Today, the Series continues with Tips Nr 4 and 5.
4. Drop sets and burnouts
This is a very advanced technique. Only use this if you have been training for some time and are able to lift the weights safely and with full control.
A very effective trick for building muscle is to increase metabolic stress – this happens when you get that deep burning in the muscle, which causes you to stop from pain. The reason for this is lactic acid– the muscle has used up all the stored energy and the end product of that is lactic acid, which activates our pain receptors in and around the muscles.
This an advanced technique to increase metabolic stress and time under tension (two scientifically proven mechanics of muscle hypertrophy).
This means that you do your number of sets and repetitions for an exercise (let’s say 3 sets of 10) and after you have finished the last set, instead of resting you just lower the weight (or drop the weight completely) and do as many repetitions as you can. Once you have reached failure, you drop the weight again and so on. You can do as many drop sets as you like. I like to incorporate these at the end of the workout, after I have done the compound movements like Deadlifts and Squats.
Here is an example:
3 sets of Reverse Lunges for 10 repetitions with 15 kg (total)
Then drop to 12 kg (total) and do 10 more repetitions
Then drop to 8-10 kg and do 10 more reps
Then lastly bodyweight 20 more reps
By the end of the last bodyweight repetitions, you reach complete muscle failure. That is the impulse needed for hypertrophy (growth of the muscle).
A burnout is similar to that, but I do this with Glute Isolation exercises mostly.
After you have completed the heavy exercises, it is much safer to burn out the muscles by doing light weight/ bodyweight exercises to reach muscle failure without causing any injury.
5. Switch it up!
The title says it all – don’t do the same exercises over and over again. The body quickly adapts to training intensity and exercises. If you always do the same exercises in the same order, you don’t have to focus as much anymore, as your brain only has to „press play“ on a „recorded video“, causing your body to burn fewer calories than before.
We always want to „shock“ the body a little bit; Change exercise order, number of repetitions, number of sets, or exercises we do.
If you are always doing regular Squats, try doing them Sumo (with a wider stance) or Narrow Squats (Legs close together, knees push out always!). Or, if you are really advanced, try them on One leg:
If you have always been doing Regular Deadlifts, try them on one leg (works the abdominal muscles too):
Try different variations of Lunges: Curtsy, Side Lunges, Reverse Lunges, Walking Lunges, Bulgarian Split Squats, Stationary Lunges are my favorite variations.
Include Step ups, especially if you want to increase glute size.
Do variations of Glute Bridges and Hip Thrusts (One legged, Bodyweight, weighted).
Incorporate HIIT in between sets/ exercises.
This is for advanced trainees only. HIIT and strength training back to back can easily cause an injury if you cannot engage your muscles properly during the exercises. However, if you are familiar with this kind of training, this is an amazing technique to burn fat and build muscle at the same time (who doesn’t want that?!).
This concludes Part 2 of this Series.
If you liked this, leave me comment below and share the knowledge with your friends. I’m sure you know some people who’d like beautiful Legs 😉