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What are the different systems of resistance training to break plateau?

These systems differ in the combinations of sets, repetitions, range of motion and resistance applied.

1. Super sets - Supersetting involves doing two exercises with no rest in between. There are a number of different types of supersets.

Same muscle group Supersetting -Do two different exercises that work the same body part, e.g. incline curls then barbell curls.

Isolation/Compound Supersetting -Do a set of an isolation exercise then a set of a compound exercise, e.g. dumbbell flyes then bench press.

Antagonistic Supersetting -Do a set of an exercise for one body part then immediately do a set of an exercise for the antagonistic body part, e.g. lat pull then barbell bench press.

2. Rep Targeting sets - Set a target of a certain amount of reps and get that target of reps no matter how many sets it takes you to get there.

3. Pre-exhaustion technique - Do a set of an exercise for an assisting muscle, then, with no rest, do a compound movement for it, e.g. triceps push down then barbell bench press. This fatigues the assisting muscle then concentrates the target muscle.

4. Giant sets - Doing several (Generally-3-4) exercises for one body part in a row without resting in between exercises is giant sets, e.g. for chest muscles; giant sets would be  decline flyes, pec-dec,bench-press(db) and then push ups. You can do the same exercise more than once within the giant set as well.

5. Drop sets/ Descending Sets – Drop sets is discovered by Henry Atkins in 1947. As a basic rule-of-thumb, reduce the weight around 10% with each drop. Another useful way to do drop sets is to pull 45 pound plates off if you're doing an exercise where several are being used (e.g. squats). It is also possible to load the bar with smaller plates to reduce the amount of weight dropped. This is one of the most time/energy efficient ways to train, especially if doing an abbreviated or maintenance program.

 This can be done as double-drop (reduce the weight once), triple-drop (reduce the weight twice), or down-the-rack (use every consecutive set of dumbbells down a rack) sets.

6. Eccentric/negative training –This resistance training technique focuses on negative /eccentric training. Use about 10% heavier than your 1 RM. Use a spotter to give you a lot of help with the positive then lower the weight slowly on your own. Each negative rep should take about six to ten seconds to lower.  

7. Partials repetition - This is simply moving the weight through a partial range of motion (usually, but not necessarily, the strongest range of motion of the exercise, e.g. the top 6 inches of the bench press). This allows much more weight to be used and concentrate only on target muscles. If you use a lot of partial movements, it is very important to stretch after each set.

8. Rest-Pause Training - This is an advanced technique that allows you to get more reps with the same weight.

Do a set to failure.

Rest for 5 to 10 seconds then do a few more reps with the same weight.

Do this once or a few times depending on your energy levels and how far you wish to push. With this technique you can take a weight you can only do for three reps and do a set of six or more reps with it.


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Hello, I am Mayur Deshpande USA(ACSM & ACE) certified personal fitness trainer, Qci certified yoga trainer blogger and elite traveler from Mumbai, India. People often ask me why Fitnesssmith, Just as we have goldsmith who makes articles of gold, in identical fashion, I Fitnesssmith who develops fitness in you as a lifestyle.