5 Training Variations to Jack Up your Gains
Bodybuilders and weight lifters are no strangers to plateaus and stopping points within their training. Often times the need for a change within their programs is exactly what the doctor would order to infuse life back into a less than stellar environment conducive to growth. If you’ve found yourself trying vigorously to revive your workouts, give these 5 training variations a try to jack up your gains.
Change Exercise Sequence
There are certain exercises that when employed will elicit greater total gains than others. Compound lifts are almost always used first in the workout when energy levels are highest. Unfortunately for us though, is that our body is extremely adaptable and will cease any type of positive response to a stimulus for which it is used to. So rather than always performing your go to exercises first in the workout, switch them around in the sequence of exercises you plan on using that workout to provide a much needed variation to your training.
Increase Total Volume
Even though you may feel that you are training enough to ignite gains, maybe you’re not. The total number of repetitions and sets you perform over the course of your workout simply may not be enough to induce recognizable gains. Take stock of what your current training volume is and then add in a few sets here and there for each body part and give it at least 3 weeks to see if that slight increase proves to be advantageous for you or not.
Everybody loves the pump, there’s no denying that. But if you consistently train with only achieving a pump in mind, you may be short changing yourself. To truly make gains in size, strength and muscularity you have to overload the muscles with resistances previously unused. That means you have to go as heavy as you possibly can during your working sets within the 4-8 rep range. And when you complete these sets, you should be aiming for a positive fail within that rep range. This way you know you’ve overloaded the muscle and you can bet that hypertrophy will follow.
Use Intensity Boosting Techniques
By nature, humans are creatures of habit and most times we like our regular routines. This can become troublesome for us when we train because without even being aware of it, our workouts can end up looking the same week after week. This is when you have to completely change things up and start incorporating and applying intensity boosting techniques. Methods such as supersets, drop sets, giant sets and century sets are phenomenal for increasing intensity levels during your workouts and add a new level of difficulty which you must overcome to be successful. You don’t necessarily have to employ one of these methods for each exercise you complete, but it should definitely find it’s way into your workout at some point or another.
There have been many prescriptions for how often one should train a particular muscle group to enhance the effectiveness of your efforts in the gym. The problem with many of these suggestions is that they’re not always individual specific and by following any type of frequency protocol without understanding how your body is going to respond could lead to failure. Hitting a body part once a week seems to be the general rule of thumb for many people which makes sense when you break it down to how many muscle groups you have to train over the course of a week. But when this isn’t working for you, and usually it’s only one or two muscle groups that still end up lagging behind, try increasing the frequency of your training sessions for those particular body parts. For example, arm size has always been a struggle for me and lately I’ve been hitting them 3 times a week with really great results so far.
The nice thing about training is that there is never one right way or wrong way to do things. You have to pay attention to how your body is responding to the stimuli you are providing it with and then go from there. So while you’re playing around with the different training variations that are out there, why not improve upon the variety of shoes you have in your closet by picking up a pair of Heyday’s Tactical Trainer Weightlifting Sneaker. They look cool, provide a ton of support and will undoubtedly help you in your quest for getting back to jacked status.
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.