Ever have the feeling in the gym where you’re giving all you got, but still can’t see any results? Well that might be because you’ve hit a training plateau! Your body has become used to your regular routine and isn’t “forced” to grow anymore because it has already perfectly adapted itself. Well in this post I’m going to give you 10 new training methods that can help you get more out of your training by giving your body a workout it has never done before. Your muscles won’t have any other choice but to grow!
Also check out a previous post I made about the 16 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Weight Training.
If you don’t feel like listening to all my rambling, feel free to skip to the bottom of the post where I’ve recapped the essentials ;) Happy reading.
#1) Super sets, Tri-sets & Giant sets
Normally you would be doing one excersise at a time but with supersets, tri-sets or giant sets you’re doing multiple excersises in a row! When you’re done with the first excersise, just drop the weights and starts pumping out the other one(s). No rest for the weary!
#2) Drop sets
When you are on the last set of your exercise and you have gone to failure with that weight. Quickly drop in weight a bit and (try to) do the same amount of reps. Drop the weight again and repeat. Keep repeating until you reach ultimate failure. This makes the muscle work to its maximum potential and will make you feel sore untill weeks after your workout ;) You can thank me later.
#3) Rest pause
Pick up a weight you can handle for a few sets but not for the full exercise (so go pretty heavy on this one). When you are pushing out the last reps and feel like you can’t do any more, put the weight down for 5 seconds (pause). And then finish your set. This will force your body to get stronger since it has to deal with a resistance which is greater than it can handle.
#4) Pyramid Training
Normally you would do x amount of sets with x amount of reps. When you train in pyramid form your reps variate throughout the exercise. So instead of doing 4 sets of 10 repetitions for example you’re going to do 15 reps the first set, 12 reps the second, then 10 and on the last set you’re going to do 8 repetitions. To ensure you’re not making the exercise easier (that won’t get you stronger ;)) you increase the weight every working set.
#5) Eccentric training/negatives
Every exercise you do in the gym consists out of two parts; The contraction (squeezing the muscle tight) and the extension (stretching of the muscle). During your training you’ll mostly be using them both in each excersise. But with negative training you’re going to limit yourself to only doing the extension (eccentric). A muscle has the ability to handle more resistance during the negative part of the exercise, so make sure you overload on this one ;)
#6) Consistent hold
With this training method, you’re going to do a three second hold at both extremes of the exercise. So for example when you’re curling the weight up, you’re going to hold it for three seconds in the top position and that slowly lower it down again until you reach your lowest position where you’re going to hold it again for three seconds.
Really squeeze the muscle until you can’t contract it any further and make sure you keep constant tension on the muscle during the whole range of motion.
#7) Time under tension
With this method you keep your muscles actively under tension during your rest periods but without any resistance. So when you are resting between sets, you just flex the muscle you’re training and hold that contraction for a while. The more time your muscle is under tension, the more blood and nutrition you’ll pump into that area. It hasn’t really been proven that this method works but I contribute a lot of my muscle soreness and mass to this neat technique.
#8) Dominator sets
This is a similar principle as the drop set but this time you are going to halve the weight each following set but you’re going to do them much slower. Think 6-10 seconds for one rep. An example could be; four counts for the positive and 4 counts for the negative. But you can use any amount that works for you. Play around with this a little bit.
#9) Unilateral/concentration training
The body is build symmetrical. Which means that you have (most of the time) two pieces of each muscle (two biceps, two triceps, two traps, two pectorals,…) With unilateral training you focus on one muscle at a time instead of using them both at the same time.
I hope this has helped you to spice up your training regimen. With these quick methods you’ll be on your way to maximize your gains and blast trough those plateaus! Now go on and kick some ass in the gym! And as always, thanks for reading.
If you’re having any thoughts or questions on this topic, feel free to share those with me in the comment section below.