Your Guide to Add Muscle Without Adding Weight to Bar


With time, lifters are using new techniques into use. They are getting smarter as they are aware of the fact that it is not only weight lifting that is going to get them the bulging biceps. The ability to add weight to the bar is only possible through the gains you have been able to achieve through previous workouts. And taking help from other training strategies such as isometrics and eccentric loading.

The process in which the muscle fibers are broken down and repaired is called muscle hypertrophy. This is the body’s response to the force that is generated towards the increased resistance. The best way to stimulate hypertrophy is to lift as many submaximal weights for 6-12 repetitions per exercise that you do. As for strength development, it calls for lifting heavier weights. That is normally 80-90% of the maximum for sets with 2-5 repetitions. As for anaerobic endurance, lighter sets are required, of 15 or more reps.

Although there is no harm in increasing your strength, when you lift heavier weights, it boosts your chances of not only wear and tear but injury as well.

Today, we bring you some tried-and-tested strategies to boost muscle growth without increasing loads. Try incorporating them in your workouts and you will see how you can add muscle mass:

Mix up Your Rep Ranges

You can stimulate muscle growth by working in rep ranges of 6-12. For a muscle fiber response, lower reps call for more sets and an increase in the weights. As for higher reps, it means less weight but the body remains under tension for longer. This is the amount of time your muscles are working. The body reacts well to change. When you mix up your rep ranges, it is going to keep you engaged while boosting further muscle development as the stress level of the musculoskeletal system is changed.

Boost Work Volume

What is the volume? It is the amount of work that is done in any given training session. It is expressed through the pounds you have lifted. The total volume is calculated by multiplying each of the weights you have lifted by the number of reps that were lifted at that weight. Here is how you get to work out more by lifting less:

If you are doing 135 pounds for 3 sets of 10 reps. By the time you reach your third set, you have completed only 8. This amounts to a total of 28 reps with a workload of 3780 pounds. If you use an ideal weight according to your strength level, for example, 130 pounds then by the time you had completed the last full set of 10, your total volume of lifted weights will exceed 3900 pounds. Paying attention to total volume brings out optimal results in strength development and muscle gains.

Focus on Isometrics

Isometrics are the exercises in which you are required to hold your body in a certain position. It could be as simple as adding a pause while holding a barbell above your chest for 2 seconds before lifting or anything else. Incorporating isometrics in your program is the best means to maximize growth potential.

Well, for starters, it enables you to train your mind and create a profound mind-muscle connection. At the same time, you can isolate the muscle groups a lot more efficiently. You can know which of the muscles are working during each of the exercises. This knowledge is crucial if you wish to make the muscle grow. Along with that, it also reduces momentum. This way, the body contracts optimally while breaking down the targeted muscle fibers.

Increase Time Under Tension

When a muscle works to support an exercise, it has more room to break down. And when it grows back, it does with full strength. This makes the muscles appear fuller and stronger. One of the best ways to do this is by involving the eccentric phase of the rep. This happens to be the returning phase of every exercise that often gets ignored.

If you are benching and allowing the weight to come to your chest before you have pushed the bar back up, you are basically missing half of the exercise. This is the most important part of the entire lift. But what you do is that you end up controlling that weight during the eccentric phase. It is the downward movement of the bench press. Your muscles, then, have to work hard to control that movement. That is where you can benefit in the terms of size. Then, depending on that lift, you can also take the rep range into account along with the weight. To stimulate muscle hypertrophy, an eccentric phase of 34 seconds is normally recommended to urge muscle hypertrophy.

Change the Order of your Exercises

Another thing that you can do is create variety in your workout. And this is possible by exposing the muscles to different lifting pattern. When you mix up the order of your exercises frequently, you are forcing the muscles to work in a new and challenging environment.

Also, you should add some exercise variety to your regimen as well. Your body could crash hard or suffer plateaus if you focus only on the main lifts with little or no strength building of supportive muscle groups.

Bring Variations in Your Exercises

As said earlier, the body craves variety. And it reacts rather well when you mix things up a bit. You need to bring variety to your workouts. Divide the movements into the segment. If you break down your main lifts and add variety to how you work out, you are going to force both your mind and body to absorb information faster, improve mood, and trigger muscle hypertrophy.

Get into Super Sets

You cannot imagine the benefits that you will get by pairing different exercises. Although you are not going to be maxing out. However, working out with a submaximal weight in supersets shall boost anaerobic endurance along with muscle fiber activation. They also help in improving your muscle recovery time. There are numerous ways that you can try out superset exercises. There is a push/pull, upper/lower, hams/quads, extension/flexion. It all boils down to bring new ways of stressing the upper part of the body.

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