Muscle & Performance - - Supplement In Focus -

Not all cheat­ing is off lim­its. In fact, once you have the fun­da­men­tals down pat, there are some solid ways to cheat ef­fec­tively. For in­stance, cheat reps that use non-tar­geted mus­cles to help lift a weight through the pos­i­tive con­trac­tion in­creases your time un­der ten­sion of that tar­geted mus­cle, and al­lows you to take ad­van­tage of the neg­a­tive por­tion of the rep to boost your build­ing po­ten­tial.

In a dumb­bell bi­ceps curl, for ex­am­ple, once you have no more strict reps left in your tank, use your lower body — not your back, shoul­ders or arms — to cheat. Per­form a quar­ter squat, mak­ing sure your spine and core are sta­ble and strong, then quickly ex­tend your legs and hips and use that mo­men­tum to help you lift the dumb­bells through the con­cen­tric por­tion to the top, then slowly lower them for four to six sec­onds through the ec­cen­tric un­til you reach the bot­tom. Re­peat un­til you can no longer mainWDLQ SURSHU SRVWXUH DQG RU IRUP ³ WKHQ \RX·UH GRQH HOLD IT: ISOMETRICS FOR GROWTH $ VLPSOH EXW QRW HDV\ ZD\ WR LQFUHDVH WKH GLIÀFXOW\ RI D PRYH is to in­cor­po­rate an iso­met­ric hold — paus­ing for roughly one to WKUHH VHFRQGV DW WKH DVSHFW RI WKH H[HUFLVH \RX ÀQG WR EH WKH most chal­leng­ing. This will help im­prove strength and en­durance in the moves and move­ment pat­terns you want to im­prove.


:KHUH \RX SHUIRUP WKH KROG GHSHQGV RQ WKH H[HUFLVH \RX·UH do­ing. For ex­am­ple, in a bench press or squat, hold­ing at the ERWWRP RI WKH PRYH SURYHV WKH PRVW GLIÀFXOW ZKHUHDV ZLWK D EDU bell or ma­chine row the hard­est part is at the peak con­trac­tion. For a stand­ing move such as a bi­ceps curl, an iso­met­ric hold in the mid­dle of the range of motion, when your fore­arm is par­al­lel WR WKH ÁRRU LV EUXWDO


You can also add a longer iso­met­ric hold at the be­gin­ning or end of a set to in­crease your time un­der ten­sion. For ex­am­ple, at WKH HQG RI D VHW RI SXOO XSV \RX·G KROG DW WKH WRS RI WKH UDQJH RI motion (the con­tracted po­si­tion) for up to 10 sec­onds. However, LQ D EHQFK SUHVV ³ ZKHUH WKH PRVW GLIÀFXOW SDUW LV KROGLQJ WKH bar just above your chest — the iso­met­ric hold would come at the be­gin­ning of a set for safety; at the end, you might be too fa­tigued to press the weight back up.

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