Workout Tips

Plateau Busting Techniques for New Muscle Gains

Kickstart your muscle growth and get to the next level with these barrier crushing techniques.


1 ½ Reps

Pull or push the weight through the first half of the rep, then return to the beginning. Follow that “1/2” rep with a full rep. So, if you were doing a bench press, for example, you would lower to your chest…press the bar ½ way…then lower to your chest…then press to the top. That = 1 “repetition.” Alternatively, you can do a full rep followed by ½ rep, such as with a leg extension (squeeze to the top…lower ½ way…back to the top…lower all the way). This technique provides a tremendous pump and burn!

Eccentric/Concentric Pauses

With these you will actually stop the repetition in the middle, either during the positive or negative portion of the rep. Using a BB curl as an example…curl the bar ½ way and pause in this position for 2-3 seconds. Then complete the range of motion and lower to the start position.

For an eccentric pause, you would curl to the top, lower ½ way and hold this position for 2-3 seconds before lowering to the bottom. Real hardcore lifters might even attempt reps with both concentric and eccentric pauses in a single rep.


You may have heard of 21’s, which is a technique that some bodybuilders will use for BB curls, however, I like using a 5/5/5 sequence instead and I find this to be a real killer on many exercises, not just curls.

Let me explain 5/5/5s using the leg press. First you will perform five ½ reps from the bottom position to the midpoint of the rep. Next you will hit five ½ reps from the midpoint of the rep to the top. Finally it’s time for 5 full-range, quad-cramping repetitions! That = 1 set of 5/5/5s. I utilize these quite often, but especially when I want to give my muscles a good kick in the ass!

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