Shifting heavy weight is never going to go out of style because, quite frankly, it is very effective in building muscle. To build more muscle optimally, however, it is not just about how heavy you can lift, but how long you can lift it for.
If your gains have hit a plateau, it might be time to change your focus from sets, weight and repetitions to time-under-tension, and no protocol can do this better than using the 40/20 technique.
Begin a seven minute countdown timer and perform controlled repetitions, focusing on keeping the descending portion of each repetition as slow as you can for 40 seconds. After, drop the weights and rest for 20 seconds. Then, at the start of the next min, immediately pick up the weights and continue the work out. Repeat in this until the full seven minutes are up.
As the minutes continue, each repetition is going to become harder and harder, but try to push through the burning sensation and try to keep the weight moving for the whole 40-sec window, even if it means you are only performing three to four repetitions at end. Avoid cheating, focus on smooth, controlled repetitions throughout the work out, for maximum benefit from the workout.
Push Press with a controlled eccentric x 40 SEC WORK/ 20 SEC REST x 7 MINUTES
Clean the bells onto your shoulders, with your palms facing inward. Take a deep breath and brace the core. (A) While dipping at your knees, use the legs to help you (B) press the dumbbells over your head, pause when at the top before you lower the weight slowly onto your shoulders for about 3-4 seconds.
Hammer Curl x 40 SEC WORK/ 20 SEC REST x 7 MINUTES
Standing with a dumbbell at both of your sides (A) curl both of the dumbbells upwards at the same time, keeping the palms facing one another throughout (B) Lower both dumbbells and immediately repeat the step. If you help a little with your body while raising the weight up as fatigue is setting in is not the end of the world, but make sure to control the dumbbells on the way back down.
Seated Lateral Raise x 40 SEC WORK/ 20 SEC REST x 7 MINUTES
Sit on a bench while holding a pair of lighter dumbbells at each of your sides (A) Raise both of your arms up, keeping them straight, either side of the body until they are parallel to the floor(B). Pause here before you slowly lower the bells under control to your sides. Then repeat.