Resistance Training is an amazing thing when you are smashing it each day in the gym and getting some great results in the mirror, after a while though you will run into the dreaded plateau monster that halts all progress.
When results start to slow so too can your motivation, you might even start to skip workouts making your strength and physique suffer, you just need to rethink the way you train when you hit a ceiling, this will go on forever in your training life.
When you have hit failure with the heaviest set of weights you can muster it is time to drop down a weight and keep going.
Try 20 overhead presses with the heaviest dumbbells you can manage, then drop 5 pounds and perform another 20 reps, drop another 5 pounds and keep going, as you come down in weight you start to struggle as you are putting every last drop of effort into the lifts.
Everytime you hit your limit, you drop the weight and keep lifting until your muscles are dying, the great thing here is that as you progress further into the exercise you can still push yourself to failure whilst maintaining perfect form safely.
Dropsets always give you a great pump and you always feel like you have achieved something to show for it at the end of the workout, you can safely use dropsets on any kettlebell, dumbbell, machine exercise or barbell, although it is best done with a partner on the barbell.
Make Your Sets Super
Consider bringing in supersets to your workout. A superset involves pairing two movements that work opposing muscle chains, i.e. bench presses paired with bent over rows, deadlifts with squats, performing one set of each exercise one after the other is classed as a superset.
Whether you weught just 115 pounds or a meaty 220 pounds, a superset will give you pump making you feel like Hercules.
Supersets make you look as big as possible.
Resting To Gain Strength
This doesn’t mean stop everything and sit around but you can incorporate a rest-pause into your lift. At the mid-point of a lift, stop and rest for a pre-determined period of time, three breaths, 10-15 seconds. etc. now finish the movement for as many reps as possible. The small pause eliminates the momentum you had making lighter weights seem heavier and heavy weights seem nearly impossible.
This can be done with any exercise, if you are under the bar for things like squats or bench press then have a friend spot you.
A rest-pause can turn any exercise into a higher level test.
Bodyweight Is Sometimes Best
As you progress smashing previous boundaries it can be easy to forget that your own bodyweight is also an option, if you can’t remember the last time you did a pull-up or push-up then it is time to give these old gym classics a go again.
A hanging leg raise for instance might seem like it only target the abs but when done with strict form it hits your whole body, hitting gluts, hip flexors, arms, lats and even shoulders.
Similar total-body benefits can be had from push ups and pull ups, recruiting nearly every muscle fiber in your body, they also put your body under huge muscle tension when performing a set.
Workouts With Circuits
The biggest complaint most people have is that they don’t have time to goto the gym, circuit training eliminates that excuse, it’s amazing how well circuit training works, it really is the most time efficient way to get the best results.
Anytime you are looking to drop some weight, cut rest sets down to 30 seconds, this way you will get a cardio and strength workout at the same time.