3 Tips to follow when lifting weights
1: Squeeze On The Concentric Phase.
When contracting a muscle concentrically, it is important to squeeze every fibre to its fullest extent. Often, lifters will simply push the weight, while focusing on the next repetition. This takes the emphasis off the current rep, and compromises the entire set. Really focus on every repetition, in turn, and squeeze the muscle at the top of the movement.
Squeezing the muscle forces more blood into the fibres, thus causing a greater degree of micro-trauma.
These factors result in significantly greater muscle hypertrophy (growth). The essence of any set is continued pressure on the muscle being worked.
A failure a squeeze at the top of the movement means a drop off in terms of resistance, and a consequent reduction in intensity – exactly what is not needed when aiming to build mass.
2: Focus On The Negative(Eccentric) Movement.
Negative is a word that is not included in the dictionary of most bodybuilders, as it conjures up images of failure. However, when it comes to lifting weights, the negative contraction of the rep (or the eccentric phase) could be the single most important factor in facilitating muscle hypertrophy.
The negative phase (when the muscle is being stretched, or lengthened) causes a greater degree of micro-trauma than the concentric phase (when the muscle is being shortened). Slow controlled movement on the negative(eccentric) phase.
3: Work To Failure.
Working to failure typically means pushing the muscle until it cannot complete another rep. A mistake many lifters make is to stop short of failure, and, as a result, their muscles are not forced to adapt to the extreme stress which accompanies the final few reps of a set.
It is often said, the first few reps of a set merely serve as a warm-rep before the real working reps, which come towards the end. I would bet that most lifters, if forced to accomplish an additional rep, could. Indeed, the only thing preventing many from pushing their muscles to exhaustion is the pain associated with lactic-acid build-up.