5 ways to increase the amount of workload and accelerate muscle growth!


The additional volume of the load helps to develop strength and build up mass, but usually it also increases the training time. Use 5 proven techniques to become even bigger without having to spend a single extra minute in the gym!

Author: Josh Bryant, Master of Science, Certified Specialist in Strength and General Physical Training

In the pursuit of muscle mass, many bodybuilders use a fairly large amount of training load, that is, the total number of exercises, repetitions and approaches. Curiously, the standard training methods and knowledge passed down from generation to generation are at times at odds with the experimental data, but if we talk about the tremendous impact on the mass and strength of the training with a high volume, the opinion of science and the guys from the gym completely coincides!

All those wishing to develop strength and weight, probably, can not wait to increase the volume of their training and gather a rich harvest. The problem of constantly increasing the volume of power sessions is time. Even if you have free time, how productive will three-hour training in the style of bodybuilding?

So that you can get the most out of your mass-gathering efforts, we propose to look at five proven methods of increasing the volume of the load. They do not require an increase in the duration of the training session and will not affect the overall level of fatigue. Look at them as a reorganization of the time that you spend in the gym!

For starters, forget everything that the personal trainer from the state-of-the-art fitness center with chrome equipment told you about supersets. In supersets, you should NOT fatigue one muscle group, performing a series of many consistent approaches without pauses to rest.

As a matter of fact, supersets are a technique in which two exercises for the muscles-antagonists are combined into a pair and performed one after another without rest. Joe Vader popularized this concept and stressed the word "antagonists", to emphasize once again that two exercises in a supercourse should be opposite in nature. For example, a bench press for the chest and traction for the back, or extension to the triceps and lifting to the biceps.

The main charm of supercets is that they allow you to train two parts of the body with the same amount of rest as in the usual sequential execution of sets. Thus supersets allow you to raise the volume of the load for a limited period of time and do not force you to sacrifice power and power. Moreover, supersets can even increase explosive strength and endurance.

In 2009, the "Journal of Sports Science" published a study that demonstrated the full power of double strikes in the form of training supersets. During the 8 weeks, a group of athletes performing supersets from bench press and traction on an incline bench – the opposite traction for the top of the back – made noticeable progress both in bench press and in traction. For comparison, in the group of athletes performing "normal sets", it was noted only an increase in the peak force in bench press. The technique of supersets turned out to be less time-consuming and more efficient in terms of increasing the single-repeat maximum.

These discoveries are confirmed by the data of the experiment, published back in 2005 in the Journal of Power and Physical Physics. Rugby players with good experience in force training performed bench press. Athletes who did the bench press as part of supersets, in the growth of power indicators at 4,7% surpassed the guys who performed only bench press.

Verdict. Science claims that you save time, do more work and become much stronger when training with supersets.

In supersets it is very important to minimize the rest between exercises – otherwise the superset will turn into two separate approaches. Do all the repetitions one by one. Below are examples of supersets.

After completing both exercises of the superset, take a short respite – only to allow the pulse rate to drop to reasonable limits – and then move on to the next superset.

Cluster sets are similar to the "rest-pause" training, in which the main approach is divided into several parts. For example, instead of one approach from 6 repetitions, you should make a set of 2 + 2 + 2 repetitions with very short pauses within the main set. Such a rest inside the set allows you to raise more weight, complete more approaches and get more anabolic stimuli than if you just lifted the bar six times in a row. In bodybuilding, rest inside the set should be very short – no more than 20 seconds.

Weightlifting Olympians have been using clusters for more than half a century, and powerlifters have been using them for several decades. Today, the technique is respected and those who are aimed at an aesthetic result. I actively used clusters when I trained IFBB professionals Johnny Jackson, Corey Matthews and Brent Warren.

Representatives of the power disciplines like cluster sets for the ability to work faster and generate more effort within one set. Bodybuilders like clusters because they allow you to do more work in less time. Experiments have shown that the relative intensity of training is maximum when using cluster sets.

When the next time you train triceps, instead of the usual 3 approaches for 12, take the same working weight, but do 5 repetitions and rest 20 seconds. Repeat this cycle for five minutes. You will get a hell of a lot of work and spend less time!

If you are working on power, instead of 3 approaches from 5 repetitions with full recovery for 3-5 minutes, try 6 sets from 3 repetitions with 90 second pauses to restore. You will finish faster and do more work.

Most of us begin training with a lazy ride on the bike for 10-20 minutes. It plays the role of a standard warm-up. Although a few minutes of cardio will not harm anyone, you can find a more useful way to prepare for training. Instead of a long and tedious stretch of cardio, use this time to prepare for the immediate tasks of lifting heavy shells!

Since the training volume is equal to the working weight multiplied by approaches and repetitions, even 3 sets 10 times with an empty neck are equivalent to a staggering 600 kg of extra load (20x10x3). Starting a workout with such an easy job, you increase the volume – which helps you grow – and warm up the muscles and joints before a heavier load!

Remember, strength is a skill. To develop the skill, you need to train. Exercise the most important exercises of the upcoming training during warm-up. However, do not forget that we are not talking about training with pre-fatigue, in which you work almost to the point of failure, but about 3-5 additional warm-up sets with light weight instead of the standard five-minute cardio simulator.

If you are going to perform working approaches in squats with 100 kg, try this workout plan:

  • 4 approach from 6 reps with 20 kg

By the end of the warm-up, you will already add a large amount of load to the current session.

This strategy increases the overall training volume, reduces fatigue and helps you perform the main exercise of the day with the best technique!

Experiment 1988 year showed that the pushers of the core increased the throw distance and the height of the vertical jump due to the training of the fingers and toes alone. It's strange, is not it? The moral of the story is that if you want to be the best, you need to work on the smallest details. From the point of view of physical working capacity, prevention of injuries and symmetrical development of the physique, it is extremely important to pay attention to the neck, forearms, abdominal press, gastrocnemius and other "small" muscle groups, which are so easily overlooked.

The most zealous bodybuilders work with these "special" muscles in the end of each workout for an additional 15 minutes. However, many lifters neglect such work at the end of the training session due to lack of time or tired fatigue.

Fortunately, Joe Vader found a solution to the problem: nested, or intermediate, sets. In nested sets, you train small muscle groups between approaches to large muscle arrays. That is, while you are recovering between heavy approaches to bench press, you can perform a nested set for the muscles of the shin. Combining small and large muscle groups reduces fatigue and saves you time.

Nuance is that you can not combine movements that affect performance in the main exercise. If today you are making cravings, avoid nested sets that affect the strength of the grip, since you have to hold the bar in the stanovaya. In days of stanovoy also try not to do exercises on the biceps and stay away from the heavy load on the back of the thigh.

In 2008, the laboratory of Dr. Alkarasa confirmed that athletes have been using it for decades. In the experiment, two groups of athletes were compared with experience in force training, choosing for each specific training regimen. The first group performed a standard bench press of five consecutive approaches. The second group did the same bench press, but with the extension of the legs and lifting on the socks between the sets. On the indices in the bench, leg extensions and lifts had no effect, but led to an increase in the volume of the load, although the training time did not increase by a minute.

Do you want to train your neck? Add exercises with neck straps between sets in the ascent to the biceps. Behind forearms? Do Sottmann's bend between the approaches to the bench press with your feet.

Embedded sets put everything in its place: now you have no excuses for shirking from "trifles"!

Drop-sets are another good old trick. In the standard drop-off you work to the point of failure, then drop 20-25% of the working weight, again raise the shell to failure, and continue in the same vein until you get tired completely.

In my version of drop-sets you need to focus not so much on quantity as on the quality of repetitions. For a good example, let's take a leg training. After the first basic exercise, for example, after the hardest approach in squats, you reduce the working weight by 20% and perform from 3 to 6 the approaches for 2-4 repetitions, resting between them 60-90 seconds. Each repetition in each set performs with complete control over the negative phase, and in the positive phase, work in the most explosive manner.

This method is called "training with compensatory acceleration" (CAT), and the idea belongs to my mentor, Fred "Doctor Squat" Hatfield. The technique allows you to generate maximum effort in a variety of approaches without sacrificing technique or time under heavy load.

Recall that the Force = Mass x Acceleration. Instead of an infinite increase in weight (Mass), CAT drop sets allow you to create a great Force against the background of the accumulated fatigue after the most difficult approaches.

I repeat, use the device only in the first main exercise of the day. If in the bench press you lifted 110 kg, and then performed CAT-sets with 95 kg, calculate the additional load in 4 approaches with 3 repetitions: 4 x 3 x 95 = 1140, that is 1140 kg in one workout!

With the help of drop-sets you can significantly increase the amount of load without sacrificing time. Moreover, thanks to such sets, it is possible to achieve a noticeable increase in strength and power, as they help to create more effective motor patterns and sharpen the power skill.

Now you have five techniques that allow you to become stronger and pump up your muscles without spending an extra minute in the gym. Master them and use them in practice. You will do more work and do not lose quality. I look forward to your feedback, so leave comments in the block under the article.

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