Everyone will inadvertently hit a frustrating plateau in their training at one time or another. You’re cruising along for a while, gaining strength, losing fat, looking better, and then all of the sudden it hits. Suddenly, you find yourself even weaker than before on your lifts, or you find that you’ve gained back a couple of pounds. It happens to everyone. Most of the time, these plateaus occur because people rarely change their training variables over time. Many people stick to the same types of exercises for the same basic sets and reps and rest periods with the same boring cardio routine. Well, I hope to open your mind and bring some creativity to your workouts with this article!
There are many ways that you can strategically manipulate your training variables to assure that you maximize your fat loss and/or muscle building response to exercise. Most people only think about changing their sets and reps performed, if they even think about changing their routine at all.
However, other variables that can dramatically affect your results are changing the order of exercises (sequence), exercise grouping (super-setting, circuit training, tri-sets, etc.), exercise type (multi-joint or single joint, free-weight or machine based), the number of exercises per workout, the amount of resistance, the time under tension, the base of stability (standing, seated, on stability ball, one-legged, etc.), the volume of work (sets x reps x distance moved), rest periods between sets, repetition speed, range of motion, exercise angle (inclined, flat, declined, bent over, upright, etc), training duration per workout, and training frequency per week. Sounds like a lot of different training aspects to consider in order to obtain the best results from your workouts, doesn’t it?
Well, that’s where a knowledgeable personal trainer can make sense of all of this for you to make sure that your training doesn’t get stale. Below are a few examples to get your mind working to come up with more creative and result producing workouts.
Most people stick to workouts where they do something along the lines of 3 sets of 10-12 reps per exercise, with 2-3 minutes rest between sets. Booooorrrrring! Here are a few examples of different methods to spice up your routine.
There are many more ways to continue to change your training variables. I hope this article gave you some ideas on methods for you to take your body to the next level. Keep in mind that no matter what style of training you are using at any given time, progression on subsequent workouts should be your goal. Work hard and train smart and watch your body change!