Most of us are not athletes. We are just everyday people leading everyday lives, trying to structure productive gym sessions in with our careers, family, social lives, etc. In order to maximise your time and results in the gym you should be following a split routine, so that you are able to break down each muscle group by itself, one by one, once per week, while still allowing enough time for muscle repair and recovery. Whether you are training to increase strength, size, or endurance, the split routine structure works best for all.

With that being said, today’s focus is on hypertrophy – increasing muscle mass – so your sets should be between 6 and 12 repetitions, which should be the foundation of your routine, but there are some pretty badass techniques that you can throw into the mix that will help break down even more muscle fibres. Thus adding more mass to your physique as well. These techniques are best used in moderation as to avoid adaptation, which can cause a plateau in growth. 

Drop Sets

Repping out to muscle failure (until the muscle is no longer able to exert enough force to complete another repetition) and then immediately dropping the weight slightly in order to rep out again, up to three times in quick succession.

Pre-Exhaust

Perform your first set to muscle failure in order to exhaust the muscles, so that you will have to use lighter weights than you would normally use for the remainder of your session. 

Negative Reps

Use a weight near your 1RM and only perform the negative part of the movement. A good way to make sense of this is by using the bench press as an example. Have an experienced gym buddy stand over you to assist as a spotter. Lift the bar from the rack and lower it down to your chest using a slow, controlled movement. Then allow the spotter to lift the weight for you. Repeat for 5-6 reps.

Forced Reps

Use a weight so heavy, so that you can only complete the negative/eccentric part of the movement, using a spotter to help you lift it, and repeat. 

Forced repetitions are similar to negative reps, because you are supposed to complete the negative part of the movement solo. The only difference is that you and the spotter lift the weight together, but the spotter helps just enough for you to complete the repetition. Sometimes something as mediocre as a gentle tap on the bar is all that’s needed. 

Super Slow Reps

Slow down your tempo to 5 seconds on both the concentric and eccentric parts of the movement. This will keep the muscles under tension for longer, adding a completely new dynamic to your workout.

Super Sets

Perform two or more exercises back to back without rest. This is a great way to increase the intensity of your workouts. Jumping from one exercise to the next will help increase your cardiovascular fitness and burn body fat. And there are so many angles to approach super sets.


One way is to super set is by choosing exercises that use opposing muscles, such as a chest and back . Another is by super setting assisting muscles, like legs and back, or chest and triceps. You could super set exercises for the same muscles. The possibilities are endless!


Other sources:

http://buildingaleanbody.com/2010/04/forced-reps-and-negative-reps/

https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/teen-john9.htm
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