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Change Up Your Routine & Break Through Plateaus!
Too often I find that we get into the routine of things and tend to shy away from change.
In the gym this can prevent you from breaking through plateaus and maximizing strength/hypertrophy gains.
One of the key principles to continual growth within the gym is to change things up.
The best way to keep your body guessing is by simply introducing different exercises , however using new techniques with these exercises is an even better way to keep your body continuously adapting and getting stronger.
I’ll show you 5 different methods you can use to destroy your sets and fully fatigue your muscles!
Here are 5 methods you can use to change up your sets:
1. FASCIA STRETCH TRAINING 7 (FST-7)
FST-7 became the training program for 2009 and has grown in popularity since. Here’s what it stands for:
- Fascia: A sheet or band of fibrous connective tissue enveloping, separating, or binding together muscles, organs, and other soft structures of the body.
- Stretch: To lengthen, widen, or enlarge.
- Training: The process of bringing a person to an agreed standard of proficiency by practice and instruction.
- Seven: The seventh in a set or sequence.
To sum it all up simply, FST-7 is when an exercise is performed to a desired number of reps and then minimal rest is taken before performing another set with the same amount of reps. This is repeated until 7 sets are completed.
An example of this is doing tricep pull downs for 8 reps, waiting 10 seconds, and repeating this until 7 sets in total have been completed.
2. GIANT SET
This is similar to a super set, but instead of 2 exercises you do 3-4 exercises back-to-back without rest. This is a great way to maximize your burnout more than a typical superset does.
An example for chest would be a set of flat dumbbell press, then cable flies then pushups all performed without rest in between.
3. NEGATIVE TRAINING
The eccentric part of an exercise is when your muscle lengthens (e.g. when you bring the weight back down after a bicep curl). Your body is stronger eccentrically than concentrically – allowing you to move more weight yet a lot of people neglect the eccentric portion of movements.
An example of this would be taking 4 seconds to bring the weight down after a set of bicep curls.
This involves doing a complete rep of an exercise followed by a half-rep then following this pattern until you complete your desired number of reps. It’s a great way to change up the tension being put on your muscles.
An example of this is to do a rep on bench press with full range of motion, then do another rep but stopping halfway up and then repeating this pattern until you reach your desired number of reps.
5. REST-PAUSE SET
This is the process of performing your exercise to a desired number of reps then taking minimal rest, and then performing another set with less reps. This is repeated until 3 or 4 sets have been completed.
An example of this is performing a set of barbell squats for 10 reps, waiting 10-20 seconds, performing another 10 reps, waiting 10-20 seconds, and performing another 6 reps.
Go and Experiment!
I wouldn’t recommend incorporating all of these into one workout, but try one or two of them during your next workout and see which ones you like best. Some other great techniques that you can use and probably already know of include supersets, dropsets, and pre-exhausting. Now go try these out and feel the burn!