets of Laying Hamstring Curls. On your last set, lower the weight and force yourself to go to Failure at anywhere from 20-30 Reps.
This in turn gives you one of the Best Pumps you can get.
Use this on any exercise you are doing to take your Training to the next Level.
14. Heat Shock Proteins
HSP’s or Heat Shock Proteins are a group of Proteins found in almost all cells in the body. They are there to protect cells against heat stress and help to regulate protein function. The more heat that is in your body the more Heat Shock Proteins there are.
Heat Shock Proteins enhance Muscle Growth by altering Calcium Levels in Muscle Fibers which in turn signals the Protein Calcineurin to active Protein Synthesis.
What does all this mean?
After a Workout (only after Training is key) you should expose your muscles to some form of heat, i.e. a Hot Tub or a Sauna to induce Greater Muscle Gains! And hey its relaxing too.
15. Repetition Speed
Recent studies have shown that Training with Fast Reps leads to Significant Strength Gains and while Training with Slow Reps showed the Greatest Gain in Muscle Size.
- Slow Reps – 3 to 10 seconds per positive or negative repetition
- Normal Speed Reps – 2 seconds per positive and 2-3 seconds for the negative repetition
- Fast Reps – 1 second or less for the positive and from 1 up to 2 seconds for the negative
If you are trying to increase your bench then incorporate Fast Reps with your normal Chest Workout.
For gaining size in a common weak spot such as Calves use Slower Reps for training. See Calves Training Tips
16. Weak Point Training
If you have a Weak Point (everybody does) then that Muscle should be Trained First. Before you’re normal weight lifting routine starts, target your Weak Point First. This is done so you can train them with the maximum effort and energy that you could possibly have.
This is list of Weight Lifting Tips is growing so check back often as we add more of the best training techniques out there!