by Mark Cesari
Vary Your Weight Training Workouts For Success
Natural Bodybuilder and Fitness Trainer
It is so very important to vary your weight training workouts. In my many years of experience as a personal trainer helping people to achieve their strength training goals what I hear most from lifters is "I've been stagnant for months." It's because they do the same thing all the time.
But when it comes to workouts our bodies crave change. Once your body adapts to exercises, weights and techniques, it doesn't need to make any more changes. Which means that you are slowing instead of growing.
Versatility is one of those traits most of us want to possess. And because we want ourselves to be versatile, we appreciate this quality in other things. Yet when we get into the gym, the whole idea of versatility goes out the window.
Thereís one movement, amount of weight, or one routine to exercise our lats, pecs, traps, etc. someone could spend more time then need be to work their entire bodies. ďVariety is not just the spice of lifeĒ it is also a must for those that want to be serious about their training goals.
There is no argument that there are very time effective exercises for growing. So that means you wouldnít want to include a useless exercise in your program just for the sake of variety. The key is to constantly think of what change is going to keep your progress continuing.
The very same time effective exercises can be continually used to challenge your muscles. Continuing to gradually increase the amount of weight that you lift for a set will help you to vary your weight training workouts.
There are strategies that will give you variety while using the most time effective movements to grow. Donít lock out which means to fully extend your elbows or your knees during your exercises.
When you lock out, youíre giving your muscles a rest. By keeping a slight bend in the joints, you can work the muscles harder. Stop short of full extension, and you will maintain maximum tension on the muscle. These are just some examples you can use to make the most of your workouts.
Another way to keep your body guessing is to use different numbers of repitions with your exercises. I canít count the number of times Iíve read about using the eight to twelve repition ranges for gaining size and strength. I will often using less than eight and at times use more than twelve.
Every range of repitions is useful for stimulating muscles, especially when you havenít performed repitions that low or high before. I have received some great soreness that way because my muscles were not use to that demand before.
Using a different number of sets for your exercises injects variety to a routine. Again Iíve read generally the same recommendations for gaining size and strength with regards to sets. It is always three to five sets. Much like I mentioned with repitions I will often use less than three sets and more than five. Specific adaptation to imposed demand was something I was taught in an entry level sports medicine class. Your body will specifically adapt to the demand of three to five sets if done all the time.
The number of exercises you use can be looked at for getting variety too. Just as with repitions and sets there are general recommendations of whatís best. Using two to three exercises for smaller body parts like triceps is an example.
Then using four to five exercises for larger body parts like chest. Just like I have recommended with the general recommendations for repitions and sets I recommend doing differently. Go below and above the total numbers of exercises that you can commonly read about.
Training splits are also another aspect of training programs that tend to stay the same with recommendations. The muscle magazines are either recommending pushing or pulling training splits. That or they are recommending opposing muscle group splits.
Both of which Iíve really loved using and I think they are effective. But with so many body parts to train that means the way split what you train can be different all the time. As long as there is plenty of time for the parts to recover for the next planned work out.
These are some other ways to vary your weight training workout program. Keep it smooth donít jerk, bounce, throw, or other wise loosen your form. Whatever momentum you use to raise the weight that allows the muscles to work much less.
Therefore since that happens it means they wonít grow as strong. Instead, move the weight slower and in more of a controlled movement in both the raising and lowering phase. It could take you about two seconds to raise the weight and three to four seconds to lower it.
Details such as these will also be helpful to vary your weight training programs. Stop for just a second at the end of the exercise before lowering the weight. That automatically makes the muscles work harder from the beginning of the lowering phase to the end of the lifting phase. It will allow you to get a more thorough stimulation. Safely exhausting every single muscle fiber possible. Exhausting the muscles is the key to making progress. The key to progress is to vary your weight training workouts.
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