We’re sure you’ve seen someone really big at your gym lifting half the weight most people tend to use for an exercise and wonder to yourself, “How can someone get that big by lifting lighter weight than I use?”
The truth is that even though going heavy with proper form is important for muscle growth going lighter and using moderate weight can also cause your body to grow. This is especially true if you have been doing the same routine of 8-12 reps for a while. So what is the answer? Mixing in some higher-rep training and drawing so much blood into the muscle that the fascia (the tissue surrounding your muscle) expands over time and allows that muscle to grow more adequately.
Another great benefit to this style of training is that, due to the higher amount of blood coming in and out of your muscle, you will be transporting oxygen and essential nutrients like amino acids into the muscle tissue as well. This not only benefits your recovery, but also enhances the potential for growth.
We’re not talking about grabbing a 10-pound dumbbell and curling it for 300 reps, though. We’re talking about using around 60-65% of your one-rep max (1rm) and shooting for between 20-25 reps. Those last few reps should be brutal – giving you a pump so strong that your muscles won’t be able to contract anymore.
There are a few things you can do to enhance effect of higher-rep training:
1. Stay Hydrated
Drink approximately 20oz before your workout and keep drinking water during the session. This will ensure that you have a good supply of water entering the muscle tissue, which will help you achieve that skin-splitting pump.
2. Stretch Between Sets
You will get a nasty pump from doing your higher volume training and then stretching immediately afterwards.
3. Be Mentally Tough
You are going to have to push yourself into getting those final reps, especially if you’re not used to high-rep training. Those final 3-5 reps will feel like your muscles are just filled with too much blood and your range of motion will be cut short.
Before you go out there and say “That sounds like an easy workout” give it a try – we guarantee that by the 3rd or 4th set you will be stopping more frequently than usual. Your heart rate will be more elevated than normal and your muscles are in for a shock. If you need to take a break halfway through a set, that’s fine – just make sure you either drop the weight and keep going or you take a short (3-5 second) break and keep going until you reach your number of reps.
Below is an example of a great high-volume Biceps/Triceps workout. Give it a try next time you train for a massive pump and to spur your arms to new levels of growth.
*Stretch each arm for about 20 seconds after each set, then immediately begin the next set
|Rope Hammer Curl||1||100|
|Triceps Rope Extension||1||100|
|Standing EZ Bar Curl (2 sets close grip, 2 sets wide grip)||4||25|
|EZ Bar Skullcrusher||4||20|
|EZ Bar Preacher Curl||4||25|
|Smith Machine Close Grip Bench Press||4||25|
| Dumbbell Concentration Curls