For those individuals who have considered themselves an avid exerciser for a year or more, the following advanced training styles are for you!
Volume Training: This is a type of training meant for intermediate and advance exercisers. It involves a lot of repetitions, less weight than you would usually do, and more time. Volume training is usually done 8×8 (8 repetitions for 8 sets) or 10×10 (10 repetitions for 10 sets). You will want to choose anywhere from 5 to 6 exercises, usually the same muscle group. How this training works: Choose a weight 60-80% of your maximum capacity for lifting the weight for 10 to 12 reps. For example, if you usually lift 100 pounds for legs, only lift 60 pounds for volume training. Next, choose how much time you will be resting and stay consistent with that rest period for the entire workout (start with 60 seconds). Complete your first exercise for eight repetitions. Rest 60 seconds, then complete 8 reps again. Do this for a total of 8 rounds (completing 8 reps then resting 60 seconds). When you do this exercise again next week, keep your weight the same, but decrease your rest to 50 seconds, and the next week 40 seconds, etc. Before you go on to the next exercise, rest for 1 – 3 minutes.
- Example – Chest exercises 8×8
- o Incline Dumbbell
- o Flat Bench
- o Incline Flyes
- o Cable Flyes
Drop Sets: This type of training allows you to go beyond what is your normal stopping point – taking your muscles in to a failure state. Your entire workout could include drop sets, or you can pick one exercise out of a series to perform a drop set. How this training works is you pick a weight to start off that gets you in your normal rep range. From there drop the pin (in the weight stack) or weight and continue completing reps. Drop the weight 4 to 6 times and do as many reps as you can.
- Example: Lat pulldowns à start off with 72lb. You complete 12 reps, and cannot do another one, so you drop the pin to 60lb. and complete 10 reps, and realize you cannot do another one with good form, so you drop the pin to 48lb. and complete another 8 reps. When you cannot do any more reps, drop the pin.
Negatives: Also referred to as eccentric training, this style of training is powerful if you are looking to increase your strength. You may want to have a partner or a “spotter” to help you with this type of training as it is generally recommended that you should start with a weight 105% of your one repetition max. For example, if you lift 100lb. for a chest press, you would want to start with 105lb. It involves loading the resistance beyond your maximum and only performing the exercise in the muscle-lengthening movement – referred to as the eccentric movement.
- Example: Barbell Chest Press
- Lying on a bench, face up; lower the bar to your chest – very slowly! At least twice as much time as it usually takes you (3-6 seconds). When the bar touches your chest, your partner or spotter will provide be spotting you and the bar to the starting position. Repeat. Again, slow and steady!
Rest Pause Training: This type of training is usually geared towards those looking to increase muscle strength and size. It requires you to rest in between each rep. So, you would perform your exercise repetitions normal, except you rest for 3 to 4 seconds at the bottom of each exercise, and then continue.
- Example: Chest press
- o Bring the bar down to your chest, and then back to the top. At the bottom hold for 3 to 4 seconds and then bring back up, slowly. Repeat.
** Doing just one of the following styles, such as negatives, should not be the backbone of your workouts. Change it up daily or weekly to avoid boredom and more importantly injuries.
Photo provided by http://www.freedigitalphoto.net