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Shock your system! | T nation



The Question

Even the best training programs can turn out to be boring. And if you're mentally tested, it's definitely time to "shock" the system. What do you like most?

Mark Dugdale – IFBB Pro Bodybuilder

Do less, not more.

When bodybuilders lose motivation, they often try to compensate with training volume. For example, they know that their intensity is decreasing, so they just make more sets. Ultimately, this approach is counterproductive, making them feel unmotivated and overwhelmed.

So I'm trying to go in the opposite direction and reduce the volume by using "Challenge Sets". Instead of making 3-4 sets, I'll do a few warm-up sets and then a single challenge set of moderate to heavy weight.

This is not intended as a set of exercises 4-6 repetitions until failure; Use a weight that will normally give you a solid set of 1

0 reps.

The challenge set tells you that you have only ONE shot to get as many reps as possible, so you'll get out balls and often more reps than expected. When the set is done, continue to the next exercise.

The next week comes back and tries to increase your reps for the same exercise with the same weight. This is especially useful for people who are used to 3-set workouts per exercise. When you run a single challenge set, the system is shocking. – Mark Dugdale

Christian Thibaudeau – strength coach and performance expert

Hard training is more important than following a plan. And if you lose motivation, it's harder to train hard.

Someone who trains brutally hard with a laser-like focus on a very simple plan will achieve better results than someone who trains 80% on the best man-designed plan.

The key to hard training is motivation. And the foundation of motivation is looking forward to doing what you need to do. If you start to get bored with your training, there is a good chance that your motivation will subside and your training intensity will gradually decrease without you even noticing.

What can you do if you lose motivation to exercise? I have three solutions:

1 – Do the opposite

Take a look at how you trained, and do the opposite in as many ways as you can for a week or two.

Did you do low repetitions? Do high repetitions. You used a fast pace? Use a slow pace. Was lifting more weight your goal? Try to maximize the connection between mind and muscle. Long rest intervals? Start with a faster training pace, either with shorter rest periods or with supersets or giant sets. Do you do many exercises? Do less exercises. Total body workout? Go to a body part,

You have the idea. This change will either revive your workout motivation by getting you to enjoy the gym again, or you'll crave the workout you've just done.

2 – Reading and Inspiring

Read many training articles or books by people who respect you and look for a training program / methodology that excites you.

Choose the plan you're going to "Hmm, that looks really cool!" Oddly enough, you should not choose a program that sounds the smartest or best in science – go to the program that will help you grow. Although this program does not address your direct destination directly, it does not matter. It's better to work hard, even though it's not 100% what you need. Train like a dizziness and you lose even more motivation.

3 – Do a Week of Neural Charge Training

I've written about neural charge training and how it improves the CNS recovery and work state.

Often a motivation dip can be the result of a tired CNS. So replace a normal workout week with 3-4 neural charging sessions. If your problem was a nervous system problem, I guarantee that you will find it difficult to engage with yourself before the week ends, and you want to hit the weights hard again. – Christian Thibaudeau

Mariah Heller – Trainer and gym owner

Use variety or set new goals.

There are infinite possibilities when it comes to variety, but many people do not use their options because they cling to their ways. If you are on a plateau or feeling unmotivated by a lifting program, you can use the Find other programs that are different and at the same time help you get closer to your goal.

Set new goals regularly and actively train them: Spartan races, local mini-competitions, challenges with other athletes, etc. Teaching is another way to hold themselves accountable and to give dominion to another trusted expert , Regardless of whether or not class-based training is right for you, you can easily immerse yourself in NEW and different programs when you're ready to do your research. – Mariah Heller

  Class

Chris Colucci – T Nation Forum Director

Stop saying you want to get "bigger and stronger" – it's a nebulous goal that probably will not work for you.

When you go in. Most days at the gym, and you consider what you should watch during dinner, rather than focusing on the lifting that will happen soon. You need to focus on some serious changes as soon as possible.

Get a calendar, count 12 weeks from today and place a giant X on the spot. You now have only 84 days left to reach your goal (we reach "what goal" in a second). The consequences of missing the deadline? You dismiss you in the end. If the idea of ​​it does not stand out, your ego is way too big. Grab it, buddy, nobody is so great.

Defining the timeline is a fundamental part of the basic purpose, but the stumbling block most people stumble upon is never really setting goals but moving toward general ideas. The problem with hunting for unspecified, unattainable things is that the hunt ultimately does not seem worthwhile, so you lose interest and burn out.

So, yes, about the goal. Ask every man in the gym what he's training for, and it's a safe bet that you'll hear, "I want to build up my size and strength." Do you? Do you really do that? Probably, you also study "words" at school and had "breakfast".

features. And since we've started narrowing the focus with a strict timeline of 12 weeks, the next step is choosing one of three things. You can lose fat, you can add size or you can build strength. Choose one. Just one.

With 12 weeks of training and diet, you can get yourself discontinued for the first time (who knows when), or you can put on about 10-15 pounds of decent weight (not all muscle mass), but definitely not all wobbly bits) You can increase the lift by a significant amount (if you are more of a beginner), you can increase the lift many times.

After selecting the single target, you can even narrow the focus even more to have a better idea of ​​where you are going. Do you carry 30 pounds of belly over this hidden six pack? Want to get 15 pounds on the scales and finally weigh a solid 190? Is your overhead press at 155 for months?

The final step is to choose the correct approach and then stick to it. Hundreds of exercise routines and as many diet plans mean you just have to grab and follow the right targeted program.

This almost certainly requires leaving the comfort zone instead of doing the type of diet and training you. I felt very comfortable with that, but there are the results. Make it difficult for a few months, and your body and mind will benefit from the challenge. – Chris Colucci

  Strongman Training

Michael Warren – strength trainer and performance expert

Introduction of a Strongman training phase. Move away from the poles, racks and platforms and use various tools such as hoops, stones, sandbags and barrels.

This abnormality is the reason why this type of training is suitable for mainstream athletes and hardcore lifters. The beauty of strongman training? Things are not always going according to plan. The tire does not always turn the same way. The sled does not always glide easily over the surface. The tools you use for land migration will not stop as you move through your course.

The awkwardness of these exercises builds true functional strength. They strengthen muscles that are hard to strengthen with conventional strength training. Your unpredictability will also help you develop a new level of mental strength.

There are many strongman exercises to choose from, all of which work. Here are my favorites:

  • Tire Flips: There is no strength athlete who could not benefit from this classic strongman event. It's easier to buy an old tire than most people think, and you can not beat the price: it's free!
  • Farmer's Walk: The Farmers Walk improves muscle endurance, anaerobic capacity, grip and your upper back, trapping and skew. It's also great for building hip, knee and ankle stability. You can take any uncomfortable object or use only the heaviest pair of plates or dumbbells you can find.
  • Atlas Stone Training: It's hard to argue with what strength and power training with the Atlas Stones is possible. By lifting the atlas, the body is taxed in a way that many other multi-joint movements can not match.
  • Backward Heavy Sled Drag: Reverse sled locks are great because they allow you to bang your quads to their knees. friendly way. If you really break it, every step of a reverse drag mimics terminal knee extension (TKE), a popular knee rehabilitation movement. This makes it ideal for people who are trying to get their quads strengthened and re-massaged following a knee injury. And it's great if you just need a break from stress-relieving knee-dominant exercises.
  • Overhead Keg Toss: The Keg Toss improves the explosive hip extension and the strength of the rear chain.

This kind of power is some Original Training. Athletes thrive and are revived while trying to pick up foreign objects of varying size and awkwardness. There's also a big transfer from Strongman training to the weight room, and it benefits your main lifts. – Michael Warren

Lee Boyce – strength coach and performance expert

Giving away the heavy stuff … and most weights in general.

Strength training can be repetitive if you have been there for a long time. If you've settled in a superfluous plateau, you're probably in the gym, building strength and muscle throughout the year. This often happens to reach the first plateau.

A training session where you can refine your body weight and light weight exercises can be a humbling experience that provides an equally startling boost to new achievements

If you have mentally inquired, your nervous system will take out the worst. This is often a major reason why people no longer see profits or feel like zombies in the gym. Solidly emphasizing your mobility and conditioning with fewer tools can do your body a good job and still be a great challenge. Try this as an example of a full-body workout:

  • A1. Pull-ups for maximum repetitions
  • A2. Tiger Sit-outs, 6 reps per side

5 rounds. Pause between rounds 90 seconds.

  • B1. Goblet Squat: 12 reps
  • B2. Wall mountaineer: 30 seconds
  • B3. Hamstring 2 and 1 Swiss Ball Curl

Make 4 rounds. Pause between rounds 90 seconds.

  • C1. Pushups: Max reps (heightened feet, firm grip, hands on BOSU)
  • C2. Reverse row: Max. Reps

Make 3 rounds. Pause between rounds 90 seconds.

You may not use the most advanced methods to make a profit, but you will clean your slate while getting a hell of a workout. And you probably suck half of the trains on this list. All the more reason to work on them. – Lee Boyce

Tom MacCormick – Personal Trainer, Online Coach

Change your focus.

Most of the guys I work with tend to focus on physique rather than strength. Therefore, the training volume becomes higher and higher over time. Ultimately, the training is a bit outdated in this way. When a customer begins to find his training boring, it's time to change things to regain his passion and progress.

I can do this in two ways. The choice you choose should depend on your goal and current state:

  1. Pure Power Work
  2. Modified Strongman Circuits

When a customer has remained relatively meager during a mass gain phase, and the medium term goal is to add more muscle, my preference is force work.

At the end of their mass, they will normally use higher reps (12-plus) and / or amplifiers like drop sets, supersets, and so on. Doing exactly the opposite is a nice change and makes it perfect for another mass block of training.

Training for strength in the range of 1-5 reps gives them a focus shift. In many cases, change is as good as a break, and this new stimulus revives it. As a result, they can also pursue some performance goals. B. new squats, presses and deadlifts with 3 or 5 repetitions.

Having built a lot of muscle during their volume, they can now show this new power. Achieving a PR is always a confidence boost and an additional motivation.

The other advantage of this lower volume force phase is that they are now being "re-sensitized" to the benefits of higher volume training. They also gained strength so they can do more reps. So, when we return to traditional bodybuilding training, they get great results.

The second option (strongman circuits) is fantastic if you have gained a bit too much body fat during most of the time. This happens from time to time to the best of us. In general, it sneaks up on you. You feel that you are looking good, full and pumped full, then bam and you wake up one day chubby.

Obviously this did not happen overnight, but our minds can play tricks on us. If you are a little fluffy in the end, a quick shift is a good psychological boost. If you lose a few pounds of body fat quickly, you may look like someone lifting them up, not like someone who has seen too many all-you-can-eat buffets.

Exercise in this case in a way that promotes retention of the muscles and is also energy intensive. A mini cut in the range of 2 to 6 weeks is probably all you need to lose some fat and put you back in the position to effectively build muscle. When it comes to leaning fast, using modified Strongman training is my favorite. The training is different from the normal fitness work to create a novelty factor. This novelty brings motivation. It is also incredibly effective. Not only do you keep your muscles, they also improve your conditioning and lose fat fast. Farmers Walk: 4 x 30 meters

  • A2. Log Push Press: 4 x 6-8
  • A3. Hand-over-hand sleigh train: 4 x 20 meters
  • A4. Reverse sleigh train: 4 x 30 meters
  • – Tom MacCormick


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