There's nothing worse than hammering away at the gym and not seeing results. When you first start a new training program, results can come quickly. Sometimes, after you've been following a plan for awhile the results start to level off. Here are 5 ways to responsibly spice up your workout program to help you bust through training plateaus:
1. RECOVER BETTER: The better your recovery time is spent in the hours away from the gym, the better your hours at the gym will be. Make sleep a priority, stay hydrated and keep your nutrition on point to take better advantage of recovery periods.
2. CHANGE SETS/REPS: It's common to get stuck in the same old routine of sets and repetitions at the gym. Most people tend to live in the 3 sets of 8 repetitions range. Try bumping reps up to 12-15 at a medium weight or drop reps down to 2-6 at a heavier weight. It's important to never compromise form.
3. CHANGE REP SPEED: Most people do reps at the worst possible speed: somewhere between explosive and properly slow. Try mixing up your rep speeds. Go extra slow and get more time under tension during each set or get some explosive speeds going. Exercises that lend well to higher velocity are plyometric push-ups, medicine ball throws or resisted jumps.
4. ADJUST REST TIME: Try cutting your rest times for a more cardio or metabolic effect, or increase your rest times to allow you to get more reps/sets at higher quality.
5. ADD IN ISOMETRICS: People ignore holds or isometrics in their training because they're boring. They may not be sexy but they'll help you get results. Try adding in holds during your training. Anywhere from 5-45 seconds can be beneficial.
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Tim DiFrancesco, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS served 6 seasons the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Los Angeles Lakers and is the founder of TD Athletes Edge. He is nationally renowned for his evidence-based and scientific approach to fitness, training, nutrition, and recovery for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
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