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It is possible to build muscle faster just by changing the way you lift the weights you are already lifting. The key thing to focus on is how fast you are lifting the weight. In this video, I’m going to show you how to increase the rate of muscle growth by speeding up the tempo during your lifts. There are 3 methods of doing this, each slightly different from the other, that all result in more type II muscle fiber activation and faster growth.
The first is one that is used by many athletes to build muscle. You want to take a weight that would cause you to reach failure in the 10-12 rep range. Instead of lifting it at a consistent tempo throughout the set from the first rep to the last, you want to try and move the weight as fast as you can during the concentric or lifting portion.
The ironic thing about this type of lift is that to outside observers, it may not appear as though you are lifting the weight quickly at all. That is ok and it is normal. To you however, it should feel as if you couldn’t move the weight any faster. You should feel as if you are explosively lifting the dumbbells on the way up as fast as possible. The reason it will be slow looking is that you have to remember that you are still using weights that are in the heavier range and won’t be easy to push very rapidly.
The fact that you are exerting the effort to move the weights as fast as you can is enough to help recruit more of the Type II muscle fibers to help complete the task. The more fibers you recruit to perform the lift, the more tension that can be developed and ultimately the more muscle mass you can build because of this.
This isn’t the only way to incorporate speed into your training however. You can actually lower the weight even more (to allow failure in the 15 rep range or so) and start pushing as fast as you can only on the concentric portion of the lift while slowly controlling the descent or eccentric portion of the lift. This is a very explosive way to train and can help you to yet again add muscle by increasing the overall tension that you are incorporating into the exercise. Tension equals mass times acceleration. If you can increase the speed of the mass you are moving you will end up with more tension being delivered to the muscles.
Finally, dispelling the rumor that light weights are incapable of helping you to build muscle, you would want to drop the weight again (this time to where failure occurs in the 25-30 rep range) and perform speed reps. Speed reps have both a fast concentric and eccentric part of the lift and your focus is to just move the weights as fast and explosively as possible. Here again you recruit type II fibers by virtue of the metabolic overload created by this type of training as well as the speed.
The bottom line is, if you want to build muscle faster you have to start finding ways to lift your weights faster on every single rep of select sets. For a complete step by step program of when to do this and when to switch to other methods of adding muscle, head to and get the complete ATHLEAN-X Training System.
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