When most bodybuilders first enter a gym, their goal isn’t to become ripped. They don’t care about proportions. They could care less about etching definition and striations into muscle groups. Their goal is typically to get BIG. Once they achieve this goal, and compete in a bodybuilding show or two, they begin to realize that while pure unadulterated size is fun to have, it’s the well-built bodybuilders with etched in striations and detail that win bodybuilding shows.
When the goal inevitably changes from adding pure size to adding definition and detail, a new set of rules and practices must come into play. Here are a few changes to the “get big!” strategy, which refines it to “get bigger AND better”.
Higher rep ranges
Employing a rep range of 12 to 20 allows the muscle group to recruit slow-twitch fibers which are typically neglected during the standard bodybuilding rep scheme of 8 to 12 reps. This also flushes an additional amount of blood into the region which provides the region with new levels of amino acids being present during the post-workout anabolic window healing period.
Train for pump
When trying to build new muscle mass, many bodybuilders attempt to constantly train to failure. This is a good approach, as it figuratively destroys the tendons, muscle, and supporting muscle infrastructure and inspires new muscle growth. However, when attempting to etch detail into a muscle group, the goal should change form muscle group annihilation to muscle group stimulation. Train for a pump – the maximum amount of blood in a muscle group that it can hold.
The mental aspect of bodybuilding is often ignored in this sport of counting calories, reps, sets, and pounds. However, mentally focusing upon the muscle being trained, and adjusting exercise movement and flexing motions to meet this focus, allows a bodybuilder to maximize the rewards reaped from each repetition. Visualize the muscle being engorged with blood, and the subconscious actions of your body during the exercise movement will make it a reality.