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3 Advanced Techniques To Upgrade Your Training

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When it comes to getting in great shape, the days of just walking on the treadmill are over. Fortunately, resistance training has come into vogue and is popular with almost everyone looking to build a strong and visually pleasing physique.

Eventually however, even for the most experienced individuals, normal resistance training can become not only boring, but overall ineffective.

The reason for this is because over time the body adapts to exercise. In fact, that’s the number one reason you workout in the first place, to ensure that your body adapts to stress and gets stronger and bigger or, in the case of working out for fat loss, gets smaller.

Unfortunately, the body can also adapt to the same old training methods that you use every workout. For this reason, you’ll need to begin implementing what are known as advanced techniques. These are techniques that can help you push through plateaus and make progress like never before.

In this article, I’ll describe 3 of my absolute favorite advanced techniques, explaining why they work and, of course, how to use them in your own routine.

Rest-Pause 

Rest-Pause is an advanced technique that gets its roots from what are known as drop sets. Traditionally with drop sets, you have a starting weight, lift to failure, reduce weight and repeat.

While that may seem like a great approach, you’ll have to drastically reduce the weight you’re using in order to use it correctly. Overall, you’re reducing the stimulus you’re placing on the muscle, which could be reducing the body’s response .

With Rest-Pause, you’re essentially just “taking a short break” in between sets, rather than taking a full rest period and reducing the weight you’re using.

Essentially, Rest-Pause is a very efficient method for immediately increasing the amount of weight you’re lifting for a higher number of repetitions than normal, allowing for a much larger growth response.

Here are the exact steps you’ll take to use Rest-Pause in your next workout: 

  1. Pick your exercise
  2. Pick a weight that you’ll fail with around 6-8 repetitions.
  3. Complete 1 set, working to 1 rep short of failure.
  4. Put the weight down and take around 10 deep breaths.
  5. Using the original weight, lift again to 1 rep short of failure.
  6. Repeat the breathing exercise.
  7. Using the original weight, lift again to 1 rep short of failure.

That is considered 1 Rest-Pause set. From here, you can repeat as many times as required.

Keep in mind however that Rest-Pause is extremely metabolically demanding. Therefore it is suggested that you only use this method towards the end of the workout or on the last exercise for a given muscle group.

Otherwise, Rest-Pause is an awesome technique for taking your workouts to the next level.

Reverse Pyramid Training

Building from Rest-Pause, we come to Reverse Pyramid Training (RPT), which is also another great technique that gets its roots from drop sets.

With traditional workouts, most of us start with a lightweight and progressively increase that weight as we workout. From there, we often stay around that weight and repetition range for the remainder of the exercise.

However, with Reverse Pyramid Training, you’ll essentially do the opposite. You’ll start out with a heavier weight for fewer repetitions and then decrease weight and increase repetitions as sets progress.

The main benefit of this style of exercising is largely its efficiency. With traditional training programs, you’ll work with different weight and rep ranges, but this typically happens from workout to workout. With RPT, you’ll hit multiple weight and rep ranges in a single workout.

Additionally, you’ll also promote different adaptations to training such as promoting strength, muscle building and potentially even fat loss.

Here’s how to use Reverse Pyramid Training:

  1. Pick your exercise
  2. Complete warm up sets, working up to around a 5-6 rep max weight.
  3. Complete your set for 3-4 reps.
  4. Rest 2-3 minutes.
  5. Change the weight to around your 7-9 rep max weight.
  6. Complete your set for 6-8 reps
  7. Rest 2-3 minutes
  8. Change the weight to around your 10-12 rep max
  9. Complete your set for 10+ reps.

Or

Set 1: using 5-6 rep max, complete 3-4 reps

Set 2: using 7-9 rep max, complete 6-8 reps

Set 3: using 10-12 rep max, complete 10+ reps

As you can see, you’ll use a wide range of weights and reps within a single workout, allowing you to grow significantly, while reducing the number of sets required.

Keep in mind that RPT is not easy. I suggest using this only when time is short or when you are prepared for its difficulty.

Super Sets & Giant Sets 

Supersets and giant sets are simply extensions onto normal sets by adding either an additional exercise in the case of supersets or by adding 2 or more exercises such as with giant sets.

These methods allow for two things to happen simultaneously. First, you’re improving time efficiency by completing 2 to 3 exercises in one set and, second, you’re creating very large amounts of metabolic stress, which can benefit both muscle growth and fat loss.

Here are some ways to use supersets and giant sets:

Super Sets

  1. Choose two exercises, typically of antagonist muscle groups, for example, bench press and barbell row or biceps curl and triceps pushdown.
  2. Complete 1 set for the first exercise and then complete 1 set for the second exercise with no rest between.
  3. Take a rest
  4. Repeat the above procedure.

Giant Sets

  1. Choose three exercises of the same muscle group or differing muscle groups.
  2. Complete 1 set for all three exercises with no rest in between.
  3. Rest and repeat.

As you can see, supersets and giant sets can be extremely demanding but very useful if applied correctly. I suggest first starting out with supersets and then eventually consider using giant sets.

Further, in my experience, I’ve found that supersets are great for time efficiency while giant sets lend themselves very well to fat burning workouts.

advanced training

3 Advanced Techniques To Upgrade Your Training

When regular resistance training just isn’t cutting it anymore, advanced techniques are a great way to push through a plateau or simply a way to mix up your routine for something new and exciting.

Keep in mind however that these techniques are extremely potent and very demanding. I suggest placing them closer to the ends of your workouts to avoid working too hard, too soon.

About the author

Rudy Mawer, MSc, CISSN

Rudy has a 1st class BSc in Exercise, Nutrition & Health and a Masters in Exercise & Nutrition Science from the University of Tampa. Rudy currently works as a Human Performance Researcher, Sports Nutritionist and Physique Coach. Over 7 years he has helped over 500 people around the world achieve long last physique transformations.

He now works closely with a variety of professional athletes and teams, including the NBA, USA Athletics, World Triathlon Gold Medalists, Hollywood Celebrities and IFBB Pro Bodybuilders. If you would like to get in contact or work with Rudy please contact him on social media.

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