Bored of The Same Old Reps? Try This!
Is there a perfect food? Can you think of one song, and only one, that you could label as your favorite?
Chances are you probably can’t, and that’s perfectly okay. Good luck asking me what my favorite Beatles song is, and I’ll struggle to pick one comic book movie to watch above all others. Like I said, there’s nothing wrong with that as variety is the spice of life. Now you may be wondering what this has to do with your training. And my answer is quite simple- everything!
Your performance in the gym is all dependent on your reps. Whatever you’re trying to achieve is dependent on the repetitions that you perform in the gym. Reps can be as low as a single (1 repetition) or as high as 30 reps. Different reps result is a specific adaptation and this is where most people screw up.
Most gym rats live in the 8-10 rep range, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as you test other waters. Staying in that range for too long can lead to stagnation, plateaus, and boredom. I constantly meet clients who are frustrated at the lack of gains but their workouts are all relatively the same. So I offer a solution to the mases.
One thing you can do is what we call “movement and a half.” Simply what you do is extend the time period that it takes to do one rep. It’s quite simple in theory but it makes your workout pretty brutal. You complete one full rep and then do an additional half rep – that makes one full rep. Here’s a layout using dumbbell hammer curl with a 4-0-1-1 tempo.
-Lower the dumbbells for a 4 second count
-Immediately curl the weight up in one second
-Squeeze at the top for one second
-Lower the weight for a 4 second count
-Raise the weight up till your forearm is straight and your elbow forms a 90 degree angle.
-Lower the weight to complete the rep
What happens here is a two – fold approach: in one respect we increase the time under tension (TUT). Ideally, to change your body in terms of gaining muscle mass or losing bodyfat, each set should take between 40 and 70 seconds. When most clients do a set of 10 reps it sometimes takes 10 seconds because of how fast they move the weight. Although you think you do the right amount of work you end up hampering any gains.
You also stress different muscles. Performing this technique in the back squat recruits a specific muscle that makes up your quadriceps; this muscle helps stabilize the knee can help prevent knee injuries.
This is a good way to simulate your muscles in a different way while giving your workouts some variety. You’ll also be amazed at the level of concentration that you have during a workouts. You’ll never look at 8-10 reps the same way again!