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All three of these points make logical sense, and all three were subsequently backed up by well-conducted research, leaving us little doubt that longer rest times can certainly help us build more muscle:


Longer rest times allow us to put more mechanical tension on our muscles with every set, making each set very efficient. Longer rest times are also better for our improving our maximal strength. To get those benefits, we should wait until our breathing has returned to normal between sets, which can take anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes, and sometimes longer.

But we do care about muscle growth, and it would suck to stay weak and skinny just for the sake of living longer and healthier lives. Fortunately, by using higher-rep sets and shorter rest times, if we do it right, we can get more muscle growth than with longer rest periods. For example, this study found that using shorter rest times roughly doubled muscle growth:

Marco Walker-Ng is the co-founder and strength coach of Outlift, Bony to Beastly, and Bony to Bombshell, and is a certified trainer (PTS) with a Bachelor's degree in Health Sciences (BHSc) from the University of Ottawa. His specialty is helping people build muscle to improve their strength and general health, with clients including college, professional, and Olympic athletes.

Most guys do more pushing exercises (bench presses, chest flies, military presses, and squats) than pulling exercises (pull-ups, inverted rows, dumbbell rows, and deadlifts) because those are the exercises we know work our glory muscles, and no one has ever asked, "How much do you row, bro?" But pushing exercises also tighten your chest muscles and will kill your posture if that's all you do. I've been wrong before, but I'm pretty sure that hunched shoulders and a jacked-up spine aren't turn-ons for women.

A smaller muscle group like the biceps recovers from a hard workout more quickly than a larger one like legs or back. You can train it more frequently over the course of your split, especially if your training split lasts five or more days.

Just because you're training your biceps twice over the course of your split doesn't mean you simply have to repeat the same workout. Consider the first workout to be a general mass-building biceps routine that includes movement for both the long and short heads, and the second workout to be one that emphasizes the short head with a variety of moves, grips, and rep ranges.

Training a smaller muscle group immediately after a larger one is familiar terrain to most bodybuilders, but usually you're not able to generate the same degree of intensity after you've just finished a bunch of heavy pulls.

Further, don't be shy about putting some challenging weight on the bar at the start of your workout, when your energy levels are highest. After a few warm-up sets, use a weight that causes you to fail at 6-8 reps, the lower end of the muscle-building rep spectrum. If you can do more than 8 reps, add more weight.

You can never totally isolate a particular muscle within a muscle group (like the short head in the biceps), but you can emphasize it so it's recruited more strongly over others by changing body position, angles, and grips.

You can find more short-head exercises in the Exercise Database. When you find a movement you like, stick with it for 6-8 weeks, at which point it might be a good idea to change things up again as progress starts to stall and a new stimulus is required for continued adaptation.

Choosing the right variations of exercises with the right loads is a good start, but you still have to do the work. When it comes to initiating growth processes at the cellular level, you won't get away with stopping your sets short of muscle failure. In fact, taking 1-2 sets of each exercise past failure is superior for building maximal muscle. Hence, combining the move with an intensity-boosting training technique can elicit greater overall growth.

Well, the brachialis is an important muscle as it can be used to create a more prominent muscle peak. This is true since the brachialis is located under and pushes up on the long head. The brachialis also adds girth to the biceps to create a fuller appearance.

One thing to note before we start and this cannot be over stated is the importance of concentration. Studies have shown that actively focusing on squeezing the biceps as you work them creates greater muscle hypertrophy and growth. This means that focusing on the muscle, using less weights, and concentrating on form is key to getting the desired results.

This basic principle can be applied to all exercises including those that focus on the arms. Therefore, while you put into practice the tips provided in this series of article, be especially diligent in regards to form and focus on squeezing the muscle which you are hoping to activate with the movement.

Focusing on the brachialis can be a good way to accentuate the biceps. Working out this muscle group increases the peak and girth of the upper arm. It also allows you to utilize a variety for exercises to change up your routine.As shown above, the brachialis inserts onto the ulna and thus only has one purpose, that is the flexion of the arm. Exercises that isolate this movement and minimize radio-ulnar joint movements (pronation and supination) can be used to focus on the brachialis.

In the pronated position, the brachialis is preferentially activated and the level of activity of the biceps heads is reduced as shown in this study.During this movement, the focus should be to perform the motion slowly and while squeezing the muscle.

The hammer curl achieves flexion of the elbow with the hand in the neutral position. This shifts a greater amount of the work onto the brachialis as shown in this study.The hammer curl both directly and indirectly enhances the appearance of the biceps long head. The reason for this, is that hammer curls target the brachialis. The brachialis is a muscle group which lies underneath the biceps long head and can be focused on to increase the mass of the outer arm as it pushes the long head upwards.

The barbell allows you to maximize the hypertrophic effects of heavier weights (and smaller incremental increases). The dumbbell allows you to develop a balanced physique and strengthen nearby muscle which are recruited as stabilizers.

The downside with wider grip barbell curls is reduced range of motion. Due to this, the muscle is required to produce force for a shorter duration of time. Also, varying grip does tend to put greater pressure on the wrists which some may find uncomfortable.

Hand position is key to achieving short head activation during the concentration curl. Combined flexion and supination during this activity has been shown to shift the load preferentially towards the short head of the biceps muscle.

Concentration curls are an excellent way to maximally activate the biceps. By resting the elbow against your leg, they also have the advantage of minimizing movement and thus activation of other muscles.This exercise has the added benefit of reducing activation of the anterior deltoid which is often hard to avoid during curls. Pressing the humerus against the leg does not allow the upper arm to sway, thus reducing the activation of the anterior deltoids.

Biceps exercises, where the arms are held in front of the body are able to target the short head of the biceps. Since the biceps short head does not cross the shoulder joint, this muscle will be more active than the long head as the angle of the elbow is decreased throughout the range of motion.During this movement, an inclined bench is used and the arms hang in front of the body. The elbows should be locked into place.

The purpose of a mini cut is to allow you to build more muscle. A mini cut is not a get shredded strategy or an approach designed to get you in bodybuilding contest shape. It is a diet that leans you out enough so you can continue to bulk up without adding more body fat.

Nutrient timing is an example of a small detail that can make a big difference when mini-cutting. The goal of your training during a mini cut is to provide a muscle-building signal to the body. While you might not actually build much muscle, you will retain it. In a mini cut we want maximal fat loss and minimal muscle loss.

The best training when mini cutting is doing the type of training that build muscle. This is training with as much volume as you can recover from. High training volumes are best supported by carbohydrates. Carbs are the dominant fuel source for hard weight training sessions. So, it makes sense to consume as many carbs as you can get away with and bias the timing of these carbs to be around your workout.

Having carbs pre-workout will increase the quality and quantity of the training you can do. This means you provide a more powerful muscle retaining stimulus. It also means you can do more overall volume in the gym. More volume equals more calories burned and more calories burned equates to more fat loss.

Carbs post-workout aids recovery. You are more nutrient sensitive post-workout so a greater proportion of the carbs you eat will be shuttled to muscles than fat. You should take advantage of this fact to maximize muscle retention and accelerate your fat loss.

One memory from my high school health class has stuck with me throughout my fitness career. The teacher confidently stood before the class and claimed that running destroys muscle. And I've heard this sentiment repeated from a variety of sources since. Science and the experience of countless athletes, however, disagree. So what's actually going on here? Does running build muscle?

Before focusing on how running impacts your muscular system, it's important to talk about how muscle building works in a general sense. When your muscles are challenged by a workout or some other stimulus, they undergo a minor trauma. In response, your brain unleashes a series of reactions designed to make your muscles bigger, stronger, faster, and better suited to handle that type of activity should it happen again. Collectively, this response is known as muscle protein synthesis (MPS). Like any building project, though, this adaptation requires the proper materials. For muscles, that means protein. 041b061a72

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