It’s failing to fully engage and contract the muscle they are working.
Knowing this is one thing. Applying it is another story.
Here are 3 simple contraction tricks to fully engage the working muscle:
1) Ignore the weight
It doesn’t matter if you’re working with a dumbbell, barbell or machine.
Weights are simply an external resistance variable and our muscles must overcome the resistance with a sufficient amount of internal force output i.e. your ability to contract the working muscle.
During my Training sessions, I instruct my students to, “SQUEEZE it… don’t SWING it!”
Anyone can swing heavy weights from point A to point B… the question is HOW HARD CAN YOU SQUEEZE them?
DO THIS : Focus on SQUEEZING the muscle, not SWINGING the weight.
2) “Rev up” your nervous system
At the beginning of a workout or before a new exercise, perform isometric contractions -- that is squeezing the working muscle with all your might, while in the shortened position.
I like to do 3 sets of 6 seconds. Pause for 30 seconds and repeat. Each set I attempt to squeeze harder.
We’re not attempting to build up fatigue here but to simply “rev up” your engine and get it ready to roar off the start line.
This simple exercise will help you “get your head in your muscles” and prepare you to control and contract harder throughout the workout.
DO THIS : 3 sets of 6 second isometric holds in the shortened position before each exercise. Escalate the contraction from set to set.
3) Pose for 5 minutes after each workout
Don’t be shy. After your workout, find a big mirror, peel your shirt and practice flexing the muscle you just trained. Don’t over think it. Just squeeze it until it cramps.
Combined with your post workout shake, it gets a ton of blood and nutrition into the muscle, faster.
And most importantly, getting your muscles into their shortened position while posing really helps improve the neurological connection to that muscle.
The better you can become at contracting your muscles in the shortened positions, the faster you’ll make gains.
DO THIS : Rotate a few poses for the muscle group you just trained. Hold each one until it cramps. Catch your breath and then repeat. Start with just 5 minutes. Be prepared to sweat!
In the end, it’s not WHAT you do in the gym but HOW you do it.
If you’re looking for a brand new program to apply these contraction tips, check out my DRS PROGRAM No Nonsense Muscle Building 2.0 training program right here:
These are the exact workouts behind MY DRS CLIENTS record-setting transformations.
Train HARD, Train SMARTER, Build FASTER,