Are you getting bored in your routines? Looking to add some more muscle? If you are hitting some plateaus in your workouts, it may be time to find ways to crank up the intensity. Remember the goal is to maximize muscle fiber recruitment, metabolic stress, muscle damage- with the ultimate goal to generate muscle growth.

So, here are some techniques you’ve either never heard of or just forgotten about”

1. The “Infitonic” 1 Rep Max

On page 73 of The Wisdom of Mike Mentzer, he recommends infitonic training. 

It’s a form of rest-pause training with maximum weight; and the negative aspect of the rep is also maximized.

Determine your 1 rep max for a particular lift.

Perform the positive part of that 1 rep max with perfect form (use a spotter), then lower the weight very slowly- take as long as you can.
This one single rep will expose the intended muscle to a higher intensity of muscular contraction than it has likely ever experienced before.

2. A “Static Hold” After Muscular Failure

Arthur Jones, the father of High-Intensity Training (HIT), sometimes advocated that you continue pushing against the bar for a while after reaching positive failure.
So after hitting failure, you’d simply get the weight back into a position of contraction (perhaps at the mid-point of the rep) and hold it there. See if you can hold it for 10 seconds or longer in this position. This is the “mechanical tension” aspect of stimulating growth.

3. Do “Omni-Contractions”

Remember every lift has three phases, which are:

So on your lift,when you reach positive failure, don’t set the weight down. Lower the weight a couple inches and hold there for a few seconds. Then lower another couple inches and hold there for a few seconds. Then lower another couple inches and hold there for a few seconds. Continue this pattern all the way to the bottom. This is an “omni contraction” and can really trigger new gains in the worked muscle. Only do this after the final set of a particular body part.

4. Close Your Eyes

This was popularized by Arnold himself. Although he was just doing it intuitively, one study demonstrated that guys can lift more when they visualize the muscle in question. This is the mind-body connection at work for sure! This technique increases “neuro-muscular efficiency” and CNS function. Remember that muscle fibers are recruited as a signal sent from the brain through the nervous system. The better the efficiency of this signal, the bigger and better your lifts are going to be and, as a result, the better your gains will be.

5. Drop Sets

This is a technique that you only do on the last set of any given body part. When you reach failure, immediately grab a lighter weight and repeat the lift. If possible, reduce the weight and do it again; try to do this cycle two more times (reduce and lift, reduce and lift, reduce and lift). The metabolic stress and lactic acid accumulation is massive and will stimulate excellent hypertrophy.

6. Meditate

Meditation has been shown to lower cortisol levels and produce more testosterone and growth hormone. Meditation lowers the chronic levels of cortisol that some people experience as a a result of stress. Stress and chronic cortisol elevation has the opposite effect on testosterone and growth hormone – the higher the stress, the lower the levels of these anabolic hormones. So meditating regularly helps set up an optimal anabolic environment inside your body.

Try these techniques for a few weeks to mix things up and let me know what you think! Thanks to Marc McManus for the tips on this article.