There are many individual details that go into mapping out an effective muscle building
Factors such as training intensity, volume, frequency, workout structure, duration, warm-ups, rest periods, and more.
While all of these factors are obviously highly important when it comes to your bottom
line bodybuilding results, there’s one simple factor you must nail down first if you want
to progress in the gym at your maximum potential: proper training technique.
At the end of the day, stimulating your muscles for hypertrophy ultimately comes down
to the movements that you’re performing in the gym and how effectively you’re able to
place your muscles under tension during your exercises.
Muscle growth is an adaptive response to stress, and if you don’t know how to execute
your lifts in the proper way to optimize that stress, you’re not going to achieve the very
best gains possible.
Simply “going through the motions” isn’t going to cut it and in this information-packed
report I’ll be outlining 15 unique training tips you can employ to get the strongest
muscle-stimulating effect from your workouts.
This isn’t the typical “fitness 101” advice you hear on every run-of-the-mill blog and
YouTube channel out there…
This report is filled with a huge collection of useful, little-known training techniques,
many of which you’ve probably never even heard of before.
Implement these tips during your next few workouts, and I guarantee you’ll notice a big
improvement and really feel the difference that they make.
Let’s get started…
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MUSCLE BUILDING HACK #1
This technique will help men and women either enlarge the size of their biceps or tone their arms to get rid of the infamous “jiggle arm..”
Although effective bicep training is relatively straightforward in the big picture,
employing the proper tweaks to your bicep curl form and exercise selection can help
to speed up the process when it comes to building an impressive set of arms that
really stand out.
While free weight curls with barbells and dumbbells are good exercises overall, they
do pose one slight disadvantage in that they don’t place the biceps under maximum
tension throughout the entire range of motion from bottom to top.
This is because the exercise is performed in a circular motion, while the force of
gravity is always pulling the weight in a straight line toward the ground. As a result,
your biceps will be subjected to a high degree of stress at the top of the curl and
down to the middle portion of the range, but will increasingly lose tension as the
weight is lowered past halfway and down into the bottom position.
In order to create an optimal resistance curve that keeps your biceps under non-stop stress throughout the entire set without any rest at all, here’s the specific bicep curl
variation you’ll want to use…
The Standing Single Arm Cable Curl
1) Using a single-hand attachment, place the pulley at the very bottom of the cable
2) Stand facing away from the machine, grab onto the handle and take a small step
forward so that the resistance is pulling slightly back on your arm in the starting
3) Place your opposite hand on your waist for balance, and with your knees slightly
bent, arm fully straightened, and elbow tucked at your side, begin curling the cable
4) Make sure to keep your shoulder positioned down and back, and aside from some
very slight movement, don’t allow your shoulder or elbow to drift forward as you lift
5) Continue the motion until you feel a strong contraction in your biceps, pause
briefly at the top, and then lower the weight back down following the same path.
When executed properly, these are an incredibly effective means of training your
biceps in a way that most other curling movements don’t provide.
You can either perform your single arm cable curls as the primary bicep exercise in
your routine or you can mix them into your overall plan alongside your other
free weight lifts.
If you don’t have access to a cable machine here is the dumbbell version.
Pay attention to the part where he talks about controlling the negative part of the exercise.
MUSCLE BUILDING HACK #2
If you’re looking to carve out a set of round, broad shoulders that really get
noticed, a properly executed lateral raise is a key exercise in your training arsenal.
This is because lateral raises specifically target that often hard-to-hit lateral
head of the shoulder (also referred to as the “side delts”), which is the most
important of the 3 shoulder heads to develop if you really want to increase your
overall delt width and thickness.
Although a lateral raise might seem like a fundamental movement on the surface,
the truth is that most lifters make a ton of crucial errors on this exercise that
greatly reduce its muscle-building effectiveness and increase its injury-risk
potential at the same time.
Here are 4 quick form tips you can apply to your lateral raises to get the very most
out of the exercise and optimize the stimulation of the side delts…
Here is the dumbbell version
Tip #1: Lighten Up The Weights
If you’re using an amount of weight that requires you to swing your upper body
back and forth and heave the weights around in an uncontrolled manner like so
many lifters do.
All you’re really doing is reducing the involvement of the side
delts and increasing your chances of a shoulder injury at the same time.
Remember, it’s not the objective amount of weight you’re lifting that matters; the
only thing the lateral head of your shoulder (or any other muscle on your body for
that matter) experiences and responds to is the direct amount of tension that it’s
So, check your ego at the door and always make sure to execute your lateral
raises using a light enough weight so that you can perform the exercise under
strict control with minimal use of momentum and really feel your shoulders being
activated on each rep.
Tip #2: Lean Forward Slightly.
Rather than standing with your upper body completely upright throughout the
exercise, keep a small bend in your knees, and lean slightly forward at roughly a 70
Standing too far upright shifts the line of pull onto the anterior head of the
shoulder (the front portion) and reduces the activation of the lateral head.
Tip #3: Keep your abs flexed and core tight at all times.
Forcefully flexing your abs and keeping your ribcage locked down throughout the
The entire lift is one of the key ways to increase the tension on your side delts.
Doing so takes your spinal erectors out of the equation and also helps to prevent
your upper body from swaying backward as you raise the weights up.
Get this one nailed down and you’ll feel a huge difference in your ability to
contract your side delts on each rep.
Tip #4: Perform your lateral raises using a cable.
As I covered in the previous hack, exercises that utilize a circular range of motion
are actually best performed using cables due to the superior tension curve that
they provide in comparison to free weights.
Although dumbbells are still an effective way to perform this movement overall,
you’ll ideally want to do your lateral raises using a cable since dumbbells provide
very little to no tension in the bottom half of the lift.
Simply stand to the side of a cable machine and perform your lateral raises one arm at a time using a single hand attachment.
MUSCLE BUILDING HACK #3
There’s a reason why most lifters in the gym tend to have under-developed lats in
comparison to the rest of their upper body…
Aside from the basic issue of imbalanced workout programming, the lats are also the
most challenging muscle group on the body for most people to effectively engage.
It doesn’t take much to really “light up” the pecs, delts, arms, and legs in the gym, but
without the proper training technique, the lats are a much different story.
You’ll usually feel them working to a certain degree, but often it’s the forearms,
biceps, shoulders, and other surrounding muscles that end up taking on the brunt of
The single most effective form cue you can utilize in order to direct as much tension
onto the lats as possible and away from other surrounding muscle groups is to
focus on pulling the weight using your elbows rather than your hands.
To do this, imagine that your forearms, wrists, and hands don’t even exist and
that all of the force is being generated through your elbows.
Another way to approach this is to imagine that your hands are simply “hooks” that
are attaching you to the weight.
With a bit of practice, you’ll find that this makes a significant difference in how well
you’re able to engage your lats during your back exercises.
You can apply this form cue to any basic compound pulling movement, such as pull
ups, pulldowns, rows, and pullovers.
To improve the effectiveness of this tip even further, try utilizing a set of lifting
straps or lifting hooks on all of your back exercises as well.
This will further remove your forearms and grip from the equation and allow you to place 100% of your focus on pulling the weight using your back muscles as opposed
to your arms and shoulders.
MUSCLE BUILDING HACK #4
Here’s a very quick tip you can apply on your compound quad exercises such as
squats, leg presses, and lunges to improve overall quad stimulation and
Don’t allow your knees to lockout on each rep. Instead, stop 1-2 inches short of
lockout before lowering the weight back down again.
Not only does locking your knees out place a lot of stress on your knee joints (an
area that is very susceptible to injury), but it also takes the tension off of your
quads and gives them a momentary period of rest at the end of each rep.
By stopping your reps an inch or two short of lockout, your quads will be placed
under constant stress and will be forced to remain active throughout the entire
Give this one a try on your next set of squats or leg presses, and it should feel like
your quads are on fire by the time you reach those last few reps.
It’s highly uncomfortable, but it works.
MUSCLE BUILDING HACK #5
While proper chest training may be simple on paper, the real key to serious chest
growth is in the execution.
Most people know that the core foundation of any effective chest workout is
heavy pressing: barbell presses and dumbbell presses performed on either a flat,
incline or decline bench.
But as you probably also know, chest pressing is a compound movement that
involves more than just the pecs.
Your anterior delts (the front of the shoulder) and triceps are also heavily
If you’ve been training your chest with full intensity and focus each week and your chest still isn’t growing the way you want it to, the chances are that your front delts and triceps are actually doing the bulk of the work on your chest exercises
without you realizing it.
Here are 2 simple form shifts you can apply to immediately direct a higher percentage of the stress directly onto your pecs where you want it for faster, more efficient chest gains.
Give these tips a try during your next chest workout and see what you think…
Tip #1: Keep your shoulder blades retracted at all times.
By pinching your shoulder blades together slightly and keeping them there as you
press the weight up and down, your pecs end up taking on more of the load.
You can test this out for yourself right now as you read this…
Perform a regular pressing motion with your shoulder blades completely flat, and
then perform one with your shoulder blades retracted.
Feel the difference?
Not only does this engage your pecs to a higher degree, but it also reduces the
stress on your shoulder joints and decreases the risk for injury.
Tip #2: Focus on pressing the weight using your upper arms rather than your hands.
Rather than just trying to move the weight from point A to point B, instead place
your focus on what the actual purpose of a chest pressing exercise is when it
comes to targeting the pecs.
The purpose is NOT to shove your hands away from your body and extend
your elbows – it’s actually to move your upper arms across the front of your
This is the true function that the pectoral muscle performs, known as
So, rather than just thinking about pressing the resistance straight out in front of
you, shift your attention onto that simple act of moving your upper arm in an
arching motion across the front of your body.
Similar to the back training tip I gave earlier, one way of doing this is to just
imagine that your arms below the elbow don’t even exist and that all of the
actual “pressing” is being done through your elbows and upper arms.
This one takes a bit of practice but will make a huge difference in your ability to
decrease tricep/delt involvement and maximize chest stimulation.
MUSCLE BUILDING HACK #6
While there’s no question that basic compound exercises such as squats, leg presses
and lunges should form the cornerstone of your quad training routine, a few sets of
leg extensions at the end of your quad workout can be a useful addition in certain
Perhaps you want to include some additional volume for your quads without overly
taxing the rest of your body… Maybe you have a lower back injury that you’re trying
to work around…
Or maybe you want to perform some high rep work but find that your cardiovascular system becomes the limiting factor on big compound lifts done in the 12+ rep ranges…
While most people think of the leg extension as being nothing more than a simple
matter of extending at the knee here’s one easy tweak you can employ to get an
even deeper contraction on each rep for better overall stimulation and bigger
At the top of each rep, when your knee is fully extended, try to raise your knees up
off the seat as if you were trying to bring your thighs toward your chest.
How does this simple action improve the effectiveness of your leg extensions?
Well, the quadriceps are made up of 4 individual heads: the rectus femoris (middle
portion), vastus lateralis (outer portion), vastus medialis (inner portion) and vastus
intermedius (also middle portion but sits underneath the rectus femoris).
Although all 4 heads insert onto the lower leg and perform the function of extending
the knee joint, the rectus femoris, originates on the pelvis (unlike the other 3 heads
which originate on the femur) and performs the function of hip flexion as well.
You can test this out for yourself in your chair right now as you read this…
First, extend your knee as if you were performing a regular leg extension exercise and
note the contraction that you feel.
From there, lift your knee up off the seat toward your upper body.
Although your knee will only travel an inch or so upward, you’ll immediately notice a
deeper contraction in the middle portion of your quad where the rectus femoris sits.
So, by combining these two actions of both knee extension and hip flexion into the
exercise, you’ll end up getting more well-rounded stimulation of your quads on each
rep during your leg extensions.
MUSCLE BUILDING HACK #7
A properly structured bicep workout is certainly important when it comes to
building an impressive set of arms, but it’s actually your triceps that makeup
about 2/3 of your total upper arm muscle mass.
This tip is especially important for men and women who want totone their arm
If you really want to take your arm gains to the highest possible level, triceps
training should never be treated as an afterthought.
As the name implies, the triceps are a 3-headed muscle consisting of the long
head, medial head, and lateral head.
For most trainees, adequately stimulating the long head and medial head doesn’t
pose much of a challenge.
The long head can be easily targeted through any type of overhead extension
exercise, while the medial head is heavily recruited on narrow grip presses/dips as
well as during your chest workouts, any time you perform a compound pressing
Isolating and building that outer tricep lateral head, on the other hand, is
generally much harder to do.
In order to specifically target the lateral head for improved upper arm gains,
here’s the exercise you want to be doing…
The Twisting Rope Pushdown
When most people perform tricep pushdowns, they’ll simply use a straight bar or
rope attachment and press the resistance in a straight up and down motion.
While this is completely fine to get an overall contraction in your triceps, it’s not
optimal if you’re trying to build the lateral head with maximum effectiveness.
So, instead of just pressing the rope straight up and down, you’ll also want to
focus on forcefully pulling it apart and pressing your arms away from each other as
you drive the rope downward.
Add this “twist” to the bottom of each rep, and you should feel a stronger
contraction in the lateral head of the triceps with decreased involvement from
the other two heads.
It does take some practice and a good “mind-muscle connection” to get used to,
but with repeated attempts, you should be able to find the best angle for yourself
to really get the most out of this exercise.
Don’t go overboard on weight here either; this tricep exercise is best executed
using a slower and more controlled rep cadence with a focus on really squeezing
your triceps at the bottom of each rep.
MUSCLE BUILDING HACK #8
There’s no question that building up naturally skinny calves can be quite a
challenge for many trainees.
Aside from a couple of legitimate genetic disadvantages at play (the primary
factor is how high up the calves insert on the lower leg), most lifters also
make several simple but crucial errors in their training form that make adding
significant size to their calves next to impossible.
Here are 3 quick tips you can apply to your calf raise movements that will make a
a significant difference in how effectively you’re able to stimulate your calves for
Calf Raise Tip #1
Instead of driving yourself up onto the entire ball of your front foot, focus on
raising yourself up onto your big toe instead.
This prevents your feet and ankles from rolling outward and maximally stimulates
the inner portion of your calf where the largest percentage of the mass is located.
If you simply perform a regular calf raise without thinking about this, your body
will naturally follow the path of least resistance and do the opposite since your
the big toe is positioned furthest away.
Calf Raise Tip #2
When most people perform standing calf raises, they place their feet shoulder
width apart or narrower throughout the exercise.
While this will certainly still work when it comes to training the calves
effectively, an even better approach is to go slightly wider at an inch or two
outside of shoulder width.
Just like pressing yourself up onto your big toe, using a wider stance on your calf
raises prevents your ankles from rolling outward as you press yourself up.
If you want to mix in some sets with a narrower stance that’s fine but use the
wider stance as the foundation of your calf training.
Calf Raise Tip #3
One widespread and detrimental calf training mistake is in the excessive use of
In fact, it’s rare to see a lifter at the gym who doesn’t perform their calf raises in
The majority of people load up the weights and then “bounce.”
their way through the set by pumping out their reps without any real pause at the
top or bottom of the movement.
When you “bounce” yourself out of the bottom position of a calf raise, you greatly
minimize the amount of tension that is placed on the actual calf muscles and
redirect it towards your Achilles tendon instead.
Slow down your reps and stop using momentum.
Here’s what I’d recommend…
Pause at the very bottom of the position for a full 2 seconds… press yourself up as hard
and fast as you can in proper form… pause in the fully contracted position for 1
second… and then lower yourself in 3-4 seconds.
This particular cadence will optimize the stress on your calves and minimize the
involvement of the Achilles tendon.
MUSCLE BUILDING HACK #9
Earlier on, I outlined two highly effective chest training tips to increase pec
activation during compound pressing exercises, and here’s another quick one you
can use on exercises where you’re pressing a single object, such as barbell presses
or machine presses…
Instead of just pressing the weight in a straight up and down motion, also focus
on squeezing your hands inward at the same time as if you were trying to
compress the bar together.
Give this one a try, and you’ll feel an immediate increase in pec activation before
you even begin the exercise.
You don’t need to go overboard here and shove your hands inward as hard as
possible, but a gentle squeeze of about 25% of your available strength will do the
(This tip can also be applied to pushups as well.)
MUSCLE BUILDING HACK #10
The traps just don’t get enough respect.
In fact, I’d go as far as to say that they’re the single most “underrated” muscle group
for those trying to build a bigger, more muscular-looking body.
Most beginners are so pre-occupied with adding size to their chest and arms that
they totally overlook the huge contribution that a well-developed set of traps will
make to their overall physique.
If you really want to achieve that strong and “powerful” look, packing size and
thickness onto your traps is something that should be treated as a priority.
There are many different exercises you can use to stimulate the traps for increased
size and strength, but when it all comes down to it, a properly executed shrug is still
the “go-to” movement that will give you the most bang for your buck.
However, the key phrase there is properly executed.
When most lifters perform this exercise (whether it be with a barbell, dumbbells or
cables), the basic form you’ll always see is the standard straight-up-and down
shrugging motion with the shoulders, otherwise known as “scapular elevation.”
However, the problem with simply shrugging your shoulders in a straight up and
down the line is that this particular movement actually puts the primary focus on the
“levator scapulae” rather than the trapezius.
Just like the name implies, the primary function of the levator scapulae is to elevate
the scapula and this is exactly what you’re doing when performing a standard up and
down barbell or dumbbell shrug.
The traps will still come into play, of course, but not in a way that activates them
to the fullest degree.
To move the stress off of the levator scapulae and straight onto the
traps where you want it, focus on shrugging the weight at a slight horizontal
angle so that your shoulders are being shrugged up and backward toward the
mid-line of your body at the same time.
You can test this out for yourself right now as you read this…
Try shrugging in the standard way of moving your shoulders straight up and down
and see how your traps feel. Next, try shrugging by moving your shoulders
up and backward at the same time and see if you notice a difference.
If you did it correctly, then you should feel a much more pronounced “cramping.”
sensation in the traps.
So, here’s the complete rundown on how to perform your shrugs in a way that
trains your traps as effectively as possible…
1) Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them at your sides about 1-2 inches outside
of shoulder width.
2) Rather than standing completely upright, bend forward at the waist so that
your body is angled slightly forward.
3) From this position, shrug the weight both up and back as far as you can until
you feel a strong contraction in your traps. Pause briefly at the top and squeeze
your traps hard, and then slowly lower the weight back down.
4) Once you get to the bottom position, allow your arms to “hang” downward
toward the floor until you feel a good stretch in your traps. Hold again in this
bottom stretched position for a brief second, and then repeat for a total of 8-10
reps per set.
This movement definitely takes some practice, and you may have to play around
with it a bit until you find the right angle for yourself.
Test this variation out against pure scapular elevation, and you should definitely
notice a big difference in how effectively you’re able to feel your traps working.
MUSCLE BUILDING HACK #11
In addition to a basic compound hip extension movement such as a Romanian
deadlift or stiff-legged deadlift, an isolated leg curling exercise should also be
included for your hamstrings if you want to achieve a complete, well-rounded
One important factor on leg curls that often gets overlooked, however, is toe
If you perform your leg curls with your ankle dorsiflexed like most lifters do (toes
pointed towards your body) the gastrocnemius (the major portion of the calf
muscle) becomes activated and assists the hamstrings in curling up the weight.
To de-activate the calves and direct the majority of the tension onto the
hamstrings where you want it, try performing your leg curls with your ankles
plantar-flexed instead (toes pointing away from your body).
Due to its insertions and fiber length, the gastrocnemius can’t be active during
both knee flexion and plantar flexion, and so this is a simple form adjustment that will increase the stress on the hamstrings during leg curls.
You’ll probably need to lighten the weight up a bit in order to apply this tip, but
the overall tension on the hamstrings themselves will still be greater regardless.
MUSCLE BUILDING HACK #12
There’s no doubt that basic compound presses should form the underlying
the foundation of your chest training routine, but an isolated fly exercise is still a
great way to finish off your workout and target your pecs from a different angle.
Any basic fly movement will be effective when executed in proper form, but cable
flys are going to be the ideal choice for the simple reason that they provide
consistent tension on the pecs throughout the entire range of motion.
Because of the force of gravity and the path that the weight is traveling in,
dumbbell flys only stimulate your chest to a significant degree in the bottom half
of the range, making them a slightly less effective exercise overall.
If you’ve decided to include a few sets of cable flys as part of your chest workout,
here’s a rapid and easy tip to help you get a deeper, more powerful
contraction in your pecs on each rep…
Rather than simply keeping your hands in a neutral “palms facing in” position
throughout the entire movement, instead, focus on rotating your hands inward
so that your palms are facing down at the end of each rep.
How does this simple form tweak increase the effectiveness of your cable flys?
As I mentioned in a previous tip, the primary function of the pecs is
“horizontal adduction,” which is the act of bringing your upper arm across the
front of your body.
If you look at any pressing or fly movement, you’ll see that it always involves this basic movement.
However, the pecs also perform a second function that many people aren’t aware
of, which is “internal rotation” of the shoulder joint.
You can demonstrate this function for yourself right now by placing your arms
straight out in front of you with your palms facing each other, and then twisting
your arms inward until your palms are facing the floor or even slightly away from
If you flex your pecs at the same time that you do this, then you should feel a
stronger “squeeze” in the muscles as you internally rotate your shoulders further
and further, almost as if they’re cramping up a bit.
So, by applying this function to your cable flys, you’ll be incorporating both
horizontal adduction and internal shoulder rotation into the movement, allowing
you to shorten your pecs to a greater degree and thus achieve a deeper muscle
contraction on each rep.
This can be utilized on any cable fly exercise, whether it be standing, lying or
MUSCLE BUILDING HACK #13
Two muscle groups on the body are particularly reliant on the luck of
the “muscle building genetics lottery”…
The first is the calves. The second is the forearms.
In other words, if you aren’t naturally muscular in these areas and if they don’t seem
to respond well to training from the get-go, you will usually require a decent amount of
patience and consistency before you’re able to make significant gains there.
The forearms are made up of two main groups of muscles: the wrist flexors (the
muscles that run along the underside of the forearm) and the wrist extensors (the
muscles that run along the top of the forearm).
Since the primary function of these muscles is to flex and extend the wrist, it would
seem to make sense that the best way to go about training them would be to
perform basic wrist curls and wrist extensions using a barbell, dumbbell, or cables.
Wrist curls and wrist extensions are easily the most popular forearm exercises out
there, and these are the two movements that most lifters looking to build bigger
forearms place the majority of their focus on.
However, the reality is that wrist curls and wrist extensions are far from the most
an effective way to build forearm muscle, and they’re potentially dangerous as well.
This is because the wrist flexors and wrist extensors are a powerful set of
muscles, but when performing wrist curls and wrist extensions, it is actually the wrist
the joint that becomes the limiting factor in the exercise.
The wrist joint is fragile in comparison to the muscles of the forearm, and the
the human body is not designed to lift heavy amounts of weight through the
functions of wrist flexion and extension.
Not only do you end up providing less-than-maximal stress to the actual muscles of
the forearm when performing these exercises, but you also end up putting your
wrists into a dangerous position that increases the chances of injury, both to the
actual joint and to the surrounding nerves.
So, if you want to build forearm mass and strength as effectively as possible, you
need to be placing your focus on gripping exercises instead.
This is because gripping exercises take the wrist joint out of the equation and allow
you to fully overload the wrist flexors and extensors with the maximum amount of
the weight they can truly handle, and without the added injury risk.
Here are 3 exercises that allow you to accomplish this effectively…
Forearm Exercise #1: Farmer’s Walks
This is a very simple exercise but is an awesome way to build up your forearm
muscles and develop better grip strength as well.
To properly execute these, just pick up a pair of heavy dumbbells, grip them as
tightly as you can, and then with your back straight, chest up, and shoulders back,
begin walking forward using small quick steps.
A good guideline is to aim for around 10-15 meters for heavy sets, 20-30 meters
for moderate weight sets, and 40-60 meters for lighter weight sets.
Forearm Exercise #2: Pull-Up Bar Holds
As the name implies, all you’re going to do here is grab a pull up bar as tightly as
you can use either an overhand or neutral grip and then hang from the bar for
as long as possible until your grip gives out.
You’ll obviously be shooting for time here, and anywhere from 30-60 seconds is a
a good target to aim for.
If you’re able to hold your body weight for longer than a full 60 seconds then
you’ll want to add resistance using a dumbbell or weight plate.
Forearm Exercise #3: Hand Grippers
Although I would consider these as an optional add-on, the use of hand grippers is
also, an effective way to place significant tension on the forearms in a safe way
without the wrist joint becoming a limiting factor.
Or, if you don’t want to purchase actual hand grippers but would like to simulate
the same basic movement using free weights here’s a great option for you…
Hand Gripper Freeweight Variation:
1) Grab a barbell and hold it behind your back with your palms facing away from
2) Allow the barbell to slowly roll down your hands and onto the tips of your
3) Squeeze the bar back up with your fingers until it comes into contact with your
palms, just like you would with a regular hand gripper. Make sure NOT to flex
MUSCLE BUILDING HACK #14
When most people perform their bicep curls, they end up flexing their wrist and
forearm at the same time that they’re curling the weight up.
There are two main problems with this…
First off, it takes tension off of the biceps and places it onto the wrists and
This ultimately results in a less effective bicep workout.
Secondly, the wrists are not intended to lift significantly heavy loads in this
position, as we just discussed. This additional stress can very easily lead to
wrist and forearm pain.
From now on, always make sure that your wrists remain either neutral or even
better, slightly extended whenever you execute your curling movements.
This will keep the majority of the tension on your biceps while taking the stress
off of your wrists and forearms at the same time.
Though it isn’t known for certain, many say that keeping the wrist extended
during bicep curls was a training technique originally devised by Arnold
In any case, give it a try, and you’ll definitely feel a stronger contraction in your
biceps as a result.
MUSCLE BUILDING HACK #15
In a previous tip, I had recommended applying a small amount of inward force on
your barbell and machine chest pressing movements in order to increase the
activation of the pecs.
For compound back exercises, you can take this same tip but go with the opposite
Next time you perform a basic back exercise such as a chin-up, lat pulldown,
barbell row, machine row, etc., apply a small amount of outward force and
imagine that you’re trying to stretch the bar apart gently.
Again, go with about 25% of your available strength here rather than trying to
shove your hands outward as hard as you can.
In combination with pulling through your elbows and using lifting straps like I
mentioned earlier on, this is yet another way to decrease the activation of your
biceps while increasing the activation of your lats and other mid-back muscles.
BONUS: MUSCLE BUILDING HACK #16
As a final “bonus” hack, I’m going to share with you a simple science-based
technique that will allow you to instantly add around 5-10 pounds to all of your
major compound exercises in the gym, and squeeze out an extra rep or two on
your smaller isolation lifts.
It’s dead simple and requires almost zero effort to employ.
Here it is…
From now on, whenever you perform a set of any exercise, lock your gaze onto
a single point in front of you and do NOT let your eyes wander or the
positioning of your head to change.
Pour ALL of your intensity, drive, and motivation into that one point of vision as
you crank out each rep and maintain it with full focus until your set is over.
How exactly does this help to increase your strength and power in the gym?
It all has to do with “proprioception”, which is a process used by your central
nervous system to give you an automatic sensation of where all the different
parts of your body are located relative to each other at any given moment.
For example, if I asked you right now to touch your left ear or your right elbow,
you’d instantly know where to move your hand in order to locate that body part
without even having to think about it.
It’s something we take completely for granted, but without proprioception, this wouldn’t be possible.
Now, here’s the important thing to realize when it comes to performing any given
exercise in the gym…
Every time your eyes move around or your head positioning changes, your body
must “reset” proprioception to determine where all the parts of your body are now
If you were looking straight ahead and then turned your head completely to the
left, the relative positioning of all the different parts of your body would instantly
(This is why it becomes much harder to maintain your balance if your
eyes and head are constantly in motion)
So, by keeping your vision locked onto a single point in front of you and not
allowing your head to move around as you lift and lower the weights,
proprioception remains constant and does not have to continually reset itself.
This increases the overall efficiency at which you can move the resistance, since
your body can now place 100% of its focus on simply powering the weight up and
down without these constant “resets” in proprioception getting in the way.
The overwhelming majority of lifters in the gym are completely unaware of this,
and if employed properly, this technique should provide you with an instant boost
to your overall strength levels.
Don’t expect anything too crazy, but a 5-10 pound increase on major compound
exercises is not uncommon, along with an extra rep or two on smaller isolation
Since achieving muscular hypertrophy is all about progressively overloading your
muscles with greater and greater amounts of resistance over time, the instant boost that this technique provides is definitely worth it.
DID YOU FIND THESE 15 TRAINING TIPS HELPFUL?
What you just read is the type of no B.S, science-based approach I will always strive to give you.
I hope you’ll learn all of the most important, result-producing principles behind proper training, nutrition, supplementation, mindset, and everything in between, as well as the truth behind many common fitness myths that have been holding you back from achieving the body you truly desire.