Our body is absolutely amazing. The more you put it under pressure the more it increases the benchmark of endurance. It has its own ways of responding. It requires perseverance, consistency and punctuality to yield result.
However, Consistency brings stagnancy. I’m sure most of you have experienced a situation where your body’s response to workouts and exercises becomes stagnant. That’s where it gets tricky.
You need to repeatedly surprise your body to keep it growing. One of the ways of doing this is by putting in variations to your regime, timing, order of exercises or even type of exercises. So, here’s a list of workout variations that you can try to keep getting results:
To perform a static hold variation, pull the weights to level of maximum stress and hold it there for extended period of time. This can also be done with body weight exercises
How to do it – Reach at the top position during pull-up and hold it there for few seconds or at the extremes of deep squat positions and hold there. Static hold is considered to be great strengthening technique used for increasing strength.
This is again a fabulous technique that can give you bigger muscles. However, it can exhaust you in the initial sets that could be dangerous for your muscles and subsequent workouts. Make sure to maintain correct form and posture and try not to do it more than once on a daily basis.
How to do it – Choose a heavy weight by which you could do not more than 3-5 reps. Perform as many reps at this heavy weight as you can. Take a rest of 10 secs and again with the same weight try to complete next set. Ideally you should not be able to perform more than 3 reps. Repeat for one more set.
This is again a wonderful variation. It involves reducing the weight after every few reps. You can perform drop sets with any exercise that involves weights be it bench press, dumbbell curl or even leg press.
How to do it – Say you are performing bench press. You need to perform 2 usual sets with increasing weights. In 3rd set, increase the weights and perform just 5 reps. Immediately, as your partner or gym trainer to remove 10 pounds and perform 8 reps without any rest.
Again, get 10 pounds removed and perform 12-reps. Key here is to perform without taking rest. You can also use dumbbells and move to smaller weights in subsequent sets.
This is a form of High Intensity (HIIT) workout. Its a combination of weight-training and cardio exercises. The idea here is to complete a set one exercise and move to the other.
How to do it – You can perform circuit training by involving a mix of machines, cardio equipment and traditional equipment like dumbbell and presses. You need to perform each exercise for 30-45 secs by doing as many reps as you can do and then move to next exercise/equipment. All the time you have for rest is during movement from one exercise station to another.
Superset comprises of performing one set each of two exercises either of different body parts or same muscle back to back without rest.
How to do it – Say, if you are doing your chest exercise you can perform your first set as – 12 reps bench press and 15 push-ups without any rest. Repeat for 3 sets. Supersets are known to break the muscles at greater extent and are considered as a good way to bulk up.
Training to Failure
We normally choose weights keeping in mind the number of sets & reps that we have to perform. Training to failure is a bit different variation.
How to do it – You need to choose a moderate weight that you are comfortable with. Now, without counting the reps, perform as many reps as you can do before getting completely exhausted.
Now, increase the weight and keep performing reps till the time you fail to do one more rep. Repeat. However, try to use moderate weights so that you are able to put down the weight after failing to perform the last set without getting your self injured.
I hope you’ll find best suitable variation that fits your workout pattern. Be careful while putting excessive stress on your body and give it complete rest. Always remember, muscles break during workout but grow during proper rest after that.