Increasing the intensity you train at, whatever your sport, in order to go to that next level can be very difficult, especially for people who have trained for a long time.
For those of you in this position, you need to try the ‘stop/start’ technique with your weight training! Reaching failure and being prepared for the pain is completely necessary, and it is also vital that you’re willing to sometimes go beyond failure to make extra gains!
However, one of the most overlooked and underused training protocols is the stop/start approach. The idea is to smash through plateaus and lead you on a way pathway to new gains like never before!
The stop/start principle is very simple, once you are about to hit failure on a set you rest for a couple of seconds and then complete another repetition or two, you may repeat this several times per set. This is of course agonizing but it really does force muscle growth through shock like nothing else!
When you reach failure and then end your set, you have obviously achieved a maximal strain on your muscle fibers. However, this is all your muscles ever go through, maybe you use heavier weights or one or two more reps to make it more intense every few weeks, but as a rule this is the benchmark. Therefore, when you reach your normal point of failure, by pausing for 5 seconds or so and then doing another two or three reps and then again AND again your muscles will not know what hit them! This will cause a tremendous amount of strain on your muscle fibers, and in turn they will be broken down like never before. In response to this strain your body will attempt to rebuild your muscle fibers back stronger and bigger each and every week!
Working on the same principles of normal training, stop/start training stimulates muscular hypertrophy just on a different scale. It will also stimulate your slow twitch muscle fibres which is great news because they do account for up to 40% of your overall muscle mass!
You need to try using the stop/start training approach with your normal heavy weight training, even if you only get 3-5 more reps per set this will make a massive difference and you will experience a ‘burn’ in the muscle like never before! It is advisable to use this every few weeks because it is extremely strenuous and by ‘cycling’ this training technique it remains a ‘secret weapon’ within your arsenal to shock your stubborn muscle fibres!
Try this next time you are in the gym and you should notice a significant difference in the DOMS you experience and the time it takes the muscle to recover!