Learn How to Build Muscle
 

Secrets to Overcoming Sticking Points: Make Hard-To-Work Muscles Grow

Any of us who have worked out for any length of time know about "sticking points." This is when you just can't seem to get a muscle to grow any more, or shape the way you want it to, or cut-up to show the separation.

No matter how much you work that stubborn muscle the only thing you get is worn out.

So how do you get past the sticking points in muscle growth? What your muscles probably need is change. Change should be the most constant thing in your workouts; change the weights, change the order in which you perform exercises and change the exercises themselves.

Change the time of day you workout, change your eating habits, change your supplements.

Change is the name of the game to overcome plateaus in your physical growth. At least every three months, you should change your workout routine.

It is a good idea to have four different workout schedules that you rotate, using each for three months a year. You should also change the order in which you rotate the routines.

Focus is another magic word in bodybuilding (or anything else). Focus on the muscle you want to work while exercising. Sure, you there are a number of muscles in use with every exercise, but there is one you are really trying to work.

critical bench

Focus your attention on that muscle movement.

When you are doing bench presses for your chest development, you are also working your triceps (a lot), your deltoids (moderately) and even your lats a bit.

The main muscle effort is with your chest and that is where your mind should be focused.

Keep your thoughts on the movement making sure that you are not cheating, but are doing the exercise as strictly as possible. Feel the muscle working, stretching, contracting and getting pumped.

Some specialized exercise can get you past that sticking point and get those muscles growing again. Herein are a few that have worked for many years.

Shoulders - Most bodybuilders have developed their delts from performing overhead presses, dumbbell presses and even bench presses.

The part of the delt that gets the most work with these exercises is the frontal delt. The side and real delt are left underdeveloped.

* Lateral Raises - build the side delts and sculpts the shoulders.

o Standing with your feet slightly apart holding two dumbbells at your hips with palms facing inwards, raise the weights with your arms slightly bent, while keeping the dumbbells even.

o Do not swing the weights, but make the movement slow and concentrated. Make the delts do the work. Use a weight you can perform eight to ten reps with, without cheating or swinging.

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Chest - Most bodybuilders have developed their central pecs through bench presses and their upper pecs from incline presses. The tough-to-grow lower pecs have resisted the attempt to make them grow by using decline presses because we tend to pull in too much triceps in this exercise.

* Parallel Bar Dips - Perform these dips on a parallel bar that is 33 inches wide.

Hold your elbows wide and straight out from the shoulders. Keep your head down and your chin pressed against your chest.

o Keep your feet crossed and your legs straight, not bent with your feet to the rear.

o Dip down as deeply as possible and return to the top with arms fully extended.

o Maintain this same position throughout the set.

o Holding the elbows back will over involve the triceps in this exercise.

o Make the movement slowly and feel the full stretch of the muscles.

o Concentrate on the movement of your pecs.

I hope that this information will help you with any sticking points in chest and shoulders. If you find that you have reach a body training plateau, apply the tips above to help you progress. In a later newsletter I will deal with all the other muscle groups.

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