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Best Bodyweight Exercise Technique for Muscle Mass (Intermittent Isometrics)

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This bodyweight exercise technique for muscle mass from Jeff at Athlean X will teach you how to program intermittent isometrics into your training.

Best Bodyweight Exercise Technique for Muscle Mass

“Bodyweight exercises and workouts can often be mistaken for lacking the ability to help you add muscle mass.  That could not be further from the truth.  In fact, if you learn how to incorporate more than just the basic techniques into your bodyweight workouts, you can turn body weight exercises into beasts capable of creating the overload needed to build muscle.”

“In this video, I show you one such technique called intermittent isometrics.  Here again, with isometric exercises, people have the misconception that they are easy and not strenuous enough to build muscle size.  That is so not true.  When used within a set as a set intensifier technique, an isometric exercise can create more of an overload than your muscles would be accustomed to.  This is exactly what you want if you want to build muscle without weights.”

Rogue Invitational 2021 Best Bodyweight Exercise Technique for Muscle MassSource: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

“So here, we apply this isometric contraction within sets of pushups, pullups, handstand pushups and even a new ab exercise.  As you will quickly see if you try any of these bodyweight exercise options, the minute you incorporate these iso holds intra-rep, you will find it much more challenging to complete too many reps beyond that point.”

Best Bodyweight Exercise Technique for Muscle Mass

“This is exactly what you want as it helps to bring down the rep totals you would normally achieve with bodyweight exercises and instead increase the intensity of the lesser reps.  Don’t get hung up on rep count.  The most important factor for muscle growth is intensity and perceived load.  Tension is the currency of muscles, and any way you can increase yours is going to be a faster way to build muscle.”

“Bodyweight exercises like the pushup are often done for many many reps at a time.  While this may help you develop more muscular endurance and even some muscle size, it won’t help you to maximize growth because the overload just isn’t high enough.  Throw in some isometric holds at varying points in the range of motion however (with each hold lasting for about 5 seconds), and you will quickly see how much more intense you made your bodyweight exercise workout.”

“On a pullup, you can either perform them as straight reps or you can introduce a hold every 2nd or 3rd rep to further intensify an already hard exercise for more muscle gain.  You have the option of holding the isometric in the middle, bottom or top of the rep.  It doesn’t always have to be in the same position, as you are free to alternate the hold position even within a single set.  The options are limitless.”

Video – Best Bodyweight Exercise Technique for Muscle Mass

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