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How to Build More Muscle as an Advanced Trainer

Let’s face it, building muscle gets harder and harder the longer we work out. This is because it takes more stimulus and therefore more muscle damage in order to elicit similar levels of muscle growth or hypertrophy. This is why having a training partner is an excellent idea, especially if you’re an advanced trainer to help you train safer with heavier weights. Many advanced trainers also employ a technique known as eccentric training or negative reps. This type of training can be done in two different ways:

1. Slowing Down Movement – The most common method of performing eccentric training is to simply slow down the movement of the eccentric motion or the general lowering phase of the movement (more scientifically accurate is the lengthening of a muscle). So on the down phase of a bench press or squat, you’d be slowing down your movement to as many seconds as possible.

2. Increasing the Weight – The other and less employed method of performing eccentric training is to overload with weight; at least 105% more than your maximum weight lifted. This will mean that you will require help in getting the weight back up.

Ideally both these techniques should be utilised together to get the greatest amount of muscle damage to boost muscle growth. In a recent study however1, it is said that over time, both types of contractions will result in similar muscle growth, so it’s important to also perform concentric training as well.

Practical Applications

When you’re an advanced trainer, it can sometimes be frustrating trying to observe progress, simply because it occurs at a slower rate even though you’re lifting more than most people. Here are 4 of the best muscle growth tips for experienced trainers who find their progress less than adequate:

1. Get a Training Partner or a Spotter – Invaluable for helping you lift more and train more intensely.

2. Train Eccentric – Before your recovery week/s, it’s best to focus on high intensity eccentric training using very heavy weights and increased time under tension.

3.  Train Concentric for Recovery – Most people tend to take a complete recovery week off, however it’s best to utilise a taper week prior. During this taper week, aim at predominantly concentric training at 70% of your maximum weight.

4. Protein and Carbohydrates Together – As an advanced trainer, you can’t just rely on protein to help get you gains, aim for at least a 1.5:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein as a post-workout to help you maximise recovery and hypertrophy.

Rahbek SK, Farup J, Møller AB, Vendelbo MH, Holm L, Jessen N, Vissing K. ‘Effects of divergent resistance exercise contraction mode and dietary supplementation type on anabolic signalling, muscle protein synthesis and muscle hypertrophy.’ Amino Acids. 2014 Jul 9.

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