Making progress in the weight room requires change. Depending on your level of experience this may mean making changes every workout, week, or month. You may feel that the only way to make progress is to increase the amount of weight you lift at each workout. While this certainly works for short periods of time, it’s not the only or necessarily the best way.
This article provides two ways to change your workouts to ensure they are challenging and you continually make progress.
Decrease Rest Between Sets
These makes your workout more challenging and improves your fitness level so you can recover quicker and train even harder at subsequent workouts. This strategy is also effective for losing body fat since the incomplete rest periods put your body in a state so it continues to burn calories after your workout is done.
One example of how to add this to your workouts is listed below.
Week 1: Rest 2 minutes between each set
Week 2: Rest 90 seconds between each set
Week 3: Rest 60 seconds between each set
Week 4: Rest 45 seconds between each set
Increase Your Workouts Volume (Sets and Reps)
Increasing the number of sets and/or reps you perform at subsequent workouts is another way to make progress with your workouts. This strategy is effective for increasing your ability to perform more work so you can train more often. Since you are doing more work at each workout you’ll also burn more calories making it another great way to train for weight loss too.
Below is an example of how this can be implemented into your workout.
Week 1: Front Squats 3 sets of 5 reps
Week 2: Front Squats 4 sets of 5 reps
Week 3: Front Squats 5 sets of 5 reps
Week 4: Front Squats 3 sets of 5 reps
Week 1: Front Squats 3 sets of 6 reps
Week 2: Front Squats 3 sets of 7 reps
Week 3: Front Squats 3 sets of 8 reps
Week 4: Front Squats 3 sets of 6 reps
With this protocol the number of sets or reps is decreased after week 3 to minimize the potential of overtraining. After week 4 you can start a new workout at an even higher workload.
Give these methods a try and let us know how they affect your workouts and progress in the gym. Don’t implement both strategies into a single workout. Instead use them at separate workouts or during different training cycles for the best results.