|The Lounge | Champions | The Wire | Schedule | Audio | Arcade | The Top Ten | Historical | Email | Video|
Sneak a Little Intensity into Your Workout
You know you're on autopilot during your workouts when, halfway through you're set on the pec dec, you realize you're sitting on someone's lap. It's time to shake things up a bit. Every gym has a variety of people who come in and do the same routine time after time. The same movements, weight, reps, they even do the exercises in the same order, every workout. Three years later, their body still looks the same. If you don't know the guy I'm talking about, you're that guy.
My suggestion is to put some intensity into your workout. The human body adapts very quickly to whatever we throw at it. If you're not giving your body a reason to make changes, it won't. If your wife just kept asking you to clean the garage, it would probably never happen. But, when she introduces new tactics, like threatening to tell all your friends how you set your Tivo to tape "The Facts of Life" reruns every week, then viola. Clean garage. Your body is the same way. As opposed to the same old nagging, it responds better to variety. If you're doing the same workout, with the same weight, over and over, you're literally boring your body into staying out of shape.
As a trainer I often have clients tell me that they only get a good workout during our sessions together. That, unless someone is pushing them, they don't feel like they're working hard. To solve this problem I've put together a list of techniques that will help you sneak some intensity into your workouts without having anyone yell at you. If you can follow these methods as I've described below, you will experience an unfamiliar sensation during your next workout. Don't be alarmed?you're just sweating.
Keep in mind; this article is about increasing the intensity in your resistance workout. For information about intensity in your cardio workouts, read "Using Nutrition to Boost Your Cardio" here: http://www.shapeyou.com/nutrition_cardio.html
How: Take, for example, the incline chest press on the Smith machine. Place your hands on the bar as wide apart from each other as you can. Now, engage the Smith machine and do 10 reps with about 60% of your max weight. Rest for ten seconds. Now, bring your grip closer together by about 3 inches and do 10 more reps. Rest for another 10 seconds. Now, bring your grip closer together until they're about 4 inches apart and do 10 more reps. That's one set.
Why: With a standard grip incline press, you only work certain muscle fibers in your chest. In this example, by changing your grip, you work the fibers across your whole upper chest. Use this technique with other exercises by simply changing your grip or the width of your stance.
How: In this example we'll use the wide grip pull down. With 40-50% of your max weight, do 30 reps a little faster than you would normally go. (Not a typo - 30) Immediately after, bump the weight up to about 80-90% of max and shoot for 10 reps.
Why: You're just trying to fatigue the muscle. It's like doing your 3rd or 4th set, every set. The shock value alone is phenomenal. If your body could talk, it would say "What the $#$% Are you doing"?
How: After a warm up set of your favorite exercise, do 10-12 reps with about 90% of your max weight. Right away, drop the weight by about 20% and do 10-12 more reps. Again, drop the weight by 20% and do another set without resting. That counts as one set.
Why: By dropping the weight each set, you're allowing the muscle to continue working even though it's too tired to lift the weight you were previously lifting. You should get a great burn by the third set.
Compound Sets & Super Sets
How: A compound set is two different exercises for the same muscle group that are completed without resting in between. (For example: Preacher curls and hammer curls.) A superset is two different exercises for opposing muscle groups that are completed without resting in between. (For example: Chest press and bent over rows.) Simply perform one exercise, followed by the second exercise, without resting in between.
Why: Compound sets will allow you to further fatigue a muscle group while often working different heads of the muscle. Supersets will allow one muscle group to rest while working the opposing muscle group. Both methods add intensity and are great for squeezing in more sets when you don't have time for your full workout.
Target Range of Motion
How: For example, when performing the standing biceps curl, during the upward movement phase, only bring the bar halfway through the range of motion (Until your forearms are parallel to the floor). Perform three of these partial reps followed by one rep that covers the full range of motion. (Bringing the bar all the way up to your shoulders). Count the three partial reps and one full rep as one total rep and shoot for 10.
Why: Just try it. You'll definitely feel this one.
How: I'll use standing dumbbell biceps curls for this example because it's easy to visualize. With your left arm, bring the dumbbell halfway through the range of motion (until your forearm is parallel to the floor), and hold it there while you complete 12 (full range of motion) reps with your right arm. Now, switch and hold the right arm static while completing 12 full reps with the left. Next set, switch the arm you begin with.
Why: The arm that is static still has to work to keep the weight where it is. This is effective as a type of pre-exhaust. The other arm has to work to hold the weight in the static position after completing 12 reps, like a post-exhaust.
Of course, if you choose one of these methods and use it for every exercise, in every workout, then you're wildly missing the point. Use one or two in each workout and continue making changes to keep your body from hitting any plateaus. And for crying out loud, clean the garage.
You may reprint or publish this article freely as long as you include the author bio and all hyperlinks are active and clickable.
Tony Hale is a certified personal trainer with 12 years of experience servicing clients in the entertainment industry throughout the Hollywood area. He is also the editor in chief for http://www.shapeyou.com
Train with Tony online at http://www.shapeyou.com/trainers.html
Do Electric Ab Stimulators Really Work?
Electronic muscle stimulators are the latest craze, the hottest fad..
Are You Too Old to Pump Iron?
Are you too old for weight lifting? Will weight lifting helpyou stay and look younger? The answer to the first question is no and to the second is a resounding yes. Weight lifting will help both men and women stay fit and supple and might even help you look younger.
Is Your Muscle Building Potential Limited By Your Genes?
It is clear that certain traits are handed down to us by our parents and unfortunately our ablility to grow muscles beyond certain limits is no exception. That doesn't mean to say hard work and carefully planned training won't have a positive effect on your physique - it just means that some people will inherit a greater abundance of the favored physical characteristics than others.
Beach Body Abs
With the return of warm weather in the spring, thoughts can never be too far behind of the approaching summer and the many wonderful outdoor activities that we'll often associate with it and among our top favorite summertime activities will always be the trip to the beach. Warm blue skies, refreshing ocean breezes, hot sand, cool waves and the many attempts at constructing the perfect sand castle; you can swear you're almost there just thinking of it.
Secret Training Tip #242 - Be 10% Stronger in Leg Curls Instantly!
This is a trick to be done on a leg curl machine. By simply changing where you grip your hands on the machine, you can increase your strength in the movement by as much as 10% instantly!Lie face down on the bench as you normally would when doing the exercise.
A Recovered Treasure: The Pilates Method
Uncovered After 80 Years of Dormancy, Pilates is Far From Dead.In a way, he's a lot like Edgar Allen Poe.
Strength Training Strategies that Actually Work
Over the years there has been a surge of different strength training techniques that have come onto the market and just faded away. Here we discuss the training strategies to gain the maximum amount of muscle in the shortest time possible that have stood up to the test of time.
Outer Triceps Workout
The outer triceps is an awesome muscle. It sticks out like a slab of muscle on your outer arm and makes your arm look thick from the front.
Always Shock Your Muscles For Maximum Growth
Always try to "trick" your muscles into growth. You never want to do the same exercises, reps and sets for each and every workout.
Exercise The Right Way - The Decline Dumbbell Bench Press
Other articles in this series looked at a number of exercises, mainly from the perspective of developing a comprehensive muscle building program. Sometimes we take things for granted, especially when it comes to performing the basic exercises that constitute the core of most bodybuilders' training regimes.
Lower Body Exercises For Beginning Bodybuilders
The lower body contains some of your biggest muscles which are capable of bearing significant weights. The temptation for beginners to go for broke by performing heavy squats should be resisted.
Bodybuilding: Effective Ways To Handling Criticism
It's important to set the way we'll respond to different critics throughout the journey of achieving our personal and bodybuilding goals. As are other areas of life, Bodybuilding is a sport of opinion.
The Secret to Legs with Size, Strength, and Endurance
There are countless leg workouts in magazines and books that promise big results. Many are good workouts, but the secret to continued progress is to keep your muscles from adapting, while building on what you have already done.
Bodybuilding on a Budget - It Doesnt Have to Put Your Wallet in a Wheelchair
As you probably remember the last time you looked at a proposed grocery list or visited the nearest supplement store, you realized you needed to take out an equity loan first in order to get your month's supply of food and supplements.Believe me?I've had my fair share of large bills especially when I'm trying to bulk up and gain weight.
Planting And Nurturing Your Contacts And Resources
The success level of your bodybuilding endeavors is highly determined by the contacts and resources that you posses and have access to, as well as these that you can offer to the world of bodybuilding.Success is achieved through desire dedication, effort, simplicity, and consistency.
The Baby Boomer Athlete
Are you a Baby Boomer? If you were born between the years of 1946 to 1964, you are part of the 79.1 million Boomers, comprising 29 percent of the total US population.
Why my Lactate Threshold Training is better than any other Strength Training System
It's a very simple training system. Consisting of using your body in space with simple counts.
Focus on Both Consistency and Variability in Your Workouts for the Best Results
In one of my recent articles, I spoke about the fact that you must alter your training variables that make up your workouts if you want to continuously get good results, whether it is losing weight, building muscle, or toning up.While changing your training variables is an integral part of the success of your training program, your workouts shouldn't be drastically different every single time.
Maximum Muscle Development with Chaos Training
Chaos is the scientific study of orderly disorder. It offers a way of seeing order and pattern where formerly only the random, the erratic, and the unpredictable (viz.
Preliminary Isometric Tension Improves the Effectiveness of Dynamic Work by up to 20%
Are you looking for a simple and effective way to increase your strength? This article will show you how to incorporate isometrics into your training regime to increase the strength of your favorite lifts.Soviet research, dating back to the sixties of the 20th century, points out that isometric training preceding dynamic work may increase its effectiveness by up to 20%.
Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us
Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.