1 Key Tip To Grow Lean Muscle
By Sean Nalewanyj
||Sean Nalewanyj is a natural bodybuilding expert and best-selling fitness author committed to providing effective, research-based advice for building muscle, burning fat and gaining strength. Sean is the creator of the "No Fail System" bodybuilding program and president of EliteImpact Labs.
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Bobby has just wrapped up a focused set of barbell squats and he re-racks the weight. His heart is racing, his legs are shaking and he feels light headed as he takes a big gulp from his water bottle. He sets his watch for a 2 minute backward countdown and hits the “start” button.
Somewhere, he read that 2 minutes is the perfect amount of time to let your body rest in between sets, so he wants to be precise. The moment the watch beeps after 2 minutes, he’ll be back in the squat rack, doing another set.
He walks around, working to catch his breath to get ready for the next battle with the loaded bar.
His watch beeps.
2 minutes have passed. He is determined to get back to the next set, even though his legs are still weak, his heart is racing, and he knows he’s not quite at 100%, but that watch beeped. He is hell bent on performing his next set regardless of what his body is telling him.
He unracks the bar and squats. He wishes he’d had more time to prepare for this set because honestly, his legs are still burning more than is comfortable. His effort is mediocre, he puts the bar back, and begins to set his watch for another 2 minutes.
Bobby’s really making a huge mistake, just like many aspiring bodybuilders do.
He is severely sacrificing his opportunity to grow lean muscle by having this set rest interval between sets because his body is training at an effort level that’s actually less than his full potential.
Your muscles grow in response to the stress you place on them. Your body adapts to a certain amount of stress when you lift X amount of weight for Y number of reps. When you are planning to grow lean muscle, remember that you need to continually force X and Y to higher levels.
For those who really want to grow lean muscle, it’s critical to progress in both reps and weight. You need to lift the maximum weight for the greatest amount of reps within a given rep range and push yourself to continually improve from there.
Due to this, every single set of every workout must be performed with the maximum strength that you can muster. If you cut back on the amount of weight you can lift, you limit your ability to grow lean muscle. If you do not give your body enough rest between sets, you are letting that happen.
To grow lean muscle, toss away your timer and ignore the clock.
Only begin your next set when you can do it with 100% strength potential. Your body will tell you when it’s time to start again; a stopwatch shouldn’t.
The theory about having a set rest period is obviously flawed when you consider the fact that there are certain exercises that work the body so much more than some of the others out there; it’s obvious you will need additional rest between those sets.
You can’t put a dead lift and a tricep press down in the same boat, can you? I'll usually be resting for at least 5 minutes after doing a heavy set of dead lifts to concentric muscle failure, sometimes even longer. On the other hand, tricep press downs are obviously not as taxing, so doing a set might only require a rest period of two and a half minutes for me to feel fully recovered.
Use your instincts to determine when you can perform your next set with 100% of your strength. Adding this one training technique will have a major effect on your ability to grow lean muscle.
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