First off, as long as you are following a proper training regimen with a proper nutrition plan, you are going to build muscle. But, that muscle building typically stops when your muscles get used to the stress you’re putting them under. Which means in order to keep building muscle, you can change a number of things, such as exercises performed, rep ranges/different weights, rest times, etc.
But three of my favorite things to implement into my training to avoid my muscle growth coming to a standstill are dropsets, pause reps and countdowns.
Dropsets are when, instead of doing a regular set where you go until failure and then rest.. you will do two sets where you go until failure with the weight you’re supposed to be using and then immediately drop weight, and go until failure again. BUT, you want to make sure that when you drop weight, you are not cheating with your form due to your muscles being extremely fatigued. You want to focus on contracting the muscle and should only be able to get about 4-8 additional reps.
Pause reps are a way to over emphasize the isometric contraction which is one of the 3 main contractions of a rep. This means that when you are doing an exercise like a chest press.. instead of lowering the weight and pressing it right back up, you will lower the weight, hold it at the bottom for “x” amount of seconds and press back up. One thing to be careful of is to not allow yourself to break form when pressing the weight back up otherwise you will be recruiting other muscle groups rather than additional muscle fibers on the muscle you’re trying to target.
Then we have countdowns. These are used to really burn out a muscle and introduce more muscle stimulation. To do this, you will be doing 10 sets of an exercise, all sets with the same weight but instead of treating it like normal sets with normal rest.. you will start at 10 reps for the first set, then follow it up with 10 seconds of rest. After that you will do 9 reps for the second set and follow it up with 9 seconds of rest. Then you will continue that method, where you do one less rep and one less second of rest, all the way down to 0.