Stubborn muscle groups are a massive inconvenience when you are trying to build the ‘’master piece.’’ For no apparent reason the other 80% of your body responds reasonable well over a period of time yet the other 20% just won’t budge no matter how hard you hit it. The reality is that we will all have areas of our physique which develop at different rates to others. Accept it and spend learn how you can stimulate these trouble ‘’areas’’ for faster progress.
Whichever muscle group you are struggling with, try these 5 tips and watch it improve fast!!
1 – Up The Frequency
Aim to train the stubborn muscle group twice a week, sometimes 3 times a week! You can decrease the volume of each session slightly but the overall frequency must increase. This means that the target muscle is going to have to adapt to more frequent stress and typically it’s response i.e. adaptation is to grow!
2 – Up Rep Ranges
If you find yourself sticking within the ‘’Holy Grail’’ 8-12 rep range then open your mind and up your rep ranges! Every 2-3 weeks have a week where you do a minimum of 20 reps per set and as high as 60-80 on leg day! Force the body to recruit slow twitch fibres within the muscle which is resistant to growth. Calves, shoulders, chest and thighs are all good examples of muscles which grow well with higher reps!
3 – Rotate Rep Tempos
Over a 3 week period rotate your rep tempos! One week focus on 3-4 second negatives, the next speed the rep tempo up and again the following week, then repeat. By doing so you are changing the time the muscle spends under tension and as a result you are going to help stimulate different muscle fibres.
4 – Intra-Set Pauses
During your sets try pausing for 5-10 seconds on the way down during the eccentric phase. This will help maximise high threshold motor unit stimulation thus leading to much improved overall muscle stimulation. Studies show that by tapping into your high threshold motor units you can up overall muscle fibre recruitment by as much as 10 fold! Worth trying? Absolutely!
5 – Log Weight
For the next 12 weeks work on a cycle whereby every third week you repeat the workouts from 3 weeks ago, expect this time you either have to lift more weight on the same exercise or more reps with the same weight. After 12 weeks you will be noticeably stronger and as a result you will almost certainly force a degree of growth within the stubborn area!
Where there is a will there is a way, don’t accept a weak muscle group as a genetic failure and instead force it to grow!