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Methods for More Muscle Mass and Strength

Ten tricks to shattering strength records, breaking plateaus and packing on muscle mass.

3. The Patient-Lifter's Method

HOW TO DO IT:

Find your two-rep max and do six sets of two repetitions, resting two minutes between each set. In your next workout, try to perform six sets of four. You may be able to get only three sets of three, or three sets of two, but keep repeating this workout until you can perform four repetitions for all six sets. When you do, your two-repetition maximum will now be your four-repetition maximum, so you'll be able to lift more at any repetition range.

WHY IT WORKS:

Most guys hit a plateau because they train with the same weights and reps for too long. This method shocks the body to trigger fast results.

4. Back-Off Sets

HOW TO DO IT:

After performing 2-4 sets with your six-rep max, perform a higher-repetition set with lighter weights, known as a back-off set. Drop the weight by 40% and do as many reps as possible, performing them as quickly as you can. For example, say your first and second sets were six reps with 100 pounds. Do set No. 3 with 60 pounds for as many reps as possible. (You'll be able to complete more repetitions than you'd usually get with 60 pounds.)

WHY IT WORKS:

The nerves that stimulate your muscles are already "excited" from your heavy sets, so they're psyched up to do more work than usual. Doing the back-off set forces your muscles to work harder than normal, sparking muscle growth.

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