If you are stuck at home in social isolation, have limited equipment and weights, but still want to feel challenged and continue to grow your muscles, we have just the thing for you. In this article, we will go through 3 of the best methods to make our at-home workouts more challenging, without adding sets, reps, weight, or making changes to your anabolic steroid supplements.
The harder you train, the more you gain, but that progression can quickly hit a cap if you’re forced to work with the same few sets of equipment within the vicinity of your home. With free weights and training equipment prices on the rise since the start of the pandemic, there are a few methods we’d like to share with you that keeps your muscles strong and your wallet comfortable.
1. Incorporate Pauses Between Movements
One of the best ways to make your workouts more challenging is to stop mid-rep during a rep. Doing so forces your body to remain in a “straining position” for longer and also removes any momentum you may be relying on to complete the movement. Your muscles have to fire in order for you to generate the force needed to complete a movement. Doing a few reps with pauses will make a set more challenging than if you are to use the same weight without pauses. Not only does this allow your muscles to spend more time being challenged, it also minimizes the chances for you to use a bad posture to complete a workout.
If you are combining your workouts with anabolic steroid supplements, incorporating pauses between your movements allows the steroids to trigger with your muscular cells, accelerating healing and providing you with enhanced strength.
2. Squeeze the Muscles
On the opposite hand of lengthening the straining phases of a movement, you can also consider squeezing your muscle when its contracted. In most exercises, a rep will include one or more positions where your muscles will feel contracted. By maximizing the force exerted to these squeezes, it helps strengthen those muscles and affirms that your posture and movement is correct.
For example, try performing a barbell curl and squeeze the biceps at the top of the curl hard before lowering the weight. The first few reps may feel just fine, but then muscular fatigue will take over and you’ll have to work harder to control that flexing. If you incorporate pauses into this movement, it will feel even more tiring, accelerating your muscle growth.
3. Keep Rest to a Minimum
Alongside extending the time your muscles are kept in a strained position and squeezing them tight, you will also want to focus on efficiency as well as effectiveness. To achieve this, simply decrease your normal resting periods to a minimum. If you would usually rest for a minute between sets, consider reducing that to 45 or 30 seconds. By keeping your body in a tired state, it will allow you to “burn more” during your workouts, promoting better muscle growth.