While it is very important to be consistant in your training, it is also necessary to make changes from time to time. Sometimes those changes are with the exercises you use in your workout. You can vary the exercise, the amount of sets or repetitions. You can also make small changes, like grip, or hand spacing. A slight change in repetition speed can also make a big difference in how your muscles respond to the workout. Most of the time, I use powerful movement on the positive part of the rep, and very slow, controlled movement on the negative part. Then for a change of pace, I will move the weight more quickly, while still being sure not to use any momentum. These little variances shock the muscles into new growth so they can adapt to the unusual stimuli. I also mostly work in the 6-10 rep range, but occasionally, I will do sets of 20 reps to wake up the red, slow twitch muscle fibers for added growth. Another great muscle shocker is to change your workout volume. I am a believer in HIT, or High Intensity Training. This is where you perform short, intensive workouts to force your muscles to adapt, then you let them rest and rebuild themselves. Occasionally, I will perform longer workouts, which are still quite intense, I might add. I use these to fire up the muscles, then slowly decrease the volume when I feel the muscles need more rest and less work. I also change back and forth between full repetitions and partials. Pete Sisco is a big proponent of moving the weight through a limited range of motion for safety purposes, and also so more weight can be used for the given exercise. Although many fanatics may say you must do full range reps, it may not be necessary. You should experiment for yourself, and make your own decision. Another Pete Sisco idea is static contractions. With these, you push a very heavy weight just a couple of inches into the strongest part of your range of motion, and hold it there for anywhere from 5 to 20 seconds. They really do build strength, as I experimented with them for a couple of weeks last year. The amount of weight you eventually can handle is staggering! What I actually like doing with static contractions is to hold the weight in the contracted position for ten to twenty seconds after I have completed my actual set. I feel it really help’s to strengthen the muscles, and is easier to control than the standard partials which many HIT trainers perform at the end of their sets. Again, there are so many training variances, that there really isn’t any excuse for someone’s routine to go stale. Just do not try everything at once. Make a change here and there, and when it come’s to the advanced tips like static contractions at the end of your set, use them only on occasion. Over-training is the quickest way to put a halt to your training progress. Train smart, eat, rest and grow!

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