A muscle that’s stressed in small doses adapts by growing bigger, stronger, and faster. “Unless you follow a systematic training plan that includes progression and overload, you’re just going through the motions,” says Boyd Epley, C.S.C.S., founder of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (N.S.C.A.). If you curled 40-pound dumbbells for 10 reps last week, go for 11 or 12 this time, or grab 45s. Experiment with different techniques to increase intensity.
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