If you’ve been training for any amount of time, you’ve quickly learned that there is no “perfect” training routine. That’s because what works well for you right now might not work as well six weeks from now. The simple fact is, you have to remember that it takes change to make gains.
That doesn’t mean you have to use a completely different training routine, and it doesn’t mean that you have to change something every time you work out. Quite the contrary… The main problem is that your muscles need to adapt to certain movements over the course of at least a few workouts before you change exercises. And sometimes you don’t even have to change the actual exercise itself, as you can use a variety of training techniques to bring on some change to make gains.
One of the easiest things to do is alternate two exercises at different workouts. For your leg workouts, for instance, you do squats as your main compound exercise. Then at your next leg workout, do leg presses. At the following leg workout, you’d go back to squats—and so on.
As another example, for your chest workout, you might go from standard bench presses to dumbbell presses, alternating those two exercises every other workout. That might seem like you’re doing basically the same movement, but they’re considerably different. Going from a barbell to dumbbells and then back to a barbell is a great approach on many exercises, including bent-over rows for back, curls for biceps, and lying extensions for triceps.
What about exercises that don’t seem to have an alternative movement you can do, such as leg extensions for the quadriceps?
There are plenty of variations and techniques you can add for more change to make gains, from slow negatives to speed reps (controlled, of course) to partial reps to pyramids and so on. One simple but effective way to add variety for new gains on one exercise is the heavy/light technique…
For example, at one leg workout, you can do leg extensions with high reps with minimal rest between, say 15-30 reps with 45 seconds of rest between sets for extreme tension time and muscle burn (which can give you a great natural hormone boost). Then at your next workout, you could do typical heavy sets with a weight that allows just 8 to 10 reps per set, and couple that with longer rests periods of about a minute or slightly more between sets.
That way you emphasize blood flow and fluid expansion at the high-rep/low-rest workout and muscle fiber thickening at the next heavier workout. It’s one of the best and easiest ways to guarantee change to make gains over two rotating workouts. And you can ensure that you’re fueled up to power through those training sessions with a pre-workout formula that can help double up on the muscle pump and intensity.
Note: For information purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.