If you do the same workout every week you will plateau because your body gets used to the same stress and stops growing because it isn’t challenged any more. This is why I always vary my workouts from week to week. There are many ways to do this.
Advanced Weight Training Techniques
I. Straight Sets With Varied Weight (You do a set, then rest for a minute, then do another set of the same exercise.)
a. Pyramid (light to heavy)
You start with a light weight with fifteen reps. For the next set, you add enough weight so you can only do about ten to twelve reps. Continue to add weight so for your next set, you will only be able to do about eight to ten reps.
b. Reverse Pyramid (heavy to light)
Make sure your muscles are warm before you try this routine. You start with your heaviest weights first while you are the freshest, and decrease the weight each time in the following sets while increasing the number of reps in the sets. Rest between sets for this routine is minimal.
II. Multiple Sets (You do two or more sets in a row with no rest for the same or different body parts.)
a. Supersets (with opposing muscle groups)
Common supersets are done with biceps and triceps, quads and hamstrings, and back and chest. You do one set of one muscle (biceps) and immediately do one set of the opposite muscle (triceps). This increases your intensity, saves time, and promotes muscular balance.
b. Supersets (with non-related muscle groups)
You do one set immediately after another using non-related muscle groups like squats (legs) and bent over rows (back). Since you aren’t using opposing muscles, one group can recover while you are doing a set of the other. This saves time, burns calories, and increases overall conditioning.
c. Compound Sets
You do two or more consecutive exercises for the same muscle group. Each exercise is different but works the same muscle group. You work the muscle from different angles, get a great pump, and stimulate a greater number of muscle fibers by doing multiple sets in a row.
III. Shocking Your Muscles
Beginning strength trainers should use straight sets with constant weight in order for the body to adapt to the new stress being put upon it. You should concentrate on proper technique and form to avoid possible injury.
If the same stress—exercise—is put on the muscle continuously, the body adapts to it and eventually stops producing results. After you have learned the proper form and technique and have built a solid foundation, you will want to start trying new things to shock your muscles into continued growth.
- Changing the order of your exercises. Always work larger body parts before smaller ones, but change around the order of the exercises you do for each one of them.
- Work weak body parts twice a week instead of once. Make sure you wait at least forty-eight hours before working out the same body part again.
- Switch your exercises for body parts. Try new ones that hit the muscle from a slightly different angle.
- Try using a light weight and holding the weight still at the peak of contraction for five to ten seconds on each repetition. This is basically isometrics using weights.
- Try using a medium weight and wait two seconds to start each repetition after completing one. This takes any possible momentum out of the picture. It requires greater concentration and focus to get the weight moving and will result in some good gains.
- Try doing “negatives.” After contracting the muscle, release the contraction slowly and smoothly back to the starting point.
These are all from my paperback on Amazon, “Total Health For Life, Mind & Body, The Baby Boomer’s Bible of Health”
My new workout is short and intense and brings great RESULTS! Here’s the deal. I usually do 12 sets for a major body part like legs, chest or back. This consists of 4 exercises of 3 sets each:
Back: Shoulder shrugs, lower back extensions, lat pulldowns and seated machine row (3 sets for each exercise = 12 sets) My new routine is only doing ONE SET PER EXERCISE, making total sets from 12 to just FOUR. The key is intensity! Use only one half of the weight you would use on your heaviest set so that is easy to lift. Now, the key is doing a slow, controlled 5 second contraction, then the same slow 5 second negative rep. Continue to do these 10 second reps until you can’t complete another. This means that the lactic acid burn is so intense that you can’t physically complete another full rep. GO TO FAILURE. Most people stop when the burn starts and don’t continue through the pain part to failure. This is where MUSCLE GROWTH is born. That LAST rep where your muscle fails you. This creates micro tears in your muscle fibers and enables you, with proper post workout nutrition/supplementation and rest and recovery, to grow them bigger and thicker. It is true. NO PAIN NO GAIN. Because this is so intense y0u don’t need the other 2 sets of each exercise.
Try this. You’ll be amazed at the results!