One of the biggest hang-ups of the modern gym goer is the one muscle group that seems to be underdeveloped. We’ve seen the play, drills upon drills, repetitions upon repetitions, but we don’t see progress. Exotic exercises, a training project that makes chemically assisted athletes look like kittens, shout, and sweat. All to no avail. Is developing a muscle group such a difficult task?
In this article, we will look at some easy and practical ways to be able to emphasize any muscle group we want and stop stressing about the lack of progress seen in modern gyms.
For the examples we’ll be using from now on, we’ll be looking at developing a muscle group like the chest since it’s the most heavily trained muscle group out there.
Increase training frequency
Research on the protein synthesis process has shown that each muscle group should be trained 2 to 3 times per week, given that the athlete does not use anabolics.
Also Read: High-Volume Training Vs High-Intensity Training
So we understand that if in our current program, we do chest once a week then we are leaving behind a large piece of science that tells us we can train it once more during the week. So what do we do? Very simply, we make sure to train the chest once more during the week, preferably 4 to 5 days after the last workout.
Just by adding an extra workout during the week, we ensure that the stagnant area gets an extra stimulus to grow.
The smart selection of exercises for each muscle group
There is a great tendency for imitation in the gym, which while it can sometimes do something good when it comes to choosing exercises can lead us to go in circles around ourselves and not make progress. What do we mean by exercise mimicry?
An example is looking at what exercises someone is doing and trying to imitate them in the way they do it, the order they do it, and even the choice of exercises.
Many people do not feel any form of burn in the chest, even after several reps, but they do feel a burn in either the shoulders or triceps. Does this mean we are doing the exercise wrong? No, that means we have to try other exercises to get caught.
Another alternative you have is before the main program and after your warm-up, to do some “activation” exercise to better feel the muscle group you will exercise. In the example of the chest again, the openings with a rubber band or even pressures with a rubber band, are good options to feel the chest better before exercising it.
Pay attention to your body’s messages
Finally and most importantly, pay close attention to what signals your body gives you during training. What do we mean by this? Let’s say you’ve done 2 chest exercises and you’re moving on to the third one. But as you start the reps, you notice that you don’t feel the muscle contraction in your chest very well and you just feel like you’re doing the movement without using your chest.
In this case, it would be good to stop training the chest and switch to another muscle group. We do this because your chest, or whatever muscle group is being worked out at the time, can no longer respond to the training task and you will simply perform the movement.
The above reason is combined with the first advice to increase the frequency of training. If in your program you do each muscle group 1 time per week with 6-7 exercises, but you feel that the muscle stops working after the third exercise, then it is better to divide the exercises during the week where your training will be more productive.
There is a reason that many professional bodybuilders do one muscle group per week (besides anabolics of course). The reason for this is that after so many years of training, they have reached a point where they manage to use only the muscle group they want to work out, while at the same time maintaining continuous muscle contraction or swelling.
For all of us, who do not have gymnastics as a profession but as a way to escape from everyday life and see some improvement in our bodies, we can train smarter and more productively.
It is important to note that for all of the above to apply, there must be 3 other components to our program, which are continuous progress, good nutrition, and recovery. Yes, boring and trivial things, but quite often we forget all that.
So as final thoughts, along with the 3 tips we’ve looked at in this article, make sure you regularly progress in weight or reps, get 1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight in protein, and get 6-8 hours of sleep each day. If you do all this, then the development of a muscle group, whatever it is, is guaranteed!