Advanced Training Techniques: Muscle Length and Muscle Tension
August 30, 2016
In the first video of a new weekly series called Advanced Training Techniques, BPI Sports co-founder, James Grage, shares his plans and objectives for this new video series, which centers around training philosophies and techniques for targeting the development of weak muscle groups, and building a well-balanced physique.
Everyone has that one body part that’s just stubborn or difficult to build. For James, it was building width in his back. No matter what he did, he couldn’t get the size and shape in his lats that he was looking for. James says he was performing mass building exercises like heavy bar rows, deadlifts and lat pull-downs. Even when competing in bodybuilding, he was putting on size, but he still wasn’t able to bring up that weak body part in proportion to the rest of his physique. He wasn’t changing his shape, but instead was just becoming a bigger version of the same physique. Weight training isn’t just about getting bigger, it’s about selectively shaping and sculpting your body to create balance and aesthetics.
In his Advanced Training Techniques video series, James emphasizes that you should know more about an exercise than just what muscle group it’s supposedly working. This is why in each video he’ll break down the basics of all muscles that assist in any given movement, where they originate, where they insert and what movement they’re responsible for. This will not only help you effectively target your weak body parts, but by understanding what’s happening underneath the skin, you can develop the necessary mind/muscle connection required for really targeting and building a muscle. The series will develop with each video as James takes us into the gym to share tips, tricks and techniques that he’s acquired over his 25 years of experience to make every exercise more effective.
In episode 1 of Advanced Training Techniques, James teaches us how to get better muscular contractions while training, by understanding the muscle length/tension relationship. A muscle can only contract, which means it generates its force by pulling two points closer together, never pushing. In order to grow your muscles in the gym, you’ll need the ideal length for ideal tension for the strongest possible contraction. James’ first Advanced Training Techniques video discusses how to take this information and apply it in the gym. Keep watching for more on muscle and length tension and make sure you subscribe to the YouTube channel for more training videos.