Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Progressing Progression

Think sticking more weight on the bar or completing more reps is the only way to progress your training? Think again! Try these 5 other methods to take your training to another level.

1.       Decrease rest time between your sets.
Chances are your taking 60-90 seconds rest in between your sets or you’re checking yourself out in the mirror for 5 minutes. Nothing challenges your workout like clock watching in between sets. Try taking 30 seconds rest and really push the pace. It will be a quick workout, but it certainly won’t be your easiest!

2.       Incorporate thick grip training.
Thick grip training takes care of grip strength and forearm training which is pretty much always neglected in training routines. It’s more functional, for example how often would an MMA fighter have to grab his opponent’s 1 inch thick wrist (the usual size of a barbell or dumbbell handle)? Never! Human wrists are 2inches + in diameter. Thick grip training also increases motor unit activation in the muscles which results in faster gains in size and strength. Purchasing a whole new set of thick grip dumbbells or a new bar would get expensive; however check out ‘Fat Gripz’ as a more feasible alternative. They simply slide over your existing bars, dumbbells and cable attachments. Try them on any exercise you want and I guarantee you it will challenge you like nothing else. Without a doubt one of the best investments I’ve ever made into my training.

3.        Vary rep tempo.
This is often an overlooked way of progressing your workout.  The most common speed of a repetition could be expressed as 2010 (2 seconds on the eccentric phase, no pause, 1 second on the concentric phase and no pause at the top) instead why don’t you try 4010 (4 seconds on the eccentric phase, no pause, 1 second on the concentric phase and no pause at the top) Or how about 6110, 2041, 2020 the possibilities are endless.  It’s a great way to shock your body and elicit some extreme DOMS! Adjusting your lifting speed like this will have a great effect on time under tension. Which some muscle groups, like the lats for example respond to greatly.

4.       Increase frequency.
If you’re training each muscle group once per week why not try and train them twice a week. This is also a fantastic way to bring up a weak or lagging muscle group you may have.

5.       Active recovery week.
Sometimes, to take a step forward we have to take a step back. High levels of intense training put huge amounts of stress on the mind and body, so taking a week away from the gym or performing a few light workouts instead will help you recharge and prepare for another block of training.

I hope this post has given you a few more ideas to try out, shock-up your own training routine and most importantly keep results coming! J