Another key secret is your exercise form. Perfect form is critical when performing any specific exercise in your own routine. Look at it this way. The amount of energy you expend will be the same, regardless of your "style" of performance. However, your muscle gains will be greatly reduced. Performing a series of exercises in poor form produces dismal muscle gains.
Let's look at an example. Performing bench presses with 200 pounds of weight for ten repetitions requires exactly the same amount of work, regardless of how you perform the movement. If you cheat by using momentum to complete the repetitions however, only a very small number of muscle fibers will have been stimulated. The same amount of energy and time was used, but the muscles being worked were not fully involved. The only thing you have dramatically increased with this technique, is the chance of injury.
I'm not implying that such "cheat" methods should never be used. They can be used at the end of a given set of repetitions, if they can be done safely. In short, all repetition should be performed in perfect form, until which point it becomes impossible to perform any more without the slight use of momentum. At this point in the set, only enough momentum to complete an additional one to two repetitions should be used. And only if it can be done so safely.
In the case of the bench press above, a weight should be selected that allows you to perform up to eight repetitions in perfect form, without momentum or cheating. After performing the first eight, attempt two additional repetitions using just enough momentum to complete each one. In other words, don't stop the exercise just because a slight level of cheating becomes necessary. Always strive to perform two additional repetitions, using a little momentum and all the effort that can be mustered, but only if it is safe to do so.
To make sure that muscle gains are achieved safely, form is one of the most important factors. Proper form should never be sacrificed in an attempt to add weight or artificially increase repetitions. Use as much weight as possible to perform repetitions, while maintaining good form.
During the first few repetitions of a given exercise, you are able to move faster due to you high levels of strength available. However, this is also when injury is most likely to occur. It is important to make sure that the first few repetitions of every set are performed in a slow and deliberate manner. Perfect form should always be the goal.
Even though a muscle can produce more power at the beginning of a set, during the first few repetitions, the muscles and tendons have not been given enough time to warm-up. Injuries can happen at any point during the performance of an exercise. But, more often than not, the majority of injuries occur during the first few repetitions. Those that don't, occur because of a lack of proper form.
Really slow repetition speed is not required. As a general rule, lifting the weight in approximately two seconds will work just fine. Lower the weight in approximately four seconds. This may vary slightly throughout the set, which is perfectly fine, however, always try to perform each repetition at this rate of speed. This will help you maintain excellent form.
Trent Brook is the Author of "Huge Gains Fast - How to Get More Rock-Hard Muscle Mass In A Month Than You Now Get All Year. His "Huge Gains Fast" muscle building program is an easy-to-follow system so simple and understandable it's fully explained to you in just 4 easy steps! The Revised Edition is now available online at his website, http://www.hugegainsfast.com