Build Muscle & Improve Your Metabolism:
4 Awesome Techniques (Part 1)
by Dr. Kareem F. Samhouri, CSCS, HFS
Neuro Metabolic Fitness & Strength Expert
Here are 4 awesome techniques that you can use, which we’ll continue to talk about over the next few days, in order to build muscle and increase your metabolism:
- Partial range of motion training to work on strength of bones and connective tissue
- High rep, moderate weight, explosive training for targeting the nervous system to increase efficiency and strength
- Very high rep training to increase capillary density
- Fascial stretching to expand the room the muscles have to grow
Partial ROM Training:
If you’ve been working out for awhile, you may have heard of this in sets like ‘Bicep 7’s’, amongst others, where you would do the first 1/3rd of a bicep curl 7 times, then the middle 1/3rd, then the top 1/3rd, finishing off with 7 full reps.
This is a killer way to stimulate more muscle growth in the biceps and build a stronger elbow joint, but why does it work and how can it be applied to other exercises?
Partial ROM Training promotes increase neurological input to the entirety of your muscle. In other words, by spending time emphasizing each place in the range of motion, you are delivering a greater signal input to your each section of your muscle. However, that’s only the beginning of what this does.
By learning how to properly recruit your muscle in each angle and position of the exercise, you are actually ‘training your muscles’ to respond to real life environments where they are needed, such as catching a falling object and having the strength to hold on. You are teaching your body to build ligamentous strength with Wolf’s Law.
Basically, Wolf’s Law suggests that your body will respond to any stress or demand repeatedly placed upon it. That’s why step aerobics works to build bone. Ligaments build strength by minor stretch being placed on them repeatedly.
Partial range of motion training tends to do this in specific ranges of motion for each related ligament. Capsules respond the same way. Your bones learn to accept stress or shock in various degrees over time and increase in density in the areas related to this exercise. This helps reduce incidence of fracture and build a solid base for future growth.
Applying this to every muscle group is easy, but seems complicated at first. Here’s one quick strategy you can do with any exercise you are currently performing to instantly start to reap this benefit:
- Divide the exercise in 3 parts (beginning, middle, end)
- Do 7 reps of the first 1/3rd, 7 reps of the middle 1/3rd, 7 reps of the last 1/3rd.
- When you finish all 3 thirds, be sure to hit the full range of motion so that you get functional carryover to the exercise. This is key.
For example, with a squat, here’s what you’d do:
- Squat down 1/3rd of the way, stand back up using your glutes. Repeat x 7 reps
- Squat down from 1/3rd to 2/3rd in the squat, constantly keeping your quads, glutes, and hamstrings under tension while stabilizing through your cored. Repeat x 7 reps
- Squat down from 2/3rd depth to a full 90 degree squat, emphasizing greater glute recruitment as you go through this part of the range of motion. Repeat x 7 reps
- Perform 7 full squats, being sure to hit momentary muscular failure by the time you’re done. You should choose your weight appropriately to fatigue out on this rep.