I used to listen to ben greenfield’s podcast. This article reminded me to go back and download his stuff:
Special thanks to thus great blogpost!
Here are the top ten techniques you can use to maximize weight training results:
1. Bounce: Bouncing involves doing mini-reps at very end of the range of motion of your exercise. For example, the end ROM of a body weight squat is when your knees are bent, at the very bottom of the squat. At this point in the squat, you could do 5-10 “mini-reps” or very short, bouncy squats, and then stand. Bouncing also works for push-ups, crunches, lunges, curls, and just about any basic movement.
2. Explosions: For explosions, you hold an exercise in the toughest position, then explode quickly out of, then back into that toughest position. For example, when you get to the bottom of a push-up, you can hold for 1-2 seconds, then push-up as fast as possible (your hands can even leave the ground) and land back in the bottom of the push-up.
3. Quarter Reps: For quarter reps, you stop in the very middle of the exercise, do a quarter rep, and then continue. For example, when performing a lunge you would stop when your knee is halfway bent, stand halfway, then continue through the lunge, which basically turns every 1 rep into 1.5 reps.
4. Ladder Reps: For ladder reps, do 5 mini-reps in the bottom range of motion, 5 mini-reps in the middle range of motion, and 5 mini-reps in the top range of motion. For example, for a body weight dip, you would do 5 reps with your elbows bent at the bottom of the dip, 5 reps in the middle of the dip, and then 5 reps at the top of the dip.
5. Stripping: Stripping involves lifting a weight until you cannot perform any more reps, then decreasing (stripping) down to a lower weight, and continuing with the same exercise for as many repetitions as possible with that new, lower weight. In one single set, you can strip the weight from an impressive starting weight to a tiny, embarrassingly small weight that still makes grunt and groan.
6. Supersets: To do a superset, perform an exercise set immediately after a different exercise set, with no rest in between. There are three different types of supersets. In the first, you do a set for one muscle group, such as leg extensions for your quadriceps, then with no rest, do a set for the opposing muscle group, such as leg curls for your hamstrings. In the second, you perform both sets for the same muscle group, such as chest flies followed by chest presses. The third type of superset is a triple or quadruple superset, in which you perform 3-4 back-to-back exercises for the same muscle group, such as triceps pushdowns to narrow grip push-ups to dips to triceps overhead extensions.
7. Super Slow Sets: In a super slow set, you perform your reps in a very slow controlled manner. Though super slow training can be a waste of time to do all the time, if something like a regular push-up is very easy for you, try to do a push-up with a four count down and a four count back up.
8. Forced Reps: Forced reps are exercises that are assisted by a training partner, also called a spotter. They are typically performed with a much heavier weight than you could normally lift on your own, or significantly more repetitions than you could do by yourself. As you reach failure, your spotter helps you, or forces you, to complete the set. Of course, you could also use a personal trainer for this technique if you have no partners to train with.
9. Negatives: To do a negative set, you slowly lower a heavier weight than you would normally use, and either “cheat” (see below) to raise the weight back up, or have a partner help you. For example, if you are trying to increase the amount of weight you can bench press, you would slowly lower a very heavy weight to your chest, then have a spotter grab the bar and assist you in getting the weight back up to the starting position.
10. Cheating: Usually, attention to good form is recommended when you are lifting weights, but sometimes you can get a little extra bang for your buck by cheating, which may involve rocking back and forth with your body, arching your back, or using an extra part of your body to perform an exercise. For example, if you are pressing a weight overhead with one arm, you may jump, arch, or use the opposing arm to help you out just a bit.