Trainees often come up to me in the gym to ask questions about various training techniques used by the so-called champs." In this fitFLEX article, I am going to discuss
four of the training systems that I believe will be of use - good use - in your training regimen.
The "positive" aspect of any repetition occurs as the weight is lifted and the muscle shortens or contracts. However many bodybuilders overlook the
developmental benefits of the "negative" half of the repetition - that is, the half of the rep that occurs as the weight is lowered and the muscle elongates. All too often
we tend to "drop" the weight rather than resist it By forcing yourself to "hold" the weight as you lower it, you will bring a greater amount of resistance (work) to bear
on the muscle being trained. Just remember the times you had to hold a heavy object for a while. Remember what you would say: 'Hey, this thing is getting heavy!" By slowing
down the weight as you lower it, you will make the weight heavy and your muscles will grow.
This is a concept of training in which you do several sets of a single exercise. The set progression starts with a light weight and works up in weight
to your maximum set of] to 3 reps. Then you work back down, doing more sets with less weight and more reps. The technique follows the idea of a pyramid: up one side using
heavy sets and down the other side doing lighter sets. The usual pyramid takes anywhere from 8 to 10 sets. This system is used when you employ at least one exercise and not
more than two per bodypart only twice per week. It will build mass and power and will really exhaust the muscles. I suggest you try these sets for power movements like bench
presses, squats, press behind neck and bent-over barbell rows.
Using this method you start with a heavy weight, execute the set to failure, then without resting reduce the weight and repeat. You will continue lowering
the weight and doing additional sets until the muscle is totally trashed. Larry Scott made this system popular with his 'down the rack" dumbell presses. He would start with
the 90-pounders doing 8 to 10 reps, then go down the rack, dropping 10 pounds per set until he could barely do 6 to 8 reps with the 20s. Drop setting is the ultimate training
technique to use to muscularize your body. You will be able to use this system with great ease on selectorized equipment also. It is so easy: Just change the weight by pulling
the pin, and bingo!
In this system you perform two different exercises for the same bodypart without resting. By using two exercises back and forth without stopping in between,
you will work the muscle from different angles and will develop that muscle more completely. Also, in terms of intensity, you will actually be doing about twice the amount
of work in the same time period. I recommend that you superset a basic movement such as barbell bench presses with an isolation movement such as dumbell flyes. Other examples
might be supersets consisting of full squats with leg extensions, presses behind the neck with dumbell lateral raises, and barbell curls with dumbell incline curls. It is best
to start with the basic movement and the heaviest weight and finish the superset with the lighter shaping movement. Finally, I suggest you do 3 to 5 supersets maximum for any
one bodypart in any given training session.