4 Ways to Jazz Up Strength Training Routines

Way back in the day I had a crush on this one girl. A buddy of mine told me to tell her “she was a beautiful and unique snowflake.” Give me a bit of a break- I was in fourth grade. Needless to say, I didn’t believe the line would work and who would have thought that my buddy’s line would have helped in my career twenty years later?

Strength training routines are built around two concepts: the main lift and what we call the accessory or supplemental work. This is where the accessory work comes into play as the “snowflake” concept – everyone has a different need in their training. Trouble locking out the bench press means that you need work on your triceps. If you can’t get the bar past your knees in the deadlift without the bar slipping, then you need to work on your grip. You get the point.

Istvan Csak/Shutterstock

However, we’re all human and sometimes we can benefit from some variety. Here’s a few ways you can spice up your strength training program.

  1. Superset

                Supersets is your base level form of a circuit training workout. Simply take two moves and pair them together. On bench day, you could combine dips with chin ups. Or, on a day in which you knock out a full squat snatch, you can pair up your heavy snatch pull with an overhead squat. Supersets simply allow you to do more work in less time and give you a nice “conditioning” effect to your training.

  1. Jump Rope

                When I have a full schedule, I need to get my training in within a short amount of time. That means I need to knock out my accessory work while keeping my conditioning up. A simple way to do that is to just go through the accessory work while jump roping in between. Here’s an example:

A1. Good Morning, 4 x 8, 4-0-1-1

Jump rope for 30 seconds

A2. Pull Up, 4 x 10, 3-0-1-1

Jump rope for 30 seconds

A3. Leg Curl, 4 x 8, 5-0-1-1

Jump rope for 30 seconds

 

  1. Kettlebell Work

                I didn’t come up with this concept myself, so I have to give credit to Dan John. Simply pair your movement with a kettlebell swing. The swing is a great way to increase your metabolism as well as to help your hips produce a lot of power. Deadlifts, squats, and Olympic lifts are all built around the hips (even the bench and overhead press as well) the kettlebell swing gives a great 1-2 punch. Here’s how a workout would look:

A1. Deadstop Deadlift – 5 x 8, 3-1-1-1

A2. Kettlebell Swing – 5 x 20, explosive

 

  1. High Rep Work

                Do you worship that burning sensation that comes from a grueling workout? Love the pain that you have to endure to get through a tough set? Than finishing your workout with some high rep work is a great way to induce some gains fast – especially if you’ve been shying away from doing higher reps. All you need to do is to ensure that the high rep work won’t interfere with your strength training. After all, a 20 rep squat is not called a “widow maker” for nothing.

So what are you waiting for? Pick your method of choice and kickstart some fun into that strength training program!

 

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