Sunday, April 5, 2009

Breaking Those Lifting Plateaus

No matter if you are lifting for size or general fitness, there is going to come a time when you stop seeing results.

If you don't have enough exercises in your repertoire, or you have been doing the same exercises for to long a time, try some of these for mad gains.
  • Super Sets: There are many types of super sets. One of the most popular is to do one set with a manageable weight for as many reps as you can. Then, decrease the weight slightly, and repeat the exercise for as many reps as possible. After four or five sets of dropping weight and high reps, your muscles will know they got an intense workout.
  • Super Slow Reps: When doing slow reps, decrease the weight you normally use. Count to 10 on the concentric contraction, then count to 10 on the eccentric contraction (or negative). This will help in making you stronger so you can lift more down the road.
  • More Weight, Fewer Reps: If you have been told that three sets, and 10-12 reps is the correct way to lift, then you need to go for the gusto. Add an extra 10-15 percent of weight, then do five to six sets of six to eight reps. This will help to break up the routine a bit.
  • High Intensity Training. This is for the experienced lifter who also trains with a partner. As you lift, have your partner hold the weight and add his/her own resistance on the concentric contraction for the first set. Do this for 10 reps. Next, have your partner give their resistance on the eccentric contraction for 10 reps. Finally, have your partner give resistance on both, the concentric and the eccentric contractions. (Note of caution here: this can be very intense. The person aiding in the resistance needs to watch the person lifting for overall effort. We want to make it difficult, but let's be safe.)
  • Pre-exhaust. Take a relatively easy exercise and do three sets to fatigue, then do your lifting. For example: on arm day, I like to do three sets of push-ups to failure, then do my arm workout. Starting your lifting when the muscles are already tired is a great technique for increasing muscular endurance.
These should jump-start your body to give you better results faster.

No comments: