Have you ever been frustrated over a lack of results from your workout routine?
If so, you are in good company. Even the most seasoned athletes experience times when their results plateau.
When you continue to put in the same effort day after day with little or no results it is safe to say that you've hit your own fitness plateau.
Your body adapts quickly to any repetitive routine. The definition of 'insanity' is to do the same thing over and over while expecting different results. This holds true for your workouts. When your results stop then it's time to do something new.
I have good news - the following 4 tactics are guaranteed to crank your workouts up to the next level and to deliver the fast results you want.
Tactic #1: Focus on Negatives
Each time that you do a weight lifting repetition you are utilizing three types of strength. These are:
Focus on the negative portion of each repetition by lowering the weight very slowly. Concentrate on the negative contraction, and make each repetition count.
If you are advanced, then use a training partner to assist you in moving heavier-than-normal weight into a contracted position, then lower it very slowly.
Another way to utilize negative repetitions on a machine is to lift the weight using two limbs but then lower it with just one. For example, use both legs to lift the weight on a leg extension machine, but then lower it back down slowly using only one leg.
Tactic #2: Do a Drop Set
Drop sets have long been used to fight off exercise plateaus. This technique is great for adding muscle strength, endurance and for increasing the cardiovascular benefit of your workout – resulting in more fat burn.
Here, in a nutshell, is how to do a drop set: When you perform an exercise to exhaustion, don't stop there. Drop the weight by 80% and do another set.
You could take it a step further by dropping the weight twice, making it a double drop. Or drop the weight three times for a descending drop set.
Use this technique only once or twice per workout, on the final set of the exercise.
Tactic #3: Modify the Exercise
There are certain exercises that are considered 'staples' in the gym.
The squat. The lunge. The chest press. The shoulder press. The bicep curl. You get the idea…
While you shouldn't throw these exercises out the window, find creative ways to modify the familiar motion in order to challenge your muscles. Try these exercise modifications:
Every minute of your workout is an opportunity to increase intensity and to burn more fat. Don't waste precious minutes with long rest periods between exercises.
While it is important to catch your breath if you feel winded, most of the time you would benefit more from an active rest than a passive one. Perform one of the following activities for 30 seconds between exercises and turn your regular workout into High Intensity Interval Training.