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Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Top 2 Tips for Building Muscle Revealed

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Arnold Schwarzenegger's Top 2 Tips for Building Muscle Revealed

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Arnold Schwarzenegger, a retired bodybuilder and source of inspiration for those looking to gain size and strength, has shared two techniques for building muscle.

Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t involve lifting more weight.

The first technique is “progressive resistance,” also known as progressive overload, where you increase the intensity of your workout by adding more weight or performing more reps.

The second technique involves the tempo in which you lift the weights, known as the 4-1-1 method, where you lower the weight for four seconds, hold for one second, and return to the starting position in one second.

The other technique is called “the pause,” where you hold at the bottom of your exercise for a few seconds, forcing you to generate force from a dead stop and activate more muscle fibers.

#1: THE 4-1-1 METHOD

‘The what?’, you say. This is all about the tempo in which you lift the weights and it’s one of Arnie’s favourites. Here’s how you do it:

  • Lower the weight for four seconds
  • Hold for one second
  • Return to the starting position in one second

“The slow four-second lowering tempo forces you to control the weight through the full range of motion, which gives your body an incredible stretch,” says Arnold. “The flex portion of a lift gets all the glory, but research suggests the lowering portion, known as the eccentric, helps you add more strength and more tension which is a key part of muscular growth.” Also, by not swinging around large amounts of weight means you’re also less likely to injure yourself.

 #2: THE PAUSE

 As you’ve probably guessed, ‘the pause’ (also known as a ‘static hold’) is where you hold at the bottom of your exercise for a number of seconds, for example, three instead of one. What does this do? “This removes all momentum and puts your muscles in a position where, on most exercises, they will be the weakest and forces you to generate force from a dead stop. This can help activate more muscle fibres,” says Arnold. It’s also thought to create better ‘mind-muscle connection’, where you’re really thinking about the muscles that you’re using, which can help activate them more.

These techniques can be implemented into Arnold’s full body dumbbell workout or his exercise for sculpting the back.

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