muscle building bodybuildingAre you hitting a plateau? Is your training stale?  Are you bored?   If not, you soon will be.  It is inevitable.  There will always come a point where muscle building stops, and mental fatigue sets in. You will need a change, and I have just the thing! These advanced training principals for muscle building will help you escape your current routine and allow you to break through plateaus with ease.  It’s time to make gains!

1. Super Sets

Super sets consist of doing two exercises back to back without rest.  The first exercise is usually a multi-joint movement, while the second exercise is a single joint movement.  An example would be doing a set of bench press followed by dumbbell flies.

This isn’t set in stone though.  You can do two multi-joint movements or two single joint movements.

This technique allows you to pack more volume into your workouts, finish your workouts quicker, and will help you break plateaus.  Utilize this technique sparingly in your training.  This type of workout can be very taxing on the body and will eventually lead to overtraining if it is abused.

2. Compound Sets

Compound sets are the same thing as super sets, except each exercise focuses on a different body part.  An example would be doing overhead presses with lat pull downs.

Compound sets are great for speeding up your workouts and increasing your cardiovascular output.

3. Pre-Exhaust

To utilize the pre-exhaust technique complete an exercise that isolates a specific muscle, then perform a multi-joint movement that heavily incorporates that muscle.  An example would be doing 2-3 sets of leg extensions followed by squatting.

This technique is great for building up lagging body parts and weak areas.  It also is good for busting plateaus. This isn’t such a good idea if your main focus is strength because you will have to use lighter weights on your multi-joint movement. Keep this in mind.

4. Tri-sets, Quad-sets

Tri means you will be performing three exercises in a row and quad means four.  These exercises should all be working the same muscle, or similar muscles associated with a particular movement pattern. Here are some examples…


Shoulders: Side Lateral Raises, Front Raises, Rear Delt Raises

Chest: Flat Barbell Bench, Dumbbell Flies, Close Grip Push Ups

Quad Set

Legs: Squat Jumps, Barbell Squat, Lunges, Wall sit to failure

These kinds of sets are extremely taxing and can really place a high demand on the body.  Do not make these types of sets a regular part of your routine, but utilize them once in a  while to add some volume and spice to your workouts.

5. Circuit Training

This is when you move form one exercise to the next without rest.  You only rest once all of the exercises are completed.  Here is an example of a circuit….

Barbell Squat
Push ups
Pull ups
Rest 2 minutes and repeat

This is a great way to train for general fitness and health because it taxes both the muscular system and cardiovascular system.

If your progress is slowing or your workouts are boring you, give these advanced muscle building techniques a try. Your biceps and your mind will thank you for it!