If you are looking to increase muscle mass and gain strength then you need to know about pre exhaustion
“How much ya bench?” Boy doesn’t every in shape or guy of size get asked that question. Though it may sound fun to push yourself to the limit and know what you’re capable of, the fact is, doing a single rep of maximum loaded weight does not add strength or size. It does not build muscle or burn fat. It will however, wreak havoc on your joints and could possibly injure you. I’m not trying to put maxing out on blast and I like power lifting – but when you’re looking to lose weight, get in shape, or body build there is more to it than just, “How much ya bench”.
Now I’m not saying I go light, because I don’t by any means but I am doing at minimum 6 reps, if not more. More importantly though, I feel each and every rep and that mind muscle connection (I will write another article on that soon). Now, instead of maxing out your weight and damaging joints, try to think outside the box for a different approach to change it up and push past plateaus. I’m talking about using pre-exhaust techniques. Using a lighter, concentrated exercise first to gas out a body part before going to a heavy compound movement is a way to really push yourself differently, create new muscle growth, and increase weight without actually adding weight. Breaking the muscle down with a controlled contraction movement will not only help increase that mind muscle connection but will fatigue it so that 200 lbs is going to feel a lot heavier. Another benefit is that you won’t put any extra workload on your body or joints, just the muscle at hand.
This is a really good technique to increase the mind-muscle connection as well as conditioning. Here are some examples below:
Start with 4 sets of crossovers, 15 reps each set. Then go on to your incline or flat bench
Double and/or single leg extensions. Make sure to squeeze and hold each rep to maximize the pump and to exhaust your muscle accordingly. 4×15-20 Then move on to leg press or squats
Seated or machine seated lateral raise, again 4 sets of 10-15 and then move on to dumbbell or barbell military press.
Straight arm pull downs 4×15-20
Then barbell rows
4×15 single or laying curl machine followed by stiff or regular dead lifts.
Another good technique to use with this is do your strongest compound movement at the very end. Whether that’s bench, squats, pull downs, etc. Do everything first and do your strongest movement dead last.
You can’t flex fat so go out there and lift
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