One misconception is that exercises need to be constantly changed to get some type of training effect. If you know what you are doing you can use the same exercises year round and get awesome results. Here’s what I mean.
In any exercise, variables such as sets, rest, tempo, load, and repetitions can be all manipulated to constantly challenge the individual to make specific gains. An individual looking to get increase muscle mass in their chest might do the following.
A weight he can handle for 8 to 10 repetitions, rest periods of 1 minute and 30 seconds, for 5 to 8 sets and a tempo of 4 seconds on the eccentric, 2 seconds isometric, and explode on the concentric phase of the lift. The key with increasing muscle mass is the time under tension and going to volitional failure.
This can be done with any exercise, and can the variables can be manipulated to elicit specific adaptions.
So the next time someone drops some ‘broscience” telling you to switch out exercises you know better.
One last thought. Here is how to do it WRONG. Do the above… but never change the variables. I know someone that has been doing the same exercise for the last ten years of his life. But has hit a major plateau in this training. He has not gotten any stronger or bigger. If you do the SAME THING, same reps, sets, weights, tempo and rest all the time you will eventually stop making gains.
It takes time for your body to get good at a movement. So don’t freak out if you have been doing the same exercises for the last few months. Just change the variables and you will be just fine.
Hope that helps.
Charles Trinh, MS, PES, CSCS, ACSM-cPT
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Charles has dedicated more than 14 years in the field of exercise science and performance enhancement. His extensive background in human performance and sports medicine enable him to develop scientifically sound fitness programs for individuals looking to get healthy, and up to high performance athletes. Charles has also done extensive work with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (former state director) and American College of Sports Medicine in providing continuing education units to personal trainers, strength coaches, physical therapist, athletic trainers and Medical Doctors. With his extensive training and experience, Charles has helped countless individuals reach their health and performance goals.