11 February 2010

Strength Training Workouts

Posted by Jody under: First Aid; Fitness .

What can you do to break past a plateau, in your weight training? How can you get stronger and push harder to get a good workout?

This plateau, which many experience in their training, is commonly referred to as a “sticking point.”

The first thing to consider is whether or not you’re over-training. If you’re constantly feeling tired, out of energy and not wanting to go to the gym, it’s time to back off for a little while. Check out your sleep habits. If you’re not getting at least 8 hours per night, you’ve probably discovered your problem.

Especially if your’e exercising, you need to get adequate rest for your body to recover and get ready for the next exercise session. If you truly feel you’re getting enough rest and still have the blahs, you’re definitely over-training and need to lay off for a week or two.

On the other hand, you might be one of those people that gets bored with the same old routine and needs frequent change to stay “fresh” and excited about going to the gym.

If you want a change, need to get past that “sticking point,” or are ready to come back after that all-needed rest, here are some possible ways to change your “old” workout:

If you were lifting heavy weights with few reps, radically change your tactic and shift to extremely lighter weights with lots of reps. A number of times I’ve done month-long training periods with sets of 75 to 100 reps. Talk about a shock to your body. You will probably lose strength, as I did, but that’s okay. (What’s a month?) The lighter weight and high rep scheme prepares your connective tissue (ligaments, tendons) to better handle heavier weight. In the long run, your body will benefit.

You can probably guess my next recommendation. If you were doing relatively light weight with sets of 20 or more reps, add on the weight. Cut down on the number of sets, use heavier weight and adopt a pyramid scheme. Your first set do 12, second set do 10, third set do 8 and fourth set do 10-12. Again, this is a very different feel for your body. It works!

Change the body-part order of your workout. There are various ways to work out that all have supportive reasoning. Here are some:

Push/Pull Theory – do all pushing movements one day and all pulling movements the next day. For example, work your back and biceps on the same day. The next workout do chest and triceps. The following workout do shoulders and/or legs.

Large Muscles/Small Muscles Theory – work your largest muscle groups on the same day. For example, work back and chest in the same workout. The next workout do arms. The next shoulders and/or legs.

Weakest Link First – work your weakest body part at the beginning of your workout when you have the most energy. If it’s your biceps, then blast them right at the start.

With these concepts as the basis for any workout scheme, you can come up with all kinds of variations when you vary the poundage, rep and set scheme, and exercise order. The variations are almost limitless, and you shouldn’t become bored. If you do, it’s your own fault.

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