At first we have to clarify why we should use different training methods:
Our goal at every workout is to reach the supercompensation. This is the phase where our body is recovered from the Stimuli and is ready to get stressed again.
To reach the phase of supercompensation, we have to set training stimuli. If we use the same training method over and over again, our body will get used to it and we will not be able to improve our performance.
We have three possibilities to set new stimuli:
- new exercises
- heavier weights
- new training methods
In the following section I am going to show you my favourite training methods
1. Overload Method
The overload method is one of the basic methods. Your muscles will get stressed through heavy weights. Consequently you will reach the phase of supercompensation and grow your muscels.
You can use this method in two possible ways. On one hand you can choose heavier weights. On the other hand you can do more repetitions in one set of your workout.
For example: Two weeks ago, you were able to do 12 repetitions with 50 kg on the bench press. If you raise the weight to 55 kg with the same amount of repetitions or do 15 repetitions with the same weight, you will do the overload method the correct way.
Superset training means that you combine two to three exercises. After your first set of the first exercise, you instantly do the first of your second exercise and so on. After finishing the last exercise, you can have your first break.
The break should be, depending on the intensity of the workout, 60 to 120 seconds until you do the second round of your exercises.
Repeat those sets four to five times until your muscels are exhausted.
Due to the alternation between different exercises in the sets and the short breaks are supersets a perfect training method to incerease the intensity of your workouts.
You can use this training method for different muscle groups (like doing bench press and rowing in one set), but also for only one muscle group. In the second case it is called the pre-fatique principle. You are stressing your muscles with an exercise like dumbel presses on the incline bank whereupon you do barbel presses on the flat bench.
3. Pyramid Training
There are two types of pyramid training:
- the truncated pyramid
- the inverted truncated pyramid
While looking at them it gets comprehensible why this type is called ‘pyramid method’. I guess you can imagine that I am not talking about an outdoor-workout in front of a historical place at the Nile Delta.
The truncated pyramid
As seen in the picture, you raise the weight and do less repetitions after every set.
For example: You want to do four sets of bench press with this method:
- warm-up: You do one or two sets with no weight on the barbell to get your muscels warm and to lower the risk of injuries
- first set: 12 repetitions with 60 kg
- second set: 10 repetitions with 70 kg
- third set: 8 repetitions with 80 kg
- fourth set: 6 repetitions with 85 kg
The last set should be your personal maximal weight you can push/pull six times.
The inverted truncated pyramid
The inverted truncated pyramid is the opposit of the previous training method. Here you start with the heaviest weight and lower the weight but increase the repetitions after each set.
For example: four sets of bench press:
- warm-up: As always, you do one or two sets with no weight on the barbell to get your muscels warm and to lower the risk of injuries
- first set: 6 repetitions with 85 kg
- second set: 8 repetitions with 80 kg
- third set: 10 repetitions with 70 kg
- fourth set: 12 repetitions with 60 kg
At this training method you start with your personal maximal weight you can push/pull six times. Try to use weights you are able to do the amount of repetitions in each set to get the maximum out of your workout.
4. Maximum Contraction
Training with maximum contraction means that you stop the movement in an exercise, at the point of the highest tension, for two to four seconds.
For example: While doing push ups you stop the movement at the lowest point (as seen in the picture) for 2-4 seconds before pushing yourself up again.
Do this in every set until you feel the fatique in your muscels.
This training method is good for the mind-muscle-connection.
Second variant: You can do the contractions only on the last five to three repetitions. This will give you the ability to do more repetitions until you feel the fatique in your muscles.
5. Partial Repetitions
Partial Repetitions are perfect if you want to feel your muscles burn after each set.
You do them directly after your set when you are not able to perform whole repetitions anymore. Instead of executing the whole exercise, you just do them as far as you can.
For example after 10 whole biceps curls you feel that you are not able to do more complete repetitions. Now you just lower your arms until they are parallel to the floor and pull them up again.
Three to five partial repetitions at the end of each set will get your muscles burning and set new growth stimuli in your muscles.
How to integrate the training methods into your workout
It does not matter if you want to burn fat or gain more muscles. With those five training methods you will be perfectly prepared for new milestones in your workouts:
- Overload method
- Pyramid Training
- Maximum Contraction
- Partial Repetitions
If you have not used any of those methods you should definetly start with the overload method. Your muscles are only going to grow if you stress them in every workout.
The other training methods are just tools in your toolbox you can use them to set new stimuli and to get variety into your training. Keep in mind that you do not need to overcomplicate your workouts. Test the different methods and figure out wich works the best for you. The main reason for succesful workouts are not hunderts of different training methods. It is the continuous, daily repetiotion of stressing your muscles.
If you connect daily workouts with a personally good working training method, you soon will see huge results.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit.”Aristotle
Question: Which of the training methods are you using? Which do you want to try? Do you know any other training methods? Write your experineces in the comments.
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