Working out, but not seeing results? Reached a plateau?….. What you need is to change things up and add a bit of variety to your workouts. ‘Variety is the spice of life’
Here are my 5 plateau defeating recommendations:
(1) Mix up those sets and reps….
Maximize muscle fibre stimulation by mixing up your sets and reps. Why not try 5 sets of 5 reps to add strength, or 3 sets of 15 to tone up those muscles. To keep achieving gains you have to keep the muscles guessing, changing up the sets and reps is a great and easy way to add variety to your workouts. I have always used a variety of sets to reps ratios within my workouts. For example, a typical chest workout would include: incline BP 5×5, flat DB press 4×8-12, dips 4×12-15 and cable flyes 2×25.
(2) Change the tempo….
The rule of thumb for a given rep is usually 3:1:1, meaning the weight should be lowered for a total of 3 seconds, then held in position for 1 second and powered up for one second. The tempo can be changed up to spur on new gains! Why not try a ratio of 6:2:1 or 3:3:1? Keep changing up your rep tempo and you will be sure to see new gains!
(3) Get creative – supersets, dropsets, in-set supersets, negatives….
Add variety into your workouts by including an array of techniques to spur on new muscle growth. Superset and dropsets are great ways to increase muscular endurance, feel the ‘pump’ (Arnie’s favourite) and fight off those nasty plateau’s. Supersets are when you perform two exercises back to back without any rest. Supersets can be performed on the same muscle group (e.g. Bench press followed by DB flyes) or with different muscle groups (e.g. bicep curls followed by tricep extensions). In set supersets are when you perform two exercises within the same set. I feel they are a great way to stimulate the muscle and ideal for home-workouts where you may not have access to heavy weights, so require different ways to maximize muscle stimulation. A great example is DB bench press performed for one rep followed by a DB flye for one rep, and so on….
(4) Full body vs Split routines….
This is a rather touchy topic! Everyone you ask seems to have a different preference with regards to using full body workouts or split routines. To avoid upsetting anyone I am going to say why not try both? Why not do an 8 week block of a split routine, followed by 8 weeks of full body workouts. Why not even use full body workouts and split routines within the same block. To avoid us being here all day I will save going into detail for a later blog. Watch this space!
(5) Change your exercise order…..
If you have hit a plateau in one exercise why not trade it for something else or put a different exercise at the start of your workout. This allows you to make gains in a new exercise. For example, many people start chest days with flat bench press, why not start with incline bench press? Personally, I think starting with incline bench is a better option anyway. You should look to build your chest from top to bottom, to get better proportions and get them top buttons popping open!
Get experimenting with these 5 tips and you will be sure to spur on new muscle growth! Remember, summer is only around the corner!
Thanks for reading!
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