GYM GAINZ: GET CRE­ATIVE BUT NOT TOO CRE­ATIVE!

Australian Natural Bodz - - Train Smart - - Steve Jones Ed­i­tor

One of the most com­mon ques­tions I would get asked when I owned my gym in the 90’s was “How of­ten should I change my ex­er­cises?”. My an­swer to this ques­tion has a num­ber of vari­ables to take into con­sid­er­a­tion, the first be­ing long has the per­son been work­ing out with weights for, weeks, months, years. Also is the per­son get­ting re­sults from their cur­rent pro­gram.

It is also im­por­tant prior to chang­ing up ex­er­cises to take a closer look at ex­er­cise form, work­out ef­fi­ciency, in­ten­sity and other ad­di­tional fac­tors that may be lim­it­ing the sub­jects po­ten­tial gains from a given pro­gram. Many new­com­ers tend to swap and change ex­er­cises around too early be­cause they ei­ther get bored or feel they are not ex­pe­ri­enc­ing any progress. How­ever, chang­ing a pro­gram with­out look­ing at the fun­da­men­tals listed above is both un­ec­ces­sary and can in­deed be counter-pro­duc­tive.

How can it be counter-pro­duc­tive? Be­cause chang­ing good solid move­ments that form the foun­da­tion of weight train­ing for lesser proven move­ments will ul­ti­mately pro­duce even less ben­e­fits in the long term. For ex­am­ple some novice train­ers will drop us­ing ba­sic bar­bells or dumb­ells and re­place with ma­chine move­ments.

Th­ese days its not un­com­mon to see ex­er­cises that defy all logic, you know the ones that have taken “creativ­ity” out of con­text and bro­ken the bound­eries of com­mon sense and to­tal logic. Ex­am­ples of th­ese are com­mon place in videos on so­cial me­dia, usu­al­lyy per­formed on ca­ble ma­chines us­ing tech­niques that only a trained cir­cus per­former should use!

Get­ting “Cre­ative” is fine, in fact creativ­ity is what fu­els progress but it can also bring progress to a com­pleteplete stand­still if the bound­eries are bro­ken. So how can we bring some change and creativ­ity to our work­outs to keep things fresh, ex­cit­ing and the gains com­ing? Keep the changes sim­ple and fol­low thee “Less is more ap­proach”. Rather than swap­ping solid ex­er­cises try im­ple­ment­ing su­per sets or gi­ant sets to up the ante on work­out in­ten­sity.

Try re­duc­ing rest pe­ri­ods be­tween sets, throw­ing in some de­scend­ing sets or if you want to re­ally test your­self add some as­cend­ing sets. I hear you ask, whats an as­cend­ing set? Ba­si­cally its the op­po­site of a de­scend­ing set, for ex­am­ple you start with a lighter weight for say 200 reps to fail­ure, then with no rest up the weight for 10 reps to fail­ure, then up the weight for 6 reps. No rest be­tween the 3 phases!

Yes in­deed its tough, but who ever said weight train­ing was go­ing to be easy. You want gains you are go­ing too have to push the en­ve­lope and break through stick­ing points. ints.

The great thing about as­cend­ing sets is you can ac­tu­ally cut back you work­out time by up to 60%. A reg­u­lar one hour work­out can be al­most cut to 35 min­utes, yet you are still per­form­ing the same vol­ume! Now, that is what I call in­tense. But be­lieve me you will get amaz­ing re­sults from this tech­nique.

Yes its cre­ative, but it does not bend the rules into the realms of the ridicu­lous that is of­ten seen in gyms across the world th­ese days!

Photo by Steve Jones

bil­lie paea Mus­cle­ma­nia Pro

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