“My experience has shown me that taking the time and energy to directly stimulate the forearm musculature leads to increased ability to handle heavy weights in many exercises.”
– Dr Ken Leistner, The Steel Tip1
Some lifters focus on grip training with grip strength as the end main goal. For example, some focus almost exclusively on closing the different versions of the Captains of Crush Grippers or on setting a new personal best using the Rolling Thunder.
“Lower the weight slowly.”
“Feel the burn.”
“Don’t use momentum.”
The above three are some of the lifting cues often associated with bodybuilding.
They are good cues because they help to ensure tension on the target muscle, prevent injury caused by faulty lifting technique and also help ensure a certain level of muscle-building, metabolic stress on the muscle.
However, there is one problem with the above cues: They tend to limit the amount of load that you can lift and they, to some extent, negate activation of the fast-twitch muscle fibres. It is the fast-twitch fibres that have the greatest potential for growth.1
If the above cues describe a main portion of your lifting, if you feel that you have reached a plateau, or if you simply feel like trying a new, cool and science-based training routine, you might want to give contrast training for bodybuilding a try.
The legendary Russian weightlifter Vasiliy Alexejev supposedly said that your abdominals should be strong enough to stop a bullet.
While Alexejev did not spot a six-pack – neither did he care – he was known for doing 1,000 leg lifts in waist-height water to strengthen his abdomen. Alexejev wasn’t seeking to look good; rather, he was seeking world-class strength and power, as evidenced by his 80 world records in Olympic weightlifting throughout the seventies.