Variety is the spice of life, and that’s doubly true of training. If you’ve been doing three sets of ten since Peter Andre was a viable pop star, it’s time you tried something new.
Here are three tried and tested techniques to incorporate into your workout that are guaranteed to leave you limping. And building muscle obviously. We’re not just trying to hurt you that’d be weird.
Before we get into it, a warning; these techniques are fairly intense and should be used with some caution.
Pick one per session and use it at the end of your last set on your main exercises. Do that for three weeks, then move on to the next technique.
Triple Drop Sets – Work up to a heavy weight, something you can get 6-8 hard reps with. Get as many reps as you can, then reduce the weight by 10%, and get another 6-8 reps.
Then drop it a further 10% and try and get 10 reps. That last ten should be a proper eye-bulger. If you walk away whistling a jaunty tune, you didn’t go hard enough.
Rest Pause – Again work up to a heavy weight, somewhere in the 4-6 range this time. Go to failure, then drop the weight and rest for 15 seconds.
Then grab the weight again and get another 2-3 reps. Then rest again for 15 seconds, before going again for another 2-3 reps.
The result is you expose yourself to 3-5 additional reps with a given weight, and each one of those is a “money” rep, at the level of intensity that yields maximum gains.
Ultra Slow Tempo – Lift the weight, contract as hard as humanly possible at the top of the movement, then lower it over five seconds, contracting the muscle as hard as you can throughout the lowering phase. Then on the final rep, hold the muscle is a stretched position for ten seconds.
The slow lowering phase is where you create micro tears in the muscle, which causes them to grow back bigger and stronger. The weighted stretch triggers mTOR, a chemical messenger which encourages protein synthesis, stimulating muscle growth.
8-8-8s – A new take on the classic ’21’ technique. Like most of these techniques, this is just another way to get a higher volume of work with a given exercise than you would with a traditional set and rep scheme.
Pick an exercise, we’ll say bicep curls, and a weight you can do about ten hard reps with. Now do eight strict reps, using full range of motion.
Then lift the weight halfway up, so with the bicep curl thats with your elbow bent 90 degrees. Hold the weight statically in this position for eight seconds. This should start to burn very quickly.
Then finally do eight reps only in the top portion of the. movement. So for bicep curls thats lifting the weight all the way up and coming down to just 90 degrees. Your biceps should be absolutely screaming by the end of the set.
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