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Reboot Your Routine

Looking to revamp and reboot your workout routine? It might be as simple as changing up your rep scheme! Check out these rep variations for added intensity and variability!

Solution 1: Drop Sets

First at bat – drop sets. Typically, you might be doing 3 sets of 12, 4 sets of 10, etc. Instead, kick things up a notch by doing drop sets! Drop sets are when you complete sets of an exercise to failure or just before failure. Then you immediately drop the weight by 5-10 lbs. and continue for some more reps. Drop sets are great if you’re looking challenge your body and build some muscle.

Solution 2: Pyramid Sets 

Option two is something called a pyramid set. This is where you’ll progressively increase the weight you use until you reach the “top” of the pyramid. Once you do, you’ll progressively drop the weight again. For example, a pyramid scheme would look like:

Set 1: 12 reps, 15 lbs.

Set 2: 10 reps, 20 lbs.

Set 3: 8 reps, 22.5 lbs.

Set 4: 10 reps, 20 lbs.

Set 5: 12 reps, 15 lbs.

You can use this rep scheme for almost every exercise! Squats, rows, bicep curls, you name it!

Solution 3: Tempo

A surefire way to increase the intensity of your workouts? Tempo training. Let’s say that you’re on the lat pulldown machine. When you pull the bar toward your chest, you slow things down a bit and lower the weight for a count of 4 seconds. Then you return to starting position for a count of 2 seconds. You continue this format until you complete the number of reps you want to hit. Tempo training works because it increases you time under tension, often referred to TUT. By increasing TUT, you make your muscles work harder with a lighter weight. But be warned! You might need to choose a weight lower than you normally do – this strategy is killer!


Written by GUADS staff member Angelina with contributions from muscleandfitness.com and t-nation.com

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