Thursday, April 18, 2013

Journey to my summer six pack, Say NO to Plateaus!

Everyone will inadvertently hit a frustrating plateau in their training at one time or 
another. You’re cruising along for a while, gaining strength, losing fat, looking 
better, and then all of the sudden it hits. Suddenly, you find yourself even weaker 
than before on your lifts, or you find that you’ve gained back a couple of pounds. It 
happens to everyone. Most of the time, these plateaus occur because people 
rarely change their training variables over time. Many people stick to the same 
types of exercises for the same basic sets and reps and rest periods with the same 
boring cardio routine. Well, I hope to open your mind and bring some creativity to 
your workouts with this section! 

There are many ways that you can strategically modify your training variables to 
assure that you maximize your fat loss and/or muscle building response to 
exercise. Most people only think about changing their sets and reps performed, if 
they even think about changing their routine at all. However, other variables that 
can dramatically affect your results are changing the order of exercises 
(sequence), exercise grouping (super-setting, circuit training, tri-sets, etc.), 
exercise type (multi-joint or single joint, free-weight or machine based), the number 
of exercises per workout, the amount of resistance, the time under tension, the 
base of stability (standing, seated, on stability ball, one-legged, etc.), the volume of 
work (sets x reps x distance moved), rest periods between sets, repetition speed, 
range of motion, exercise angle (inclined, flat, declined, bent over, upright, etc), 
training duration per workout, and training frequency per week. Sounds like a lot of 
different training aspects to consider in order to achieve the best results from your 
workouts, doesn’t it? Well, that’s where a knowledgeable personal trainer can 
make sense of all of this for you to make sure that your training doesn’t get stale. 
Below are a few examples to get your mind working to come up with more creative 
and result producing workouts

Most people stick to workouts where they do something along the lines of 3 sets of 
10-12 reps per exercise, with 2-3 minutes rest between sets. Booooorrrrring!!!! 

Here are a few examples of different methods to spice up your routine. 

• Try 10 sets of 3, with only 20 seconds rest between sets. 
• Try using a fairly heavy weight and complete 6 sets of 6 reps, doing a 3 
minute treadmill sprint between each weight lifting set. 
• Try using a near maximum weight and do 10 sets of 1 rep, with only 30 
seconds rest between sets. 
• Try using a lighter than normal weight and do 1 set of 50 reps for each 
• Try a workout based on only one full body exercise, such as barbell clean & 
presses or dumbbell squat & presses, and do nothing but that exercise for 
an intense 20 minutes. 
• Try a workout based on all bodyweight exercises such as pushups, pull-ups, 
chin-ups, dips, bodyweight squats, lunges, up and down stairs, etc. 
• Try a circuit of 12 different exercises covering the entire body without any 
rest between exercises. 
• Try that same 12 exercise circuit on your subsequent workout, but do the 
entire circuit in the reverse order. 
• Try your usual exercises at a faster repetition speed on one workout and 
then at a super-slow speed on your next workout. 
• Try completing six 30 minute workouts one week, followed by three 1-hr 
workouts the next week. This will keep your body guessing. 
• Try doing drop sets of all of your exercises, where you drop the weight 
between each set and keep doing repetitions without any rest until complete 
muscular fatigue (usually about 5-6 sets in a row). 
There are many more ways to continue to change your training variables. This was 
just a taste of your possibilities. Be creative and get results! 

No comments:

Post a Comment