Okay, imagine this… Taking the most weight you possibly can for a single, and trying to move it as many times past that single as you could. Would you be stronger? How about taking the most weight you can do for 10 reps and try to do 20 total. Would you get better? Think about this as you continue to read…
I’ve notice over the years how lifters would always stick to a certain rep/set scheme and never change. Doing it the first time would work wonders, but then when you stick to it and don’t change…you’re stuck on a platue. It was like this for me when I did my first bench program…gained 50lbs. So I did it again…didn’t get that 50…only got 15. It shows that the body is able to adapt to what I was doing. So in time, that bench program became void. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result every time…so why do something that only worked once again after its lost its effectiveness? Well here are some techniques I came across to fix that issue.
Doug Young is credited with discovered “Overshooting Reps” during his training. This meant doing a minimum number of reps and always doing more beyond that preset number. It worked ridiculously well because the body didn’t have a chance to adapt as it was forced to push harder every time. Whenever I did 10 reps.. I would do 12 or 15….if I was to do 3 sets of 10… I would consider 10 a minimum number of reps to do for each set. It didn’t matter if you used to same weight or not…you were forced to push harder so doing the same weight with 3 sets of 10 but then adjusting weight, forcing yourself to push past 10 reps and requiring more force. As well, every set I add weight. As I was overshooting reps every set, I was also adding weight every set. This is way harder but I got strong as hell quick! Now you could do the same weight every set just as long as you overshoot reps every set and then go up in weight the next time you do the exercise. Your normal training session just got tough as fuck to do now. Just these two techinques you end up moving more weight than your normally would.
One more thing I did was add a RPF set on my final set of any movement…rest pause failure set that is. At this point, your pre-exhausted from doing the previous sets and now your about to go literally all out but in a different way on this final set. Here’s how it works; you perform as many reps as you can just short of failure then stop, rest for 15 seconds and continue, then you stop again just short of failure and rest 15 sec and continue one more time and you are done. Lets say your limit was 10 reps…that would be your minimum for the RPF set. You are pushing the maximum amount of weight you physically can until you can’t do anymore..and you’re doing them pre-exhausted. Does that mean size gains? YES. Does that mean strength gains? YES!
Another thing I also just started using was something called PRP(pre-exhausted repouts). This isn’t a warmup and doesn’t count as your normal sets (say if you were doing 3 sets of 10…this set wouldn’t count!). This is an all-out set, YES, do as many reps as you can! Don’t stop. don’t pause. Keep going until you hit failure, absolute failure both physically and mentally. Failure. Period. This increased the overall intensity of my heavier sets later and made them harder which in turn made me bigger and stronger.
ONE last thing, cycle your reps. This means every 2 weeks change up your minimum reps. Have 2 weeks where you do 10-12 reps then 2 weeks do 6-8 reps, and then 2 weeks do 12-15 reps. This keeps your body off balance and always trying to adapt to what you are doing. Do a week of 20+ reps on everything to give your body a break from what it is doing…also work active recovery while still training to get bigger and stronger.
There you have it. Ways of getting stronger without having to rip a routine out of flex magazine or following a buddies bench program that only worked the first time. This kinda upgrades the routine to the level of intensity you had when you started it. Give it a shot.