Different ways of doing the same exercise to increase your gains!
Believe it or not. The exact same exercise can be done in many different ways to really increase its difficulty as well as intensity to help you get those extra gains. We at Richmond Crux Fitness Personal Training Studio routinely use these to really help spice things up during a set! Today we are going to explore some ways to do the exact same exercise in slightly different ways to make you feel the burn even more! All of these techniques can also increase intensity of an exercise which means more calories burnt!
- Dropset. This one is pretty forward, you basically do a certain exercise until failure, then you drop the weight down a few notches, go at it again immediately until muscle failure, then depending on how many drops you want you can continue doing that to really help increase the muscle burn and push the muscle beyond its limit. This technique is often performed as the last set of an exercise as the muscle will be, and should be, completely burnt out by the end of this. At Richmond Crux Fitness the personal trainers usually recommend 1-3 drops for a dropset for a particular exercise.
- Rest-pause. This is similar to dropset except that you do not drop the weight down but instead take a short break. How long the break should be really depends on how you feel and how heavy you are pushing. Basically you do the designated number of reps with a certain exercise, then you take a short breather and go at it again with the same weights, likely hitting a lower number of reps, then you can take another short breather and go at it again. The number of reps should be getting lower and lower until a certain point, and at the Richmond Crux Fitness personal trainers usually recommend 1-2 rests for this kind of technique. This will really push your muscles out of their comfort zone and you’ll be surprised at how many more reps you can pump out this way!
- Half-reps. While doing an exercise at full range of motion can really exercise the entirety of the muscle, working a certain exercise with just half-reps can surprisingly make the exercise more difficult. The portion of the rep used is almost always going to be the strongest portion as that works the muscle the most! This technique removes the short moments of respite at end ranges of a motion where the joint takes much of the pressure off of the muscle before your next rep. For example, this would be at the very top of a bench press where you lockout your joints. Keeping your muscle under constant tension you can bet that it is going to make them do more work!
- Slow Negative. The negative portion of the exercise, or the eccentric portion, have been found to help with the force, strength, hypertrophy, and maybe even flexibility of the muscles involved! This technique also helps you to be stricter with your form as you are not focused on pushing the weight up and lowering them in a controlled fashion. The stricter form will result in a lower risk of injuries, although your muscles might be more sore! This is another favorite technique for the personal trainers at the Richmond Crux Fitness where we both use this as an opportunity to cement good form as well as get that intensity in!
- Forced Reps. This is commonly known as spotting, is where you push past your limit and have to have another person help you a little bit to fully finish the last couple of reps. This will definitely indicate that your muscles have been pushed to its limit, and can promote muscle growth! If you can get a spotter, definitely make use of this technique to up your workout game!
- Pulsing. This is similar to half-reps but instead of half of the rep you are contracting the muscle to its maximum for the rep and then only release the contraction slightly before contracting it fully again. This method put even more stress on the muscles by keeping the tension at the highest point for even longer than the half-reps!
- Isometric hold. This can be done by having the rep being held at different moments during its normal range of motion, and usually will apply a constant tension with no respite for the muscles involved. Common weight lifting exercises that are doing this way are squats.