So you’ve read a lot of articles on how to build muscle. But there’s something you just don’t know. There’s something they’re just not telling you. You’ve been lied to.
Everything you have ever read about proper exercise form is wrong. It could be hindering your progress and setting you up for an injury. If you want to build muscle faster and maybe even avoid some injuries along the way, read what I am about to tell you very carefully.
Despite everything you read about the importance of full range of motion, and strict exercise form the reality is that most people. Who are beyond the beginner level, will build muscle faster and more effectively by NOT using text book form. Not using a complete full range of motion on every exercise and by… dare I say it… CHEATING!
Have you thought about picking something up at waist height and lifting it to a shelf at eye height or above? Do you pin your elbows at your side, allowing zero movement in your body, only allowing your forearms to move upward as you hinge at the elbow? That might sound ridiculous? But that’s what you do when your perform a text book barbell curl.
Cheating and using a little momentum is 100% natural to the body. It’s just what you instinctively do when you lift something heavy. What is unnatural is just locking yourself into one rigid position, only allowing movement at one or two joints.
No two people are the same and some have injuries that they have to take into account. For example, I have a bad shoulder that has required surgery in the past. If I do a strict dumbbell curl with a dumbbell I can only use 25’s. Any heavier weight than that causes me a lot of excruciating pain. But if I adjust my body position slightly and lean over at just the right time and slightly swing through the painful portion of the exercise I can use nearly triple the weight without any problems at all.
Before I go off on a tangent, I should explain that everyone reading this who wants to build muscle and hasn’t been training for at least a year or two, should learn text book form first. Unless you know proper form and how to isolate and target the muscle you are training you will never be able to cheat effectively. After many years in the game I can cheat a bent over row with some extra leg drive and hip extension while still targeting my lats and upper back very effectively. A newcomer who tried to emulate my form would only work their biceps and lower backs, and probably get injured in the process. With the amount of weight a strong lifter can use, cheating actually takes stress off the lower back and makes it safer instead of more dangerous.
The same can be said for a barbell curl. When you are using a lot of weight the stress on your lower back with text book form is actually greater than if you used a little body language. However an advanced trainee can cheat and more effectively overload his biceps while sparing his lower back. The beginner, on the other hand would put less stress on his biceps and only work his front delts, traps and lower back. So this would be counterproductive.
You’ve got to put some practice in to make it perfect. After a year loosening up your form and cheating on exercises that safely allow you to do so and you will be pleasantly surprised at much it will aid in your quest to build muscle fast.
Well who said cheaters never win? I hope this article has helped all those who were about to throw in the towel, keep at it.
Author, Muscle Gaining Secrets