With summer creeping around the corner, many of us will be thinking about our beach bods.
No matter what your goal is, either weight loss or muscle tone, fitness fanatics will be focusing on their physiques.
Luckily trying to get fit doesn’t have to require endless hours in the gym, all it takes is one simple thing.
So how do you build muscle fast?
According to Men’s Health, you won’t need to do more sets or reps, all it really takes is focus.
To build muscle shift the way you focus when you lift – and the growth will follow.
A team of US researchers set up a simple experiment where they rounded up a group of people who have never lifted weights before.
They were told to do lat pulldowns and during each rep the researchers used electrodes to measure the muscle activity.
It found that people could increase their muscle by up to 12% if they focus during a lift.
Attentional focus refers to what you think about during a particular movement or activity, there are two types of attentional focus: internal and external.
An example of an internal focus during the squat might be to “squeeze your glutes on the way up,” while an external is to “drive the floor away from your body”.
This means a simple shift in attentional focus leads to an increase in muscle activity.
Research published in the European Journal of Sport Science tracked the results of two group of men who trained with weights three times a week for eight weeks.
When they were told to “squeeze the muscle” – an internal focus – there was a 12% increase in the size of the biceps.
Getting your technique right is the first step to building muscle, but it’s not enough.
Developing and maintaining an internal focus takes concentration and discipline.