more muscle mass? Want it faster than ever before? Yeah, thought so!
Ever hear the story about Arnold and visualization? He did this with
every body part but the most well known would be about the ever popular
biceps.Whenever he did bicep exercises Arnold would talk about how he
would visualize those biceps of his being like mountain peaks.And he got
pretty close to that, didn't he?
Focusing on the target muscle is really important. And there's a great training strategy for getting it done, even for those of you that don't like, or have trouble focusing on visualization during your sets.
Let's back up a second because this isn't all about focus and visualization. It's also about putting the stress of the exercise where it belongs, on the target muscle. For a lot of lifters, that can be easier said than done on traditional exercises.
Have you ever seen a lifter perform the barbell bench press and the bar tilts? Or it happens on curls? It even happens with dumbbells because one arm is stronger than the other! This may even happen to you. It's pretty normal but it can also slow down or stall your muscle building efforts.
How do you fix it, elevate your focus and amplify every muscle contraction on every rep you do? Easy! Single limb exercises! Yes, sure, this can cause a longer workout (but that can be tweaked too, as you'll see below). However, it allows you to really zone in and focus on the target muscle you are working, while eliminating strength imbalances from your left side to your right.
No more barbell curls, it's time for dumbbell curls, one arm at a time. The chest is one arm dumbbell presses, or flip over to machines, utlizing the pec deck or the cable crossover machine, if you have one available.
There are effective one limbed exercises for every body part, from Bulgarian Split Squats to one legged Leg Presses for the quads, to one arm dumbbell rows and one arm seated rows for the back (and one arm lat pulldowns for the lats).
Let's take a look at some exercise options you can use.
Legs (Quad dominant) – Bulgarian split squats or one legged leg presses
Legs (Hamstrings) – One legged standing leg curls, one legged stiff legged deadlifts
Calves – One legged calf raises (machine or holding a dumbbell)
Biceps – One arm standing or seated dumbbell curls, dumbbell concentration curls, incline dumbbell curls
Triceps – All one arm and one dumbbell – tricep overhead extensions, kickbacks, pushdowns and lying tricep extensions
Chest – one arm dumbbell bench press, one arm pec deck flyes, one arm cable crossovers
Back – one arm dumbbell rows, one arm seated machine rows, one arm lat pulldown
Shoulders – one arm standing or seated dumbbell press, one arm lateral raises (front, side and rear)
So how do you do this without doubling the length of your workouts? Again, easy! But be ready for a serious step up in the intensity of your workouts.
You only rest between exercises, not between sets. Let's check out one example. You are doing standing one arm dumbbell curls for four sets. But now it's really eight sets, right? Yes, but you don't need to rest! Once you do the set with the right arm, switch arms and crank out the set with the left arm, then go back to the right, until you've finished all eight sets!
While it may take a bit of time for your conditioning levels to improve, your muscles are getting rest while the other side of the body is working!
You might want to start off with fewer sets per body part initially to get used to it.
Give this type of training and see if the quality of your muscle contractions doesn't improve!