Too many times people will say they’ve hit a wall, or their not seeing progress any more. This is when people will either give up or stop training as hard. Research shows that the majority of people will drop out of a new fitness regime between 6-8 weeks. This is when results normally slow down.
All that’s needed is slight tweaks and manipulations in basic exercise variables. The key word I use is STIMULUS, a muscle doesn’t necessary know how many sets or reps its doing but it does respond to stress being applied to it.
I will take you through my favourite techniques to really take your workouts to the next level!
- Rest Pause – 5 – 15 secs rest in between reps. Great for strength and power. It takes advantage of your bodies explosive energy stores, helping you to exert maximum force on each work segment.
- Tempo Change – Tiny changes in tempo especially the slow negative portion of the lift, will result in muscular growth and increased growth hormone release.
- Rest Time – Just by reducing your rest time, you will provide your body will a new stimulus for metabolic damage.
- Drop Sets – Again great for increased growth, and also hitting reserve stubborn muscle fibres.
- Supersets – One of my favourites! Great for saving time, but again will spike growth hormone levels and help increase muscle fibre activation.
- Isometric Holds – A forceful squeeze at the top or bottom of the exercise. Great to create a new stimulus and also activating a huge range of motor units. Aim for 10 – 20 sec holds.
- Pre Exhaust Training – This flips the order, you do a isolation exercise before a compound exercise. The point is so the target muscle will be tired before, therefore creating more muscular overload.
As you can see there are many different techniques that you can test your muscles. Simply sticking between 8-10 reps with 90 secs rest in-between will just not cut it any more. Especially if you are a experienced lifter. Try and get creative in the weights room make sure your feeling the muscle work and contract. You can work any of these techniques into your current programme, whether it be at the start middle or end of the workout.
But each one of these techniques will spark new growth and also keep your workouts new and interesting. I love going into the gym and trying new techniques and see the way my body responds.
Joe from SJFitness