Want to look forward to your next workout? Use simple ways to spice up strength training and turn it into a test of strength.
The team of authors
One more day, one more workout. You have done this thousand, maybe even tens of thousands of times. And let’s be honest, over time, strength training becomes a boring routine. Of course, from time to time you change your split, shake up your exercises and take drastic measures to get your motivation back. But nothing human is alien to you.
What if there was an easy way to turn workouts upside down and make them interesting and, more importantly, more productive again? Here are seven “thematic workouts” that will help you with this!
Race against time
If you are not very different from most, it takes you about an hour to train each muscle group. When it comes to legs or back, the obligatory program can last for an hour and a half. On the next workout, shorten the intervals between sets. Instead of relaxing, chatting, wandering around and wasting time, keep working.
If you usually work your chest, shoulders, or arms in an hour, try to do it in 30 minutes. If it takes 90 minutes to get to your feet and back, this time try to get past 60. No, you won’t be able to pick up your usual working weight in all exercises, but you will get one of the best pumps of your life. And as a bonus, burn more fat in the process!
In any exercise, you can set an ambitious goal in the form of a certain number of repetitions. The trick here is to pick a quantity outside of your comfort zone and then complete as many sets as it takes to achieve your goal.
Let’s say your goal is 50 pull-ups. In the first approach, you can pull up 10-12 times. When you get a little tired, the figure will drop to 6-8 pull-ups. Towards the end, you will have to do your best to complete several sets of 2-3 reps and get to fifty dollars.
Another plan: 50 reps in squats or bench press with 60% of the one-time maximum. Do as many approaches as necessary to meet the standard.
On all sets, stop 1-2 reps to failure. Don’t be afraid to use rubber bands or other gadgets, or to reduce weight. Reduce rest periods to a minute, no more.
10 to 10
Once upon a time, the “10 to 10” scheme was held in high esteem by bodybuilders. It’s time to get her back to the gyms.
Choose one exercise for one part of your body – it could be a bench press, squats, bent-over barbell rows, or an army press. Hang the pancakes so as not to kill the muscles in 10 repetitions, but make sure that it is not too easy. Use this weight in all ten sets.
Limit rest to one minute between the first sets. Then, when fatigue builds up, you can stretch the pauses a little. Because of the cumulative effect of all these reps and sets, muscle soreness is guaranteed, so don’t plan on loading that muscle group on the same day yet.
Unusual personal best
When we mention personal bests, most of us immediately think of the classic powerlifting three: bench press, squat and deadlift. The question is, why limit yourself? Why not set a personal best for biceps barbell curls, leg curls, or even pinching in a butterfly (peck) machine?
Of course, this is not an everyday challenge, and we are not talking about a real “one-time” record. Confident 2-3 reps with unfamiliar tonnage is a good goal. Prioritize it and do the exercise first when you are fresh and ready to put out maximum power. Just be sure to warm up well and do not sacrifice technique for the sake of new records.
Have you ever tried planning a workout around one piece of equipment? You will have to smash your head a little, but you will succeed. And if you want to use high-volume training in different exercises, throw off a couple of pancakes and add the number of reps.
Here are some guidelines for barbell training (no other equipment). See how they suit you:
- Bench press
- Bench press lying on a bench with a positive incline
- Bench press lying on a bench with a negative incline
- Bent-over barbell row
- Barbell Shrugs
- Army press standing
- Vertical rod rod
- Barbell Chest Squat
- Straight Legged Barbell Deadlift
- Barbell Walking Lunges
- Lifting the bar for biceps
- Scott Bench EZ Barbell Curl
- Reverse Grip Barbell Curl
- French bench press
- Bench press with a narrow grip
- French Incline Barbell Press
Some of us prefer dumbbells because they are more versatile. You can do exercises that will not do with a bar, for example, lifts hand in hand, the reduction of the hands or the “hammer”. You can also work each side separately in exercises such as dumbbell rows, one-handed dumbbell presses, overhead dumbbell extensions, and concentrated bends.
As with the barbell, get creative. Try movements you’ve never done before, such as dumbbell deadlifts or squats. By analogy with a barbell, work exclusively with dumbbells throughout your workout.
Combo sets only
Under normal circumstances, you would use combined sets for a couple of exercises, no more. Unlike classic supersets, which target muscle antagonists, in combined sets, both exercises work on the same muscle group. The intensity goes off scale as a result, but sometimes this is just what is missing.
Try the suggested combo sets to boost the pace of your workout and shock your muscle group. Or mix them up and see which option suits you best.
- Bench press and push-ups
- Machine Reduction and Machine Press
- Positive Incline Dumbbell Reduction and Incline Dumbbell Press
- Bench press on a bench with a positive incline and reduction of arms in a crossover
- Straightening of feet in the simulator, and leg press
- Barbell Chest Squats and Barbell Squats
- Leg curls while lying in the simulator and stand on straight legs
- Hack Squats and Barbell Walking Lunges
- Wide Grip Pull-ups and Rows
- Bent-over Row and Upper Block Row
- Pullover with dumbbells lying on a bench and pull on the lower block
- Row of the upper block to the chest and Row of the T-bar with both arms in an incline
- Deadlift and Row of the upper block to the chest
There is no excuse for a bad workout!
Make one of these challenges part of your workout, or save it for a rainy day when there is no motivation for a normal workout. Then you will be pleased with this pleasant muscle pain!