There's no denying the health benefits of working out. You can reduce your risk for any number of ailments, improve your quality of life, and generally look and feel better by committing to a workout program. But there's also no denying that working out constantly can get a little stale. Sure, it's great and all, but a little variety can go a long way. Plus, the body gets accustomed to certain things, so in order to continue to see results it's necessary to boost your intensity. How best to do that? Find out with our guide to blasting past your max and breaking new ground called Going Ham: Seven Ways To Level Up Your Workout!
1. Be Antagonistic: By now, super sets are nothing new. Any workout warrior has at least heard the concept of working two body parts in one workout. But there are different ways to go about it, and one way is to work antagonistic muscles. For example, chest and back or biceps and triceps. These muscles are push/pull combos, and doing both in one workout can give you an incredible pump in a short amount of time.
2. Be Complimentary: Getting wild and going ham in the gym isn't just about antagonistic super sets. You can be complimentary, too, and work out muscles that are recruited for similar exercises, like chest and triceps. Try hitting the incline bench press for four sets then doing skull crushers for three. Your tricepts will be blasted!
3. Work the Circuit: Instead of doing all of your sets for one exercise and then moving to sets of another (i.e. four military presses then four lateral raises) try doing a circuit for your body part of choice. Move quickly between presses, raises, rows, and shrugs For one set a piece before going ham all over again and starting at the beginning!
4. Try an Interval: Especially great for cardio, intervals are all about varying your intensity while constantly staying in motion. Imagine jogging for forty-five seconds, then running for thirty, and then sprinting all out for ten, and then repeating it again for, say, five reps per "set." We guarantee you'll only be able to go ham for so long as you push to level up your workout.
5. Super Burn Out!: You may have heard of high rep/low weight burnout sets, but what about super burn outs or so-called "century" sets? They're called century sets because the goal is 100 straight reps. Try putting only twenty percent of your max on the bench and repping it 100 times. It's an incredibly deep burn and it hits all of your muscles fibers. Be warned though: too many burn-outs can decrease your mass.
6. Build a Pyramid: The Egyptians went ham with architecture, you can go ham with similar ideas and pyramid your weight. Try adding weight for each of your sets while decreasing the reps. A popular formula is a 12-10-8-6 pyramid. Just make sure your bring the muscle to failure on each set!
7. Drop It Like It's Hot!: The opposite of the pyramid, witness the drop set and its crazy ham-going insanity! Start with 75 percent of your max, rep to failure, then drop it down to 50, rep to failure, then 25. By the end, you'll be destroyed and hungry to level-up next time!