Are you short on time or simply don’t like to stay too long in the gym but still want to improve your physique and strength levels? Check out this training technique that can help you build muscle in half the time.

For those who prefer not to linger endlessly in the gym but still desire the considerable advantages of strength training, there’s a realm of fitness tailored just for you. For people who recognize the value of building strength and maintaining a healthy physique but seek a more time-efficient approach to suit their bustling lifestyles.

The idea here is to curate workout routines that maximize effectiveness, condensing the time spent without compromising on the benefits of resistance training. This approach aligns with the modern ethos of efficiency, catering to those who prefer potent and streamlined workouts over prolonged sessions, allowing them to seamlessly integrate strength training into their dynamic routines.

But obviously, you don’t want to miss out on the benefits. And you don’t have to. You can cut down your workouts by half the time (maybe even more) and still build muscle (perhaps even more) in the process. Keep scrolling to see how.

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The Training Technique to Build Muscle in Half the Time

So what is this training technique to build muscle in half the time? It sounds promising, but know it won’t be easy—this is not a life hack, but rather solidifying the effective reps into one set (the reps that really count towards building muscle). We present you with the myo reps training technique.

In general, myo reps, short for myofibrillar reps, are a training method that involves performing a regular set followed by a series of short rest periods and additional mini-sets. The goal is to maximize the efficiency of training by focusing on the most challenging reps near muscular failure, which are believed to be the most effective for triggering muscle growth.

Here’s a breakdown of how myo reps are typically performed:

  1. Initial Activation Set: Start with an initial set using a slightly higher rep range, often between 12 and 20 reps. This set is not meant to be a warm-up, but a challenging set in itself.
  2. Short Rest Period: Instead of taking a full rest period, take a short rest, usually lasting around 10 to 15 seconds or three to five deep breaths.
  3. Mini-Sets: Perform a few additional reps (mini-sets) with short rests in between. These mini-sets are usually in the range of three to five reps.
  4. Repeat: Repeat the cycle for four to five mini-sets, or adjust based on personal preferences and goals.

The idea behind myo reps is to condense a high number of effective reps into a shorter time frame, optimizing the stimulus-to-fatigue ratio. By doing so, you aim to focus on the reps that are most effective for stimulating muscle growth, particularly those close to or at failure.

Mikaela NormanSource: Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

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Below, you will find three top fitness coaches explaining how they use myo reps to get more muscle benefits in half the time.

Sean Nalewanyj

Sean Nalewanyj, a fitness coach and author, showcased his view on myo reps and how he does them. He is known for not wasting time in his videos, which can range from training techniques to fitness misinformation.

In the video above, Sean Nalewanyj says that myo reps, a form of rest-pause training, involve an initial set of slightly higher reps (usually 12 to 20). Instead of a full rest, you perform additional reps with short rests. This optimizes training efficiency by targeting challenging reps near muscular failure, crucial for muscle growth.

In a preacher curl demonstration, Sean aims for 12 reps but reaches 11 in the initial set. After a short rest, he does mini-sets of 3 reps each with brief rests. Myo reps offer flexibility in rep ranges and rest periods.

Benefits of myo reps include time efficiency, increased muscle group volume, adaptability to limited resistance, and applicability to working around minor injuries. Sean recommends myo reps for intermediate and advanced lifters, urging caution with complex exercises.

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Tao Physique

Tao Physique, a YouTube channel with over 350,000 subscribers, said that myo reps is this minimalistic training method to get more benefits in a shorter period of time.

Contrary to the common belief that more is better, he introduces a minimalist style inspired by bodybuilders who achieved remarkable results with shorter, focused workouts.

Highlighting the inefficiency of traditional lifting, Tao emphasizes the importance of effective reps near failure for optimal growth. In his words, this rest-pause training and a specific technique called myo reps are designed to reduce junk reps and increase efficiency.

In a step-by-step guide, Tao explains how to perform myo reps in a 30-minute, four-times-a-week workout routine. He stresses the intensity of myo reps, challenging traditional beliefs about workout duration.

Tao addresses potential skepticism and mentions research supporting the muscle-building efficacy of myo reps. He acknowledges that this style isn’t for everyone, requiring intense effort during the shorter workout periods.

The flexibility of myo reps allows integration with traditional exercises or isolation movements, making them adaptable to individual preferences. Tao advises against using myo reps for certain exercises to avoid compromising safety.

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Mike Israetel

Dr. Mike Israetel, PhD in Sport Physiology and co-founder of Renaissance Periodization, is a well-respected professor in the bodybuilding community.

Israetel explains myo reps: choose a weight for 10–20 reps, stop near failure, rest until the burn fades, then repeat. He highlights benefits, including efficient work accumulation and time-saving, but cautions against using myo reps for exercises with cardio or limiting factors. He recommends myo reps for specific muscles and suggests intelligent programming for a balanced workout.

According to him, you can go even a bit further than normal myo reps and do something called myorep match, in which you do, firstly, one set straight, rest a normal amount, and then do another set with as many myoreps pauses as needed.

Here’s how it goes: start with a regular set of 10 to 20 reps, stop at your chosen proximity to failure, let’s say, two or three reps in reserve. Write down that rep count, rest, and then, in subsequent sets, aim to hit the same rep count. If you fall short, use mini sets (myo reps) to make up the difference.

This method is efficient and intense, packing a lot of stimulus in a short time. However, be cautious not to overdo it, especially for larger muscles that fatigue quickly. Myo rep match sets are great for targeting smaller, resistant muscles like biceps, delts, or calves. They offer a precise way to measure progress and can be a game-changer when used smartly.

And that is all you need to know about myo reps, the training technique to build muscle in half the time.

How Long Should You Wait to Train a Muscle Again?

Learn More

Here are some general guidelines for how often to work out based on your fitness goals:

  1. For general health and fitness, aim to exercise most days of the week, for at least 30 to 60 minutes per day. This can include a combination of aerobic exercise, strength training, and flexibility exercises.
  2. For weight loss, aim to exercise most days of the week for at least 30 to 60 minutes per day. This should include a combination of aerobic exercise and strength training, with a focus on creating a calorie deficit through a combination of exercise and diet.
  3. For muscle building, aim to do strength training exercises at least two days per week, targeting all major muscle groups. You can also include aerobic exercise and flexibility exercises as part of your routine.
  4. For athletic performance, the frequency and intensity of your workouts will depend on your specific sport and fitness goals. Consult with a coach or trainer to develop a customized training plan.

Remember, it’s important to listen to your body and avoid overtraining, which can lead to injury or burnout. Start slowly and gradually increase the frequency and intensity of your workouts over time.

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