The High Performance Journal

New Way To Build Muscle In 33 Minutes Flat

get lean Aug 29, 2023

 The High Performance Journal​ - August 29th 2023

In April of this year, I had my second child. Before that, I thought I had it all together. I had my routines for eating, workouts, and sleeping but another kid in the mix threw things for a loop.

I've always prided myself on being able to hit the gym no matter what.

I even postured about it on social media to the delight of my followers on Twitter:


But let's be honest for a second here...

The more children you have the more complexity you add to it. The most apparent thing you have less of is time. My new situation required me to cut the time I took at the gym.

But how?

With new situations come new solutions. This put me into a mode of finding a way of working out that would allow me to get in and out of the gym in the least amount of time possible.

I found one solution, which was to do supersets and tri-sets like the ones I use in the Lean Body 90.

Those are perfect for someone who is trying to get lean and keep muscle.

But what if I wanted to add some muscle to my frame? Could I build muscle in the same time frame as the Lean Body 90 and still get results?

Apparently, it's possible.

As with all things, I did a deep dive into the subject and searched for a solution that fit what I was trying to do.

I'm happy to say that I *think* I've found a solution.

The solution is called Myo-Reps.

What Are Myo-Reps

Myo-reps are a lifting technique created by Norwegian strength coach Borge Fagerli that was popularized in the mid-2000s.

They were designed to stimulate muscle growth and strength by maximizing muscular fatigue in a very short period of time.

When we build muscle we want to achieve 3 things:

  1. Mechanical Deformation - We want to stretch and contract the muscle under load to create a cellular response for growth to occur.
  2. Motor Unit and Muscle Fiber Recruitment - We need to recruit the most motor units and muscle fibers to stimulate the most muscle growth.
  3. Metabolic Stress - This happens when your muscles work hard, leading to the build-up of byproducts like lactate and hydrogen ions. This build-up creates a hostile environment within the muscle, triggering an adaptive response that leads to muscle growth.

The theory is that Myo-Reps does these because of the high levels of fatigue through the reps you do. This means you can achieve muscle growth even using lighter loads.

The best part about Myo-Reps is that they are time-efficient.

Does it actually work?

The science is still early but encouraging.

In 2022, a team of researchers at the University of Tampa, Florida compared 1 set of Myo-reps to 3 normal sets and found that the muscle growth was the exact same.

This is despite the subjects spending 70% less time and doing 30% less reps.

One thing to note is that the Myo-rep group seemed to have a larger effect but they also started with lower muscle mass.

The study has not been published for public viewing yet but here's a similar study on the type of training myo-reps represent.

Also, here's the lead researcher talking about his study on his IG account.

How to Do Myo-Reps

  1. Pick a load you can perform 5-12 reps with. This works best with machines and low-risk exercises.
  2. Go to 1-2 reps before failure. You can judge this by how slow the tempo becomes at the latter reps.
  3. After you're done with your set stop lifting. Take 3 to 10 deep breaths and then keep going for 2-5 short mini sets of 2-4 reps. Make sure to stop 1-2 reps before failure.

An example: Pushups

  1. I'd do a set of pushups in good form until I'm about 1-2 reps away from failure.
  2. I'd stop and do 5-10 breaths.
  3. I'd repeat this process for 3 to 5 more sets.

If you want to go deeper here is a comprehensive article on how to do myo-reps from the creator Borge Fagerli.

My Experience Using Myo-Reps

Let me get this out of the way first...

These are not easy.

The process of stopping a set when you think you're done and then pushing yourself to do another few sets is intense.

When I performed myo-reps I made sure to use machines for most of my lifts as they provided a safer way to lift due to the intensity.

Dumbbells and barbells increase the risk to reward to ratio especially when you push yourself this hard.

That intensity led to absolute soreness in the muscles I trained for about 48 hours afterward. While being sore is not an indicator of results it does let you know how hard you're pushing in the gym.

The best part about it? My workouts usually last an hour but with myo-reps, they took only 33 minutes.

Due to my new situation, I'm going to keep doing these as I find they're a great way to get a solid workout in half the time.

Building Muscle in 33 minutes per workout is Possible

The studies are early on Myo-Reps but they are looking like an alternative way to build muscle in less time.

Look, if you have all the time in the world and you can work out for 2 hours a day then you don't need to do myo-reps.

But if you're like me who has a business to run and a family to take care of while trying to get lean and build muscle then myo-reps are worth a shot.

Also, something I'm constantly reminded of is the fact that exercise science is still early.

We don't know everything we know about the human body when it comes to building muscle, which is why it's important to have alternate solutions like myo-reps.

There are many roads to building muscle. This might be one of them.

If you're game try them out.

Onwards and upwards 🚀

- Dan

Whenever you’re ready, there are 2 ways I can help you:

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