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Every now and then you catch yourself stuck in the same routine and your workout starts to get a little boring. So here are a few ideas that you can use from time to time just to spice up your workout. Give them a try, and I’m sure you’ll find some new excitement to your workout routine.
Using Full and Partial Reps!
To encourage new muscle growth, it is important to vary each workout from week to week. This is because the body quickly becomes accustomed to the same old exercises and number of reps. If you are using the same methods every week, eventually the body will hit a wall and stop developing. It is good practice to use different exercises and change the number of reps. This keeps the body guessing and the muscles burning. It will also keep the training intense, enjoyable and your motivation levels high.
Introducing partial range reps into your workout alongside full range of motion reps, can increase your training options and mix things up even further. Using sets that incorporate a combination of full and partial reps is a great way to stimulate muscle growth. The addition of a partial rep after/before a full range rep, keeps certain parts of the muscle group under tension for longer periods. This fatigues the muscle fibres in a different way and takes the standard exercise to a whole new dimension.
The two most popular variations of the partial rep are half reps and quarter reps. Full and partial reps are particularly effective with any pressing or curling exercise. However, they are also popular with squats and deadlifts. This exercise will give a fantastic pump compared to the normal exercise. It will also assist in overcoming any sticking points or plateaus. As always, form should be strict and controlled with a slight pause after every contraction.
The number of sets should be 3 to 4 but the number of target reps is down to personal preference. This offers up even more opportunities for variation. Most people will add more weight after each set or keep the same weight but increase the number of reps. In short, increase the workload or keep the muscle under tension for longer. In addition, there is also the option of using just the one set to failure. This is particularly effective as a good finisher to your training session.
Full and partial reps used together, will increase your options where varying your workout is concerned. However, they are also highly effective at increasing strength and overcoming weak areas. The combination of a full and partial range of motion gives a pump like no other. It is important to remember that partial reps should be used sparingly and certainly not on every exercise or in every single workout. It is a tool to keep in your locker and use on an occasional basis to stimulate muscle growth.
You’ve probably heard of supersets, where you do two exercise consecutively without resting in between. Have you ever tried doing three different exercises? This works extremely well with bicep exercises. The benefit to doing a triset with a bicep workout, is it allows you to hit the bicep really hard in three different ways. Here’s an example of a bicep triset: standing barbell curls, hammer curls, reverse barbell curls. You’ll also notice in this sequence that you have to change your grip with each set of the triset. This is the best way to utilize a triset. Here’s another example of a triset with triceps: straight bar cable push downs, rope cable push downs, reverse cable pushdowns. Again, the key here is to change the grip on each exercise. Give these a try, and I’m sure you’ll feel a new pump in whatever body part you utilize them with!
Change Your Split!
Have you been following the same split routine for too long? Has your split routine consisted of chest and triceps, back and biceps, or something similar for several months? Try reversing your split or doing a 5 day split instead of a 3 day split. Do chest and biceps, back and triceps just to mix it up a little.
These are just a few basic ideas, but its always a good idea to mix up your routine on a continual basis. That way you can keep your body guessing and growing to adapt to the changes in stress that you place on your muscles.