I always say that there is no need for workouts to become boring or stagnant.
Likewise, no one should ever throw in the towel if a fitness regime isn’t quite achieving the desired results. Every fitness enthusiast or body builder hits a brick wall occasionally, but perseverance is the key to success in any endeavor, as they say. Journaling your workouts at the gym, finding a reliable workout partner, hiring a personal trainer, even doing research on the Internet can help you come up with fresh techniques for your exercise program. This week let me share with you a few simple and interesting techniques that are sure to maximize your workouts by helping you to pack on quality muscle in less time. Get ready to feel the burn!
“Superset” is a widely misused term. Technically, a superset is when you train two opposing muscle groups (i.e. biceps versus triceps, back versus chest, quads versus hamstrings, etc.) with only a small break between exercises. For example, you may do a set of flat bench dumbbell presses for chest, then move quickly using the same weights into a bent over dumbbell one arm row. Go back and forth for three sets of each. Take a brief break, and then alternate incline dumbbell presses and wide grip lat pull downs. Supersets create balance and joint strength, and allow one muscle group a brief rest while you blast its opposing muscle group.
Compound sets are great, especially if you have a problem muscle group that won’t grow. These are my favorites. Compound sets are two intense exercises for the same muscle group. For example, a standing barbell curl can be combined with a preacher curl to really fry those biceps. Perform a set of barbell curls to exhaustion, then move to a set of killer preacher curls to isolate those twin peaks.
If you’re really cruising for a burn, go for trisets. This means simply that you add a third or even a fourth exercise to the above torture as you max out those mighty arms.
Forced reps are a great way to push muscles just a little harder, once they’ve been pretty much exhausted. Just when you think you can’t do another curl, press or squat, recruit someone else’s muscles to help you! That’s right, get a trainer, partner, or buddy to help you squeeze out a couple of forced reps before you rack your weights and call it quits. Make sure that your form doesn’t suffer too much as you force that last blasted rep!
Learn to accentuate the negative. I’m not talking about your attitude, I’m referring here to your reps. When I train clients, I’ll often have them focus on the negative or eccentric contraction during an exercise. For example, during a bicep curl, explode as you bring the weight to your chin (concentric or positive contraction), then as you lower the weight, slow down and focus as you push your muscles to a new level of fatigue. Try doing negatives with bi’s, tri’s, chest, legs, etc., once a month to maximize size and strength.
Remember, doing negatives every workout can lead to over- training, so once or twice a month should be enough to make you grow, but prevent you from injuring yourself.
No need to get bored or frustrated! Just check in with Guy Magazine every week for the latest information on just about any topic under the sun. Any questions about your workouts? Need a pointer or just a little direction with your routine? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org!
Tom Bonanti is a certified personal trainer and owner of Pump’n Inc. Gym at 1271 NE 9th Ave, Fort Lauderdale.
For more tips on fitness, give me a shout at TrainerTomB@aol.com