As fun as it can be to geek out on obscure and advanced muscle-building strategies, most people looking for advice on how to gain more muscle and strength just need to double down on the fundamentals instead.

You know, compound exercises, heavy weights, progressive overload, and the like.

There comes a point, though, where a basic understanding of the basics is no longer enough to keep the needle moving.

Then, you should add some more advanced tools to the shed, including programming techniques like periodization, set schemes like drop and rest-pause sets, and exercise variations to address weak points.

That last point—exercise variations—is what Chris Barakat and I talk about today, and specifically, how to use different types of exercises and ways of performing those exercises to maximize muscle gain in every major muscle group you train.

As you’ll learn, relatively small changes to the exercises you do and how you do them can make quite a big difference in the bottom-line results.

If you’re not familiar with Chris, he’s not only a member of Legion’s Scientific Review Board, he’s also a published scientist, educator, coach, and natural bodybuilder, so he’s intimately familiar with the respective needs of beginning, intermediate, and advanced weightlifters and bodybuilders.

Let’s get to it!

Time Stamps:

6:51 – What is the architecture of a muscle? 

9:30 – What is an alternate exercise to leg extensions that will help develop the distal part of the quads?

10:16 – Which exercises best target the upper part of the pecs? 

12:55 – What are your thoughts on how different exercises impact the development of the biceps and triceps differently? 

14:05 – Which exercises best target the biceps and triceps and how would you program it? 

15:55 – Which exercises best target the shoulders and how would you program it?

28:06 – Which exercises best target the back and how would you program it?

39:09 – How does an alternate grip on pulls affect the back? 

41:54 – Which exercises best target the hamstrings and how would you program it?

45:15 – Which exercises best target the calves and how would you program it?

49:46 – What are your thoughts on improving abs and core? 

58:43 – How important is controlling the concentric and eccentric phases? 

1:00:42 – Which exercises best target the glutes and how would you program it?

1:02:17 – How can people find you and your work? 

Mentioned on The Show:

Legion VIP coaching

Chris’s website

Chris’s one-on-one coaching

Chris’s educational content

Chris’s Instagram

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