It sounds simple, but the way you organize your training program depends upon the areas you define as priorities. You typically prioritize muscle groups based on where your weaknesses lie.
Basically, weaker muscle groups should be giving higher priority in order to catch up with the more developed ones.
Giving a muscle or group of muscles higher priority simply means training it when it’s at its strongest, and possible training it with more volume or frequency.
The fresher a muscle is, the stronger it’ll be.
That being said, who doesn’t want bigger arms, even if they’re fairly well proportioned to the rest of your physique, or bigger pecs and more deeply etched abs?
You don’t necessarily have to prioritize a particular deficiency, and there may even be times when you want to focus on strength to really enhance it.
So what we have here are 10 strategies to prioritize a particular muscle group, whether it’s a weak body part or your strongest.
You may find combining several items to be a great way to boost your training intensity for an unparalleled growth surge.
Notice that we didn’t say to train it after a night of sloppy eating and drinking!
The goal here is to ensure your body is fully rested and your stores of muscle glycogen (stored carbohydrates) are topped off so that you can hit the weights at your physical and mental best.
You’ll most certainly want to make sure you’ve had a really good night’s sleep, not overextended yourself physically on the day off (two-hour pick-up games of basketball aren’t conducive to building your physique) and provided an ample infusion of quality foods and nutritional supplements to boost your chances of hitting the iron at full capacity.
A great workout begins with all of these elements the day before you train – not when you walk in the gym door!
Let’s say you want to bring up your biceps.
Well, the last thing you would do is train your biceps after a back workout!
Since your biceps are highly recruited during back training, you wouldn’t want to work them after back in the same workout; at least not if they’re a weakness that needs priority.
Obviously your arms would be highly fatigued by the time you start hitting them after all of the back moves.
Rather, hit your arms on another day, either alone or with another muscle group that won’t pre-fatigue them.
The Same goes with training biceps after chest or shoulders.
Since the triceps are heard at work doing both chest and overhead presses, they’re already stimulated when you finish training these larger body parts.
If your goal is to hit your triceps with maximum intensity, you want them capable of lifting maximum loads, which is when they’re fresh.
This is best done by training the secondary muscle groups on another day, preferably 48 hours from the session in which you trained the larger body part.
While most of you walk into the gym with an idea of what you’re going to do, it’s highly doubtful you know exactly how much weight you’re going to use for a particular number of reps or, better yet, what you did last time.
That’s important because muscle growth only occurs via progressive overload, the practice of continually increasing the intensity of the workout.
As a muscle adapts to the challenges you present, it grows stronger – but you must continue to increase the stress placed upon it, increasing the intensity can be done in several ways.
Increasing the amount of weight lifted, increasing the number of repetitions completed or the number of sets performed, or by reducing the rest interval between sets.
The concept of overload is the very basis of bodybuilding and muscle growth is the idea of overload.
Sadly, most of us have never actually abided by its principle because it means knowing exactly what you have done each and every workout: every set, every weight, and every rep.
It’s one thing to hit the weights, eat right and hope to grow; it’s quite another to attack your training session with 110% intensity and leave your target muscles with no choice but to grow.
What technique stands head and shoulders above the others in your quest for size? Look no further than rest-pause. In my opinion, rest-pause is the single greatest way to add guaranteed size, fast.
In its simplest terms, the rest-pause technique helps boost your intensity by allowing you to tap into your creatine phosphate (CP) system, CP is responsible for supplying energy for powerful bursts, such as sprints and low-rep, explosive sets of weight-training.
CP lasts only briefly, but it’s replenished during rest periods rather quickly.
In other words, on a set of, say 6-7 reps done to failure, your stores of CP that get you through the set are diminished fast. Once you begin to rest, your stores are almost fully replenished within 15-30 seconds.
By using short rest periods within a set rather than the normal long ones, then, you’re essentially reloading your CP levels and thus extending the set.
Rest-pause training allows you to take advantage of your explosive energy system, meaning you can complete extended, albeit interrupted, sets broken up by 15-20-second intervals.
Here’s how it works. No matter the body part or exercise, select a weight that would cause you to fail at 5-7 reps but do only 2-3 reps, then stop and rack the weight.
Rest for just 15-20 seconds, then repeat 2-3 more reps.
Continue this work, rest, work, rest sequence as many times necessary to reach your desired number of reps.
Each set, then, comprises several small segments that make up a full rest-pause set.
So if you do four small sets of 2-3 reps at a time, that makes one rest-pause set totaling 8-12 reps – and with a far heavier weight than you could get 8-12 reps with in a straight, uninterrupted set.
When doing rest-pause on the first exercise in your routine, after warm-ups, choose a weight in which you can do just five reps, but do only two, and follow the scheme for five segments.
(Hence you’ll complete 10 reps with your 5RM.)
Advanced trainers can repeat for a second set.
On your second exercise, choose a slightly lighter relative intensity: choose a weight in which you can do just seven reps but complete only three, and again repeat for five segments using the 15-20 second rest interval.
Do two sets. On your third exercise, choose a weight in which you can complete just nine reps but do four and complete five segments.
Here, too, advanced-level bodybuilders can complete another set.
Not only is choosing the right weight important, but so to is the right exercise.
Movements in which you can get the weight into the start position easily are more preferable to ones that require a great deal of effort and balance to get the weight ready in that sense, machine overhead presses are a better choice than seated overhead dumbbell presses for shoulders.
Many of these all-in-one supplement formulas also come with muscle and strength boosting agents like creatine, beta-alanine, arginine, and other powerful muscle enhancers.
These performance-enhancing cocktails are so effective that they’re the biggest selling bodybuilding nutrition products today.
One caveat: Derivatives of geranium extract (also known as DMAA or 1,3 dimethylamylamine) can be harmful to those with high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease.
Stay Tuned For Part 2!