Tip: Do Load-Contrast Training for Growth

Here's a new way to trigger hypertrophy that you've probably never tried before.

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Intra-Set Load Contrast

This method takes advantage of the "potentiation effect" of heavy lifting. By doing a heavy lift first, you excite the nervous system and neuromuscular junctions and turn on more muscle fibers. If you immediately switch to hypertrophy work using the same movement pattern, you'll keep more fibers active and stimulate more growth.

Use two different loads for each set. Load the bar with 75% of your maximum. Then, slap on a pair of collars. You'll then add an additional 10-15% weight on the other sides of the collars. (The bar is now loaded with 85-90% of your max.) This will make it easier to quickly remove the additional weight before doing the drop set. Here's what it looks like:

Log Press: Intra-Set Load Contrast

  1. Perform 1 rep with the heavy weight (85-90%).
  2. Quickly unload the added weight. Ideally a partner does it.
  3. Take the lighter weight and perform as many good, non-cheating reps as you can. It should fall between 7 and 10. If you can get more than 10, increase the weight slightly.

This method will build a lot of muscle mass. It'll also get you used to handling bigger weights which will translate into maximum strength gains, too. Although this method can be used with any exercise, it's better suited to bigger lifts like squat, bench press, overhead press, row, etc.

Christian Thibaudeau specializes in building bodies that perform as well as they look. He is one of the most sought-after coaches by the world's top athletes and bodybuilders. Check out the Christian Thibaudeau Coaching Forum.