Opposing Muscle Groups: Its easy to get stuck into a routine, reps scheme, or just the same ol’ exercises at the local meathead factory, but with a little sense of adventure and will to change up the game a bit you could see some solid gainz in the near future. So say no to the plateau and try out a few of these quick workout tip.
The basic one body part or two body part splits sometimes corner the mind and limit the gains if done for too long at the gym, and while traditional bodybuilding splits such as Back and Bi’s, Chest and Tri’s, are effective and fulfilling for many at some point it may be best to try some new variations to shock the muscle bellies into a new state of swole.
Opposing Muscle Groups
This would be antagonistic muscles worked in the same workout. Examples are Biceps and Triceps, Quads and Hamstrings, Chest and Back, etc..
The advantage here is that while working biceps in a traditional movement your triceps have to take a more relaxed role in order to maximize muscle force in the biceps. Sure, there are stabilizers and some force spread to the other muscles, but overall the nervous system is all go on the focused muscle being used, and actually telling the opposing muscle to relax.
A great example would bicep barbell curls and then reverse grip tricep pulldowns. Another option could be dumbbell hammer curls and then move to tricep pushdowns with a rope attachments. For Chest and Back you could do flat bench dumbbell or barbell presses and then move to seated back rows with a slightly wider gripped attachment (even as wide as a lat pulldown bar potentially.)
For legs it would be the devastating Front Squat to Deadlift combination or a more isolated leg extension to hamstring curl machine set up. This will fry your legs for days so make sure to leave a little breathing room the first few go arounds.
The second tip within Opposing Muscle Groups would be to execute a set of each opposing group back to back. So, one set chest, 30sec rest, one set back for example (then a 2-3 rest before starting again). This taps into a special switch in the nervous system where you gain a temporary strength boost from as you attack the relaxed muscle group right after, and force the body to kick it in to gear with even more intense muscle contraction.
Doing 3 sets of chest and then 3 sets of back doesn’t offer the little trick, but is still very effective, and also a little more convenient if you don’t have the gym to yourself, or the option to hold a station.
So, keep you sets and reps around the same, but try stacking your workouts up with some opposing muscle groups. Try adding it on arm day to start and be prepared to get a pump like never before if you have not tried this approach. Make sure to drink some aminos and carbs (if it fits your macros) during the workout for the best result, and also be the hero of your crew as you and bros get super swole while the rest of the gym sticks to the same old routines. Read about Opposing Muscle Groups.