Like it or not, your body will do everything it can to take the easy road. It’s an adaptation machine; if you follow the same training split with the same workouts week after week, your body will grow accustomed to the workload. As it does, your body will adapt and become more efficient, and you’ll stop making gains. Arnold Schwarzenegger knows this about the body. He also knows the best way to fight adaptation is to occasionally shock his muscles with brutal overload methods. Luckily for you and me, Arnold’s legacy includes some excellent techniques to ensure long-term muscle growth, which he’s personally shared with us.
Fair warning: His methods are intense and absolutely vicious
but they’re great for creating new lean mass. These techniques aren’t meant to be used for every exercise in every workout, but when utilized once per week on a regular basis they can help you overcome stagnation and make you mentally stronger.I could talk all day about how much I like Arnold’s methods and how I use them, but let’s leave that to the master himself. In these videos, Arnold drops some serious knowledge.
Grab a pencil and a piece of paper, and take notes.
Here are three ways to shock your muscles, Schwarzenegger-style!
After a warm-up of a given exercise, perform that exercise with a weight you can lift for 5 reps max. Immediately after that, strip some weight off the bar—25-30 percent—and hit another 5-8 reps. This first drop will be difficult, but it’s just the start of this brutal method that will test your mental fortitude.Without rest, keep repeating the process of reducing your weight and trying to get 5-8 reps per drop until you’re down to the bare barbell. Once you get there, finish off the set by doing 20 reps. Then collapse on the floor.
The 1-10 method is another way to perform a strip set—and it’s absolutely brutal. After warming up, load a weight so heavy you can only perform one rep with it. After you perform that one rep, take just enough weight off to perform two reps. Continue dropping just enough weight to add one more rep until you’re up to 10 reps. Performing a movement this way is difficult because you take no rest between sets and you’re working with the maximum weight you can handle for the required reps. The only rest you get is when you’re unloading the weights. The 1-10 method is a complete and total shocker to the muscle.
Choose an exercise like the seated press and select dumbbells so heavy you can only lift them for six reps. When you’ve completed six reps, drop the dumbbells and grab a pair that’s 5 pounds lighter. Do another six reps. Move down another 5 pounds and do yet another six reps. Run the rack all the way down until your dumbbells are so light you can easily get more than six reps.You can apply this method to any exercise, but it’s particularly excellent for dumbbell-based movements.
It’s highly effective, fun, and will set your muscles on fire!