Article written

  • on 14.03.2011
  • at 12:57 PM
  • by Jessy Troy

Five Ways To Shock Your Muscles Into Growth


If you’re currently on a muscle building workout plan and have been finding lately that you’re seeing less than optimal development, chances are you’ve hit a growth or strength gaining plateau.  This is a very normal occurrence for almost every trainee because as the body adapts to the workload being given to it, it fully manages to overcome it and then no longer sees a reason to change.

If you want to keep your body responding as best as possible so that you can move forward and see greater results, you have to push it back out of its comfort zone so it has a new reason to sit up and grow stronger.

Coming up with innovative ways to shock your muscles into growth is the perfect solution to do this.  Remember, sometimes you don’t necessarily have to completely restructure your workout around to create the change necessary for growth.  Often it’s a matter of a little tweak here or there that can do the job perfectly.

Let’s look at a few ideas for you to consider.

Reverse The Order

The very first way to shock the muscles into growth is to reverse the order of the exercises you’re performing.  Do you normally start out with bench press and then move to incline bench and finish with chest fly’s?

Try doing this the other way around.  In doing so you’re going to be much more fatigued by the time that you hit the bench press, thus your muscles will be forced to work that much harder.

Note that you likely won’t hit any personal bests when doing the larger, compound exercises later, but that’s not the point.  The point is to work through fatigue and grow stronger so that then when you do go back to your usual order, you’re now able to handle more weight.

Utilize Half-To-Full Reps

The second thing to consider is utilizing half to full reps.  This is an excellent way to bring on a high level of fatigue and really get those muscles responding.

To perform these you simply move all the way down through the first half of the movement, but then rather than returning all the way to the start, only come up half way.  Pause for a moment, go back down to the bottom of the movement, and then come all the way back up once again.

Perform all your reps like this in each set of that exercise and you’ll definitely be feeling it by the end.

Change The Grip Position

Third, another good way to bump up the intensity of your workout program and get greater growth is to change the grip position.

For instance, if you always do your pull-ups with an overhand grip, try an underhand grip instead. Likewise, if you’re doing bent over rows with an overhand grip, an underhand grip can be used here as well.

Often this simple change will entirely alter the stress on the muscle tissues and provoke that much greater strength gains.

Do Timed Reps

Another way that you can change around your workout set-up and see greater results is to perform timed reps.  With this technique, instead of doing your normal set of say 8-12 reps, what you’re going to do is see how many reps you can complete in one minute’s time.

Note that the point here is not to reduce the weight so you can lift for a minute straight, but rather, keep the weight at the same level and squeeze out as many reps as possible, even if breaks have to be taken.  If you’ve reached fatigue, pause until you can go again, and then continue on with your reps.

Once the minute is up, switch to a new exercise.

Try Single-Limb Exercises

Finally, the last way to shock your muscles into experiencing better growth is to use single-limb exercises.  In some cases you may have one muscle that’s stronger than the other that’s overcompensating for the weaker muscle group.

For instance if you’re doing a bent over barbell rows and one arm is significantly stronger, the other may not be pushing as hard as it should.

By switching this up to dumbbell single arm rows instead, you eliminate this problem from occurring.

So keep all of these quick and easy changes in mind. It’s vital that you’re constantly seeking out new ways to further stimulate your body so that you can take your strength and muscle growth to the next level.

This article has been contributed by Aishwarya Vohra. She works for Offshore Ally- a leading online source for reliable virtual assistant and SEO link builders.  She is a avid reader and enjoys practising yoga. Connect with her via Twitter.

cc licensed flickr photo shared by Ron Sombilon Gallery

  • Kris @ Health Blog

    I like your suggestions, I believe that the main thing we can do when we hit a plateu is just to switch things up, for example reversing the order that you perform the exercises like you suggested.

    Could be a good idea to switch from machines to free weights, do some high intensity interval training, bodyweight workouts, etc.

  • Michael Hines

    Hi there!

    Great tips! I so agree with you about always adapting your exercises or weight routine to push your body to the limits! I do interval training myself for cardio and the fast sprints inbetween really makes your body work harder!

    Thanks for your insight and I will be sure to bookmark this blog! It is really informative


  • Tatianna

    Pretty good tips. I have been switching up my workouts from time to time, with like you said few twitches here and there. Changing the grip is another great tip. Great blog!

  • sam @ muscle building tips

    Reversing the order is a great tip and should be done as much as possible in my opinion. If you never let your body get used to your routines and always keep it shocked, you can continue to grow more muscle.

  • No Nonsense Muscle Building

    Here are five of my favorites for throwing the proverbial monkey wrench into your training and forcing the muscle machine back into gear. …

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