Lifters nowadays are becoming more knowledgeable. They understand that increasing their bench press size isn't the only way to gain muscles; going heavy isn't the only way to do it. Gaining the ability to add weight to the bar is a result of past workouts—as well as other training tactics such as eccentric loading and isometrics.
Muscle fibers are broken down and rebuilt throughout the hypertrophy process. It's an adaptive reaction to greater resistance in the face of force. Lifting sub-maximal weights for 6-12 repetitions each workout is the suggested strategy for promoting hypertrophy. Strength training necessitates greater weights (often 80-90 percent of maximum) for sets of 2-5 repetitions, whereas anaerobic endurance necessitates lighter sets of 15 or more repetitions.
While increasing your strength is beneficial, lifting big objects raises the risk of wear and tear as well as injury. Without pushing the loads, the procedures presented here stimulate muscular growth. You may continue to gain muscle without adding weight to the bar if you incorporate them into your training.
#1 Change Up Your Rep Range
Working in rep ranges of 6-12 will promote muscular growth, but where do you start? To induce a muscle fiber response, lower reps necessitate more sets and a heavier weight. Higher reps mean less weight but more time under stress, which refers to how long your muscles are functioning during a given movement. Mixing up your rep ranges will keep your body on its toes and encourage further muscle development by varying the demand placed on the musculoskeletal system.
#2 Increase Volume
Simply speaking, volume refers to the quantity of work performed in a single training session, as measured in pounds lifted. It's the overall workload—the total weight lifted in all reps that were completed correctly. Multiply each weight lifted by the number of reps lifted at that weight to get the total volume. Here's a basic example of how you can do more by lifting less.
Let's say you're doing overhead presses with 135 pounds for 3 sets of 10 reps. On your third set, you complete only 8. That's 28 reps total, and your total workload is 3,780 pounds:
2 sets x 10 reps = 20 reps
1 set x 8 reps = 8
Total reps = 28
28 reps x 135 pounds = 3,780 pounds
If you had used an optimal weight for your strength level—say, 130 pounds—and had been able to complete the last full set of 10, your total volume of weight lifted would be greater at 3,900 pounds (30 reps x 130 pounds).
As you can see, training to failure doesn't always bring the optimum results. When you pay attention to total volume, it pays off in strength development and muscle gains in the long run.
#3 Increase Your Time Under Tension
The longer a muscle works to sustain an exercise, the more potential it has to break down and rebuild itself, becoming stronger and fuller. The eccentric part of the rep, which is the returning component of every exercise and is often disregarded, is one technique to do this.
#4 Add Isometrics
You're missing half of the exercise—arguably the most critical aspect of the lift—if you're benching and letting the weight crash down on your chest before pushing the bar back up. Instead, if you control the weight during the eccentric phase—in this case, the downward movement of the bench press—your muscles will have to work extra hard to keep the movement under control, and that's when you'll notice the big gains. An eccentric phase of 3-4 seconds is normally recommended to increase muscular hypertrophy, depending on the exercise and also taking into account the rep range and weight.
Exercises in which you hold your body in a fixed position are known as isometrics. Adding a pause to your bench press or holding the barbell just above your chest for a 2-second count before lifting will help. If you want to maximize your growth potential, you must include isometric holds in your regimen.
To begin with, it teaches you how to strengthen your mind-muscle link and isolate muscle parts more effectively. You can pinpoint which muscle is being worked throughout each segment of each workout, which is critical if you want to see that muscle grow. Second, it reduces momentum, allowing for more efficient contractions and muscle fiber breakdown.
#5 Change the order of your workouts
Exposing your muscles to diverse lifting patterns is another approach to add diversity to your training. You can compel your muscles to operate in new, challenging ways by altering up the order of your exercises from time to time. This goes hand in hand with the range of exercises. Focusing primarily on the main exercises, such as the squat, bench, deadlift, overhead press, snatch, and clean and jerk, with little to no emphasis on supporting muscle groups, can lead to plateaus or even injury.