Shock and Awe: by Ken Hunt
Shock and Awe: by Ken Hunt
We have all hit a â€œWorkout Wallâ€ now and then. You might also know this as a plateau. It’s tough when you have been working so hard and doing everything right and you can’t seem to move the needle forward in your workout routine. When that happens don’t jump off the plateau, its just time to shake things up a bit. So here are some suggestions that work for me.
First, you should evaluate your program. Ask yourself: How long have I been consistent? How often do I change up my workout routine? What is my diet
like? And how much sleep am I getting?
After you have take a look at your program begin to consider really changing things up
Here are some ways that you can confuse your muscles and get them past that plateau. You can’t use all of these techniques at once. Vary your workouts by incorporating a few of these deviations, and you will see great results. Just remember that using these variations may cause over training if you use them for consecutive workouts.
Challenge yourself by putting in more exercises into your routine without using more time. Or you can try to get the same routine done in less time. This means less time between sets and it requires a fast recovery rate.
Shock your muscles and keep them growing by alternating heavy and light training days. Here is an example: On heavy days, use as much weight as you can for 6â€“8 reps, and on light days, put on as much weight as you can for 12â€“15 reps. The amount of rest between can also be varied to give you some change. Try adding more rest for large muscle group sand less rest for small ones.
Add forced reps to your routine. A forced rep is defined as lifting more weight than you can lift by yourself and needing your partner to help you finish the set. This is good on heavy days when you are at your failure point and you just need a little help to get that last rep.
Another form of forced reps is to have your spotter force down the bar to your chest (on bench press) on the eccentric (downward) phase of the lift by applying his bodyweight to the bar. You may need the spotter to help you get the bar back to the top of the movement.
Partial reps are also a great way to get your muscles to burn. When doing partial bench press reps, you should only lift the weight about four inches off your chest. This works great when used as a compound set with dumbbell bench or incline fly’s. This goes for any other exercise as well. Only do the first half of the rep. But don’t do these for squats; it’s a waste of time.
Try 21s. These are another form of partial reps. Instead of doing the full motion of the rep, do only the first half of one full motion for 7 reps. Then do the second half of one full motion for 7 reps. Then finish off the set with 7 reps of full motion for a total of 21 reps.
Isolate your muscles to get the most out of a particular workout. Doing leg extensions are a great isolation workout for your thighs. For biceps I recommend doing dumbbell curls, for legs, do extensions one leg at a time
Slow reps can really be fun and nice change. Basically, using a lower weight, you can do any exercise in slow motion. This not only takes away the momentum of the faster movements, it forces you to do a good slow negative rep and will give you a great pump! Some people believe this is the ONLY way to exercise…
Pyramid reps are probably the most common in weight training. Usually people “pyramid” their way up to their workout weight then back down again. For instance a guy might usually workout with 200lbs on bench press. He builds up to 200 by starting with 125lbs for one set of 10, then go up to 185lbs for one set of maybe 8, then go to 200lbs for 2 or 3 sets of 6-8 reps. Then he would finish the exercise with a set of 125lbs again, this time going to full exhaustion.
Heavy Duty training is when you go to your usual workout weight right after warming up. Usually, I do a few (3-4) sets to pyramid up to my workout weight and get the blood pumping. With the heavy duty method of training, you skip the pyramid and go straight to the heavy weight.
So when you get the point in your training and feel like you have reached a plateau, just change up your routine and think differently about your work outs. Take a look at what you are doing and step out of your comfort zone. As the song goesâ€¦
â€œA Change Will Do You Good.â€ Let’s work together and get your body AWEsome.