When you train to build a muscle, there are certain factors to do with your exercise of choice that are paramount to making it effective, especially when keeping in mind the Overload Principle which says we must put the muscle through a workload to which it is unaccustomed to. Some of these points we have spoken about in detail before so we won’t go into each of them now but the main factors are: line of force, range of motion (or stretch), load (or tension), time under tension and speed of contraction.
In order to ‘overload’ the muscle better you can isolate it by placing your entire focus on the muscle, like your mind is inside the muscle. Imagine your sole aim is not just to lift the weight but to place the target muscle under as much tension as you can, in the direct line of force, from stretch to squeeze without other muscles coming in too much to help, and to maintain this ‘time under tension’ for your target duration. This duration is typically between 30 to 60 seconds for hypertrophic results eg. to increase the size of the muscle.
So change the mindset of ‘get it over with’, or ‘just get the reps out’, to ‘you only have a few opportunities (reps) and they are the only chances you have to overload the muscle sufficiently for hypertrophic adaptation to occur, so make the absolute most of it!
Get that mind to muscle connection and experience a leap in the effectiveness of each exercise you perform!