Are you usually overwhelmed by the variety of exercises to choose from?
Pick a single muscle group. Say your chest.
You can do bench presses, dumbbell flies, cable flies, and so many other machine variations.
How do you know which exercises to pick?
Exercise selection can depend on several parameters. But for muscle hypertrophy, here are 2 key guidelines to abide by:
1. Pick exercises that take the muscle through its full range of motion:
Your muscles shorten when they contract. They lengthen when they stretch. You must pick exercises which let muscles undergo this entire process from shortening to lengthening.
This is why I prefer dumbbell and cable movements to barbell in most cases. Dumbbells let me get a better stretch at the bottom of a chest press. And allow for a more natural path for the chest muscle fibres to contract.
Another reason why I detest partial reps.
If you aren't able to perform exercises with good range of motion, chances are the weight is too heavy. Drop the load and work on the range.
2. Pick exercises that challenge the muscle at different lengths:
Have you noticed?
In a standing dumbbell curl, you can curl the weight up and pause at the top-most position for almost indefinite time. The movement is barely challenging at the fully shortened position of the bicep. While it gets most challenging when your forearm is parallel to the floor.
In a spider curl but, the top-most contracted position is the hardest to maintain.
To work a muscle best for hypertrophy, you must include exercises that challenge the muscle at the shortened, lengthened and somewhat midway positions respectively.
So for biceps, do a standing dumbbell curl, a spider curl and an incline cable curl to hit the biceps effectively in all its ranges.
For your glutes similarly, pick these to maximise muscle growth:
Hardest at shortened position: Glute Bridge
Hardest at mid position: Romanian Deadlift
Hardest at lengthened position: Reverse Lunge
Hope you learnt something useful from this email. Try these things out in your next training block.
If your training program isn't getting you the results you want, book a free strategy call. Let me help you.