Let's face it even if you love lifting as much as me it can still get a little dull once in a while. Even with great training partners (Rut, J.R. Doug, Tim) you can hit plateaus. Joe Weider has created principles to help you with breaking barriers and making it more interesting. There are many different principles those Amateurs all the way to the top of the pro ranking use. You may be using Principles and not even know it. Here are some Principles you can use to either add a little flare in your workout or to help you get over that barrier.
Giant Setting: This consists of 4 to 5 movements for one body part all done one after another. For instance a killer giant set for chest could look like this.
- Bench Press
- Incline Press
- Cable Crossovers
Pre-Exhaustion Sets: This can be used if you are not getting the pump or if another secondary muscle is failing before your target muscle is. Hitting that muscle directly before you start a basic movement can do this. Again here is an example for chest.
- Flat-bench flyes and then
- Bench Press
Descending Sets: This is done by starting with the heaviest weight you can use for at least 8 reps (or more) and once you fail you drop the weight and get a few more reps and then again and even drop the weight again. This is commonly done on the standing calve raises. I generally start with 400lbs get 12 reps, drop the weight to around 350 get around 8 more, drop the weight again to about 300 and do it until I fail. This should be done with no rest when dropping the weight. After you did a few weight drops and failed after the third drop, take about 2-minute break and go at it again.
Burns: This is a great way to break past barriers if you have no partner. This can be done by dropping the weight after you have came close to failure, to weight in which you can handle for around 20 or so reps. Rep it out to break through your barriers. This should be done on you last set of that particular exercise.
Partial Reps: Performed when you have came close to failure but can still get about half the movement in. Do not perform to many of these for these can cause injury. Perform about 3 of these at the end of the set or until you can no longer move the bar. Only do these with a partner.
Forced Reps: This is done after you have failed on a set and your training partner helps you move the weight as you just go through the motions trying to do it. This should be done only after you have failed completely and can not get another on your own. This should be done after you have done the partial reps and failed. Perform no more than 3 of these.
A good hard set can look like this. Lets us use Bench Press as an example again. Let's say I am using 250lbs for 8 reps. I will get the 8 and as I start to fail I begin to press the bar up as far as I can (partial reps) until I totally fail. After that I have my partner move the weight up for me as I go through the movement.