Lifting weight has come a long way over the years. From archaically lifting the biggest stones we could find to deadlifting with steel weights that have been calibrated with absolute precision. Yet, one question has remained. How much weight do we need to lift to gain the most amount of muscle?
It isn’t a secret that lifting weights can take its toll on the body. Especially, when we turn our modern logical brain off, our caveman thought processes on, and toss around the largest amount of weight around possible. This can lead to joint problems, torn tendons, broken bones, herniated disks, etc.
I’m not going to lie, I have done all of these. I was forced to learn and adapt in order to give myself longevity in the lifting game. To my surprise, I am now gaining MORE muscle than ever before.
Here are 3 ways to pack on that muscle mass while significantly preventing injury:
- Control The Tempo
I’m not talking about shaking your hips to the tunes blaring through your headphones. I’m talking about the speed at which you lift and lower your weights. For example, you may be able to bench press 225lbs for 10 reps. However, you’ll likely only be able to do 3 – 4 repetitions if I tell you to take 3 seconds to lift the weight and 5 seconds to lower it.
The loss of momentum forces maximum resistance onto the muscle tissues, activating more muscle fibres which result in increased muscle growth
An isohold is when you hold the weight/resistance in a static position for a predetermined amount of time. For example, if you’re performing a bicep curl, hold one arm at a 90-degree angle while performing 5 repetitions with the other arm then immediately swap arms until you complete your designated repetitions.
This will increase the time under tension of the muscle required less weight to push the muscle to the max.
- Decreasing Rest Times
The muscle requires adequate rest in order to recover between sets to perform at its max. When we shorten the rest time the muscle requires to recover, we can reduce the weight needed to push the muscle beyond its limits. This will achieve massive progress while significantly reducing injury.
If we want longevity in the sport, and life in general, we must train smarter. We have access to an unbelievable amount of information that can help keep us safe to enjoy one of the greatest sports on earth. Time to utilize it and become the best version of ourselves possible without ending up injured.
Photo By: Sean Davidoff