Shake It Up

Ever hear the expression "Nothing changes if nothing changes"? If you do the same resistance routine the same way week after week, the day will come when your body will have adapted to that particular workload. In terms of weight loss, that's not a good thing. If your body isn't challenged beyond its comfort zone, you won't see continual results.

Mixing things up to prevent plateaus doesn't take much. That's why every two weeks, my program will challenge you in new ways. Varying the number of reps and sets will constantly surprise the body, which is one way to make sure your workout continues to push you forward.

Apart from changing the number of sets and reps per exercise, you can also change the way you perform a rep. During a weight-lifting exercise, your muscles contract in three distinctly different ways:

  • When you lift the weight, your muscles contract positively, or concentrically.
  • At the midpoint of the exercise, when you stop moving the weight but you're still holding it, your muscles contract statically, or isometrically.
  • When you lower the weight, your muscles contract negatively, or eccentrically.

You can adjust the way you do your reps by shifting the emphasis among the three forms of muscle contraction, which provide you with three ways to do almost anything in the weight room — and endless ways to switch around your routine to keep it fresh and motivating.

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