Sunday, April 25, 2010
WEIGHT TRAINING TECHNIQUES
Your strength routine is your ally against fighting fat and keeping your body young. It is so important to work all the major muscle groups 2-3 X per week. This can be done as a whole body workout of 1-2 exercises per major muscle group, or as a split routine of a couple muscle groups per day before or after a cardio session. The advantage to whole body workouts is the intensity level that can be achieved, thus burning a maximum amount of calories and fat during the session. A split routine can help you get much stronger and push past strength plateus.
Super setting: Super sets are very popular and an effective way to squeeze a lot into a short period of time. Try super setting at the end or in the middle of your workout but avoid it for your first set as you may want to pump out as much weight as possible for your first exercise. You can super set the same muscle or group or super set opposing muscle groups.
Tri setting: Tri sets are a useful way to overload the muscle in a similar way to super setting but instead of rotating between two exercises you incorporate three in a row. I recommend this if you’re extremely tight on time constraints or if you really want to tear up your muscles. Try this technique first on small muscle groups like biceps and triceps.
Drop sets: Drop sets shouldn’t be done everyday for every exercise but they’re great for the last set of your workout of just to shock your body into producing new results every now and again. How it works is you hit a heavy set on any chosen exercise then immediately strip off some of the weight and pump out some more reps. Then, if you are really feeling it, you drop the weight again and bust out some more reps to failure. This is great for side lateral delt raises. Try starting out with 8-10 reps with 15-pound dumbbells and when you can no longer lift them, drop down to 10-pound dumbbells and repeat until failure. Finally, if you can, pick up the 5-pound dumbbells and go until you can no longer lift them to shoulder level. This creates a wonderful burn in the muscles and fantastic results.
Pyramiding: This is probably the most popular weight training method of all. After a short warm up, begin with a weight that will allow you to pump out 12-15 reps and then proceed to the next set and increase the weight so that you fail at about 8-10 reps then on the last set pick a weight that will allow you to do about 6 reps. This overloads the muscle gradually and works very well. This technique is perfect for beginners because it’s easy yet effective. But if you’ve been lifting for years it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t incorporate pyramid training in your routine. It works wonders for everyone, just be sure you’re lifting to your maximum potential.
Reverse Pyramid Training: This is exactly the opposite of pyramid training. Instead of starting with the lightest weight and doing 12-15 repetitions for the first set you'll reverse the order and begin your first set with the heaviest weight you can handle for roughly 6 reps. This style is best for those looking to build muscle and increase strength. For each set you will decrease the weight (pyramid down in weight, hence, the name "reverse" pyramid) and increase the reps. This technique is extremely energy efficient and will help you increase muscle mass if that’s your goal.
HIIT: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a style that incorporates alternating low to moderate intensity intervals with high intensity intervals. HIIT is often used by runners or with exercises such as squats. HIIT is considered to be much more effective than normal cardio because the intensity is so high and you are able to increase both your aerobic and anaerobic endurance while burning more fat. Research has proven it to be up to 50 percent more effective when it comes to fat burning. It has also been shown to speed up your metabolism, which helps you burn more calories throughout the day.
German Volume Training (GVT): The goal of the GVT method is to complete ten sets of ten reps with the same weight for each exercise. One way to gauge the proper weight is to begin with a weight you could lift for 20 reps to failure if you had to. For most people, that would be 60 percent of their 1 Rep Max (RM) load. For example, if you can squat 120 pounds for 1 rep, you would use 72 pounds for this exercise. The result? The body adapts to the unusual stress by hypertrophying the muscles involved. This is a wonderful way to add muscle fast but is not to be used year round. Cycle it in and out of your regular program every couple of months.
A few other techniques with a Google search are: Giant sets, Pre-exhaustion, Isotension, partial reps, negative resistance training, staggered sets, Weider’s Perfect 10, fast and slow reps and partner assisted stressed reps.