Monday, July 6, 2009


In order to achieve greater gains it is important to progress frequently.  When a new stimulus is placed on the muscle it has to learn to adapt. Once it adapts then the neural sequence lowered in intensity causing a plateau.  If you never change the stimulus you won't continue to see a change.  There are different ways to progress.  1.  Adding more weight, 2. Adding more reps, 3. Decreasing rest periods, 4.  Slowing the movement down, 5.  Supersetting, 6.  Mixed Bag Training, 

1. Obviously, the easiest way to increase more resistance to the muscle is to up the weight.  However, there will be a cut off to how much weight you can ultimately lift.  If you possibly can not lift any more weight then you must change up the way the weight is being used. Choose from the next 5 methods to help you progress.

2.  Add more reps to the set.  Adding another 1 or 2 reps at the end of the set will force new growth patterns and get you out of a rep.  You are shocking the system and forcing the muscle to stay on longer than it is used to.  This is a great to do if you have a trainer because they will force you do another rep even though you don't want to do it.  Your body has to fight for it which changes stimulus pattern.

3.  Take less rest between each set.  Take 6 deep breaths and then continue onto the next set. Don't waste time talking to people around you in between sets this will cause a hormone depletion and force blood out of the area.  You have to be in the "zone" without distractions.  The breath you use talking could be used for the intensity during the lift.  

4. Here is a method that is guaranteed to force new growth. Take the weight that you are used to and then go super slow both the concentric and eccentric movement.  You will be amazed at how hard this is. You want to count 6 seconds on the eccentric, and 6 seconds on the concentric.  You might have to decrease the weight for the next sets because you want to maintain good form with cheating.  Go slow to grow.

5.  Supersetting is fast way to blast the muscle.  Go from one exercise to the next without resting.  You could do a dip followed by an incline bench.  Or a latpulldown followed by a seated row.  Or you could do a dip followed by a latpulldown, or a bicep curl followed by a tricep exercise.   The key is to go back an forth without rest.

6. MIxed Bag Training this is a method that I use. I sorta made up my own ways of stimulating the muscle during different routines.  After training for over 28 years training can get a bit monotous.  What I do is throw a kinds of little nuisances into the routine. For example,  I might hold the last rep of every set for 6 to 10 seconds mid way.  I might complete a series of push ups after doing my final chest exercise.  I will constantly change up the tempo.  I might use really light weights and go extremely slow trying to make it hard.  I try to change it up just enough to stimulate new growth patterns without overtraining.  Changing it up allows me to stay focused and challenged.  Doing the same ole' thing doesn't excite me.  I believe that if I only had the choice to only do the deadlift, squat, and bench press I would have quit twenty years ago.  I need more than 3 lifts.  I need to challenge myself and to create new ways of doing it otherwise I get bored.  

Daryl Conant

tags:  fitness, muscle, testosterone, supersets, intensity, body building, gaining, protein,
deadlift, squat, bench press. Fat loss, muscular endurance

1 comment:

  1. Hi Daryl! I thought I read an article online by Vince awhile ago about muscle confusion but I'm not 100% sure it was him or Ron Kosloff or where I read about it. Correct me if I'm wrong...If you perform the same exercise for a specific muscle for a period of time (maybe a month straight) that muscle will eventually adapt to the exercise and slow your gains. You will need to confuse the muscle by routinely targeting that muscle with other exercises.
    Did you ever hear or read anything like that from Vince or Ron and could you elaborate any further on that topic??