Most workout programmes are based on sets of 8-12 reps which is the general repetition range for muscle growth or hypertrophy. But if you find the amount you can lift over that rep range has hit a plateau you need to shake things up to pack on more muscle. The key to this is getting stronger and you do this by reducing the reps while increasing the weight. As you get comfortable with the new weight you’ll gradually be able to increase your reps and you’ll soon find you’ve worked your way off the plateau.
On the right you’ll find a low-rep total-body workout that will help you get stronger and pack on more muscle. First you’ll need to get to the weight at which you plateau when you’re doing the moves in the 8-12 rep range. Once you’ve found that drop down to a 4-6 rep range with a heavier weight. Once you’re comfortable with the heavier weight gradually move back up to the 8-12 rep range. Repeat this formula and you’ll keep getting bigger and stronger. To save time and improve your cardiovascular performance cut out your rest periods between sets and have one slightly longer rest of up to 90 seconds between each circuit.
Warm up with two 15-rep sets of each exercise at about 50 per cent of the weight you plan to lift and stretch tight muscles before you work out. Do the following circuit up to five times.
This workout was devised by personal trainer Brett Sanders of Lifesmart at The Albany. For more information go to www.lifesmart.co.uk.
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