Advanced Muscle Building – Add-Sets and Isometric Holds

Back Training and Isometric Holds

Everyone that goes to the gym has one purpose in mind, to get better.  This can range from a verity of aspects such as weight loss, muscle growth, and even physical endurance.  With whatever aspect you choose to fulfill, there are a variety of ways to push toward that desired goal.  Switching things up is key to pushing through plateaus and placing yourself in a better position to achieving your personal goal.


I introduce to you the Add-Set. You might be asking yourself, “What exactly is an add set?” Add-Sets are just like the well known muscle building technique, used by most bodybuilders, known as drop-sets except you increase the weight every set.   Just knowing for the next set you’re going to add weight naturally forces you to really dial into the mental aspect of lifting.  Most of the time our mental focus is the first thing to go, providing lack of effort and motivation toward the end of the workout.  The addition of add-sets promote maximal muscle contraction and allow you to maintain that, all important, mental focus by making you realise the weight is not going to get any lighter than what you are currently lifting.


Start off with moderately lightweight.  For example:

Sets Reps Weight Used
1 10 60%
2 8-10 70%
3 6-10 75%
4 4-10 80%


Now the reps are not limited as this is just a very generalized table so if you are able to do more reps toward the ending sets, then by all means push yourself.  It is important to take into account the amount of weight used per set. As you can see every set provides the addition of more weight.  If you are not able to life more weight then be sure you drop to a manageable weight and increase at a lighter pace, say jump from 60% to just 65%. Every set should be completed back-to-back, providing minimal rest-time between.

Isometric Holds

If you think add-sets are mentally taxing wait till you try some of these Isometric Holds.  An isometric hold is any movement that allows holding lightweight with maximum muscle contraction for a prolonged period of time, thus increasing the time under tension.  As the time under tension increases, more muscle fibers are recruited.  This is an excellent way to escalate every aspect of your lifts in strength, endurance, and muscle gains.

With isometric holds you are able to use a lighter weight limiting the chance of injury and bad form.  Depending on the time range you are trying to accomplish, 15-30% is an ideal weight range.

As you see in the video, we do prone isometric holds. Mind you this not the only way to use isometric holds, you can do these beneficial holds for any body part from compound movements to isolation movements.

 Try this in your next workout and leave a comment. Let me know how it went!!

Now get out there and crush it!!

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