Stubborn muscle groups, who would have them? They can be the single most frustrating thing to mentally deal with in relation to training, you smash them every week with every tool from the box and out of it for that matter and yet, no growth! Does this mean genetically you will never grow in this area? Not a chance, instead you need to apply new tricks and protocols which may have escaped your training box up until today.
The first ‘’remedy’’ which can often work with stubborn muscle groups is increasing time under tension or ‘’TUT’’ as it is known. Usually you look to apply this during the negative phase of the repetition, increasing the time you ‘’lower’’ the weight to 3-4 seconds per rep! Instantly the difference in tension and load placed on the working muscles will be noticeable, meaning that of course more muscle fibres will be recruited. Over time, this should lead to better development of the muscle tissue.
Next, playing around with rep ranges is often a good tip. People tend to stick to similar/same rep ranges week in week out which doesn’t make sense for two reasons. The body is very clever and adapts very quickly to stress placed on it, doing the same thing every week won’t go far. Secondly, muscles have a range of fast and slow twitch fibres – for optimal growth you want to hit both! Switch your rep ranges up over a 3-4 week basis.
Again, on the same topic of ‘’change’’ use a diverse range of exercises. Knocking on the same door every week at the same time will get the same results, weekly! There are different portions, heads and peaks to muscles which to hit require a total workout. For example, with biceps you must use close grip, wider grip, and incline, flat and other angles to make sure you make the biceps work in every way possible. Intensity and volume are the final to points.
Most people don’t train with enough intensity, they really don’t. Reach failure, then beyond whilst squeezing the target muscles against the resistance through the rep range! Volume, rotate it! Keep the muscles guessing! For two weeks employ very high volume, short rest periods with lots of funky angles and sets. The third week, half the volume, increase rest periods, go INTENSE and grow!
If you have hit a sticking point the chances are you might be missing one or two of these valid points above! Try them!