Weeks in and week out you go to the gym but does not see your muscles getting bigger. Maybe you are doing something wrong? Find out how to force muscle growth with these 5 science-based methods.
A good pump and a sweaty t-shirt after a workout does not necessarily mean you are doing your best to grow your muscles.
If you want to know how to force muscle growth, ride the wave of knowledge that is Jeremy Ethier.
Jeremy Ethier is a kinesiologist and fitness trainer, co-founder of Built With Science. His YouTube channel has over 4 million subscribers and he delivers clear information with sound background research.
In his latest video, Ethier explained how to force muscle growth and 5 science-based methods to achieve just that.
Check out the video below and his methods on how to force muscle growth.
How To Force Muscle Growth
The best way to force muscle growth is to apply progressive overload. Jeremy Ethier explains there are 5 types of overloading that you should be aware of to use when it best suits you. Sometimes, one way to overload is not as good as the other, depending on the exercise.
If you are a beginner, this is the best answer on how to force muscle growth: by adding more weight to your lifts.
However, you will eventually hit a plateau as you cannot simply add more weight to your bench press, for example, every week forever. There is a limit to what your muscles will be able to move.
When you believe you have reached a plateau after increasing weight to your barbell, adding more reps is another smart way to force muscle growth.
Even if you add just one rep to your normal set each week, you will be lifting more total weight at the end of each week.
How many reps should you increase to? According to a 2017 meta-analysis, as long as you push hard, you can keep the same weight and increase all the way to 30 reps and still get the same growth compared to adding more weight.
Adding sets can be another easy way to force muscle growth. You can simply add one extra set to an exercise utilising the same weight from one week to the other.
For example, at any given week you may do 3 sets of 8 reps of barbell curl using a total of 30 kilos on the bar. The following week, keep the same weight of 30 kilos and do 4 sets of 8 reps of the barbell curl.
Just remember that there is a point where doing more sets for a specific muscle group can be a waste of time. Something called the junk volume weight training in the bodybuilding community. As a rule of thumb, never do more than 30 sets of weight training to any group muscle during 7 days.
How fast or how slow you lift weights can help you build more muscle. By slowing down your reps, you will increase the amount of time the tension is placed on the muscle to stimulate more growth.
“This is especially effective for exercises involving smaller weaker muscle groups like lateral raise where adding just a little bit of weight often disproportionately increase difficulty,” Ethier explains.
It is also useful to slow your reps with bodyweight exercises as often it is difficult to add more weight while performing callisthenics movements.
Statistics show that you should, at the most, slow down reps to a maximum of 6 seconds for the entire movement.
If you perform the same exercise every week, but each following week you can control the weight more, use less momentum and feel your muscles activated, you are adding another method of overloading.
“Better form involves relying more on the target muscles and will result in growth even if all other variables remain the same,” Ethier says.
- Upper-body: Photos courtesy of CrossFit Inc