The internet is loaded with weight-loss hacks or weird tricks on how to get a 6 pack (without drawing them on); but what about weightlifting hacks? Everyone seems to want to just get leaner without the effort, but what about those of us who want to get bigger without the effort?

Though one must admit, whoever wants to get bigger, finds pleasure in challenging physical effort and enjoys the results all the more. But we all secretly desire a couple of tricks here and there to get us through the workout successfully.



HOW TRICKY CAN IT BE?

1. Plateau Breakthrough

The worst nightmare of any gym-athlete is to plateau and maintain a size that they are trying to grow. To avoid hitting a plateau, and even to break through one, you need to go against your intuition and approach your training in a counter-intuitive manner.

So, you’re used to starting your week doing legs, then chest and so on. What you need to do is to flip it upside down. One week do it as normal, the other week do it backwards – if you end your week with ‘back day’, the following week you will start with ‘back day’. Also, if you’re used to doing 10 sets of 5 reps, you’ll switch that for the other week to 5 sets of 10 reps.


2. Supplements vs. Whole Foods

Maybe you’re expecting to hear that you should drop supplements in the favor of whole foods. This not the case. The hack is about alternating between supplements and whole foods. Do one-week using clever supplements and the other week get off them. Replace them with a proper diet. This will you give the best of both worlds: the supplements will be more efficient when taken, and your body will adjust to running on whole foods as well, instead of taking your energy to work out just from supplements.


3. Yoga

Try a little bit of yoga every once in a while. Don’t think it’s just for ‘girls’ because it looks ‘easy’. Not only does yoga increases your blood flow, but it enhances the range of motion – and you need to have a good and solid range of motion to fully commit to your workouts. Yoga is not ‘easy’.

When stretching is involved, flexibility is the key. If you can’t stretch to your toes, your muscles are either tight or weak. And to fix any of the two issues you need to start humbly and eventually get to your…toes! Yoga helps you achieve that.

Yoga movements help you expand your body’s potential to lift heavier weights. And so does Pilates! A not very well known trick (unless you’ve done Pilates before and caught on to this) is that in order to increase your flexibility and totally engage and load your muscles, you need to work ‘within your frame’. So always try to maintain your arms and legs parallel to your shoulders and hips.


4. Rest Days are not Off Days

Rest days, when you recover, are half of the training. Your muscle needs to repair and grow after the heavy lifting session. Don’t treat your rest day like it’s nothing – you still need to eat right and allow your body to adjust to the treatment you subjected it a day before.

Your body actually consumes more of your resources in your rest days than it does on your workout days. You need to set your mind to perceive rest days as ‘automated workout days’ because while you may not be aware of it, your body is working quite a lot to grow your muscles and prepare them for your next workout.

And in that sense, you also need to watch your nutrition and don’t go ‘junk mode’ with your meals. The trick is to avoid taking two recovery days in a row. Work out 4 days a week and take a rest day in between each workout day. That will leave you with 3 rest days in which you actually grow muscle.


5. The Wrist Curl

To build some massive biceps with those dumbbell curls, there’s a tiny little trick that not many know of. That wrist thing! A little hand rotation does miracles, as it engages your biceps to contract and directly works on your forearms.

We recommend using a barbell instead of a dumbbell – unless your forearms aren’t already strong enough to work as easy with a dumbbell instead of a barbell. Caution! Use wrist movement alone, or else, the exercise will not be effective!


Wrist Curl

  • Sit on a flat bench with your feet on the floor and lean forward.
  • Your legs and shoulders must be width apart.
  • Rest your forearms on your thighs with palms facing up while holding the barbells. Make sure your wrists are hanging over the edge of your thighs.
  • Curl your wrist upwards and exhale at the same time.
  • Lower your wrist down to the starting position and inhale at the same.
  • Keep your forearms straight and don’t move them from the starting position.
  • Repeat!


Reversed Wrist Curl

  • Sit on a flat bench with your feet on the floor and lean forward.
  • Your legs and shoulders must be width apart.
  • Hold the barbells with an overhand grip (palms facing down) and rest your forearms on your knees.
  • While exhaling, curl your wrists upwards.
  • While inhaling, lower the wrist downwards - as low as possible.
  • Repeat!