Hard is good! Hard is great! Many women will love you if you’re HARD! HARDER is SEXIER! I mean your SETS! Doing harder sets will make a man look like a man and will make his progress in the gym faster thus makes his life easier.
If there is one mistake I can see all those gym goers making no progress at all collectively make it’s that they make their sets easier.
They ALWAYS use bad form and cheat incorrectly – see this post to learn the proper way of “cheating”. And if you have noticed; my way of CHEATING would actually have you working HARDER.
Instead of normally curling the weight use your hips and jerk the weight up then lower the weight really slow (for 3-4 seconds). That’s how you do it. Do this for at least 6-12 reps for 3-4 sets.
They do their sets only half way – that is from HALF of the move to the TOP of the move. It would actually make more sense to do partial reps from the STRETCHED (bottom) position to only HALFWAY – that is actually HARDER especially if applied to pressing movements such as bench presses since the upper half of pressing movements involve more triceps than delts or chest anyways. And when you squat you must go ASS TO THE GRASS and that is the only way it’s going to work.
They do forced reps with a partner but they make their partner do ALL the work – making the set a whole lot easier and USELESS at the same time. We all know that your partner must only spot you once you’ve reached full positive failure or when you can no longer get the weight up anymore therefore forcing in 2 or 5 reps more.
All of that just to be able to carry more weight. In the end they all do that only in order to be able hoist as much weight as possible mindlessly, making things easier so that they would appear stronger.
What they don’t realize is that to be able to grow some muscles they need to stimulate them properly and put them under reasonable tension for a reasonable amount of time (see Time Under Tension)
Of course there is also a caveat: there are some people who would intentionally use small weights but most of them would not really complain about not getting bigger or not making progress since they are most likely just fooling around the gym in the first place.
So the moral lesson for today is that instead of making your sets and reps easier – you must make them HARDER instead. I am not blaming the new guys since it is understandable that they still don’t know that fact.
I was also like that before with the squats where I tend to only go halfway down which made me accommodate more plates but did very little for my legs. Now I only play around carrying my own bodyweight (or a little bit more) using perfect form with squats and front squats while going down deep and using perfect form and going past failure.
How to make things harder:
1) Slowly lower the weight – for around 3-4 seconds. You can play with how many seconds you do the negatives from time to time but never ever just drop the weight especially with the bench press. Eliminating the negative portion of the reps is tantamount to eliminating muscle gains.
2) Do the full range of motion of your exercises – and if you will be doing partials make sure that you do them from the stretched position to halfway of the move; NOT from halfway to full contraction. You will find that doing that is even harder than going to full range of motion on most lifts especially with pressing moves.
3) Utilize High-Intensity techniques
4) Focus on free weights NOT MACHINES – majority of your training regimen must revolve around free weights and the BIG MASS-BUILDING, consolidated moves (Squats, weighed pushups, dips, chins, dead lifts) and free weight barbell and dumbbell moves which have high CNS involvement. Beginners must not have any business with machines and cables at all for their first two or 4 months or until they make decent gains with their consolidated moves.
And pretty much follow all of the advice I gave out at the beginning of this post (namely the one for “Cheating”, “Forced reps”, etc. which we discussed at the beginning of this post)Follow @AboutLifting
Remember guys: You go to the gym, to work hard go balls to the wall then get paid HARD muscle mass as dividends. If you will not make your muscles work hard with your sets, you better off just going home and suck your mama’s (or your girlfriend’s, wife’s, etc! – that is if you HAVE one) teats!!!Follow @AboutLifting
Mad MAZZ, Mike Matarazzo didn’t play around in the gym; for Mad Mazz, every training session is another day to go BALLS to the WALL!
Do you have some more advice on how to make your sets harder? Bring on your sadistic side and share those sadistic ideas below in the comments section! Eat your eggs, people!