I frequently get people coming up to me and say they are doing everything they can to reach their goal but their body just does not seem to respond. They then seem to blame it on genetics! WRONG! You could see this as an extension from my Breaking Through Training Plateaus article but it is a little different. What most people get wrong is they begin to train inside their comfort zones, they train the muscles they like and neglect anything else. They stay on the same weight and same intensity and try nothing new. So firstly get out of your comfort zone, you want to be able to feel the muscle pain, you want to sweat. This is how you progress. Alongside this, here’s what the science says about the simple ways changing your training style could benefit you greatly. So here we go…
Hather et al (1991) found that the short term effects of eccentric training were superior to that of concentric training. They also found that optimal hypertrophy in response to weight training was not attained unless the eccentric muscle movement was performed. So what does this mean? Simply slow down your conrtactions on the way down and grow some more muscle! This is basically the easiest thing you can do within the exact same training plan as you were doing.
Gibala et al (2006) found that interval training provided the same results as continuous (long distance) training. This shows that you can have the same benefits with a shorter period of training simply be increasing the intensity. So grab the exact same benefits of training but just in a completly shorter period of time. So there you go, the ‘I have no time’ excuse goes straight out of the window.
The strength training and anatomy book by Delavier & Gundill suggest that supersets save a lot of time, as you are putting two exercises into one, allowing you to train beyond failure thus increasing your strength and muscle endurance. BOOM, saving you time again! Plus while being in the hypertrophy range we are also pushing the muscles into an endurance zone meaning they wont adapt as quick making them change more and quicker.
Delavier & Gundill also suggest that the beginning of a pyramid set is good for muscle endurance due to the light weights and high repetitions and good for hypertrophy when the weight is starting to increase. Thank me later… The Pyramid Set technique takes you through a lot of different muscles zones such as endurance, hypertrophy and strength. So you are working your muscles at a higher intensity for a shorter period of time but gaining so much more!
I hope this helps you save time and helps you reach your goals!