Man gym barbell weight lifting build more muscle

Build more muscle every time you train

Use these 5 tips to get more out of every lift to build more muscle and accelerate your gym gains

Build more muscle with a full range of motion

Why? Moving your muscles through their full range of motion – from fully stretched to fully contracted – for each and every rep will engage the maximum number of muscle fibres. That’s crucial because the more you recruit the quicker you’ll gain muscle size and strength.

And never swing a weight up using momentum. Cheat reps will hinder, not help, your progress. And also increase the risk of joint, tendon and ligament problems. If you can’t control a weight using just your muscles you need pick the right weight for your goals.

Focus on the feel to build more muscle

Why? Thinking about how your muscles feel when they’re working hard to move and manage the weight will build more efficient communication networks between your brain and muscles. And the faster these networks can communicate, the greater the number of fibres recruited, so the stronger you become and the faster your muscles grow.

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Build more size by squeezing your muscles hard

Why? At the top of every rep squeeze the working muscle or muscles as hard as possible for at least one second. This will fire up more muscle fibres, increase blood flow to the tissues for a bigger pump, and forge a stronger mind-to-muscle connection. It’s also a great tactic to keep your brain fully focused ahead of each rep so you perform it perfectly.

Slow down your reps to build more muscle

Why? Tempo is the speed at which you lift and lower the weight for each rep. It’s the most ignored of the seven weight-lifting variables. But it’s one you can’t afford to overlook if you want to build a better body.

Lifting to a strict tempo will expose your working muscles to more “time under tension”. And it’s this exposure to tension that causes microscopic damage to your muscle tissues so that it is rebuilt to become bigger and stronger during the recovery process. Count out the tempo for each rep – in your head, ideally! – so you never rush your reps.

Count down your reps to build muscle size and strength

Why? You need to count out the reps you do for each set – again, in your head. Why? Because if you don’t you risk wasting your training time by not sticking to your workout plan. A good strategy is to follow Arnold Schwarzenegger’s approach of not counting the reps up, but counting them down. It’s a small but significant psychological trick to keep you focused and motivated. How? Because the end of the set is getting ever-closer, especially during those longer sets when your brain is screaming for you to stop.

To find your perfect transformation plan, take the New Body quiz!
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