2016 is just about to come to a close, and when it comes to your training program you have three choices on how to finish out the year: (1) Use the excuse that the holidays are here so it’s time to back off a bit; (2) Just keep doing what you always do; or (3) finish off with a BANG — and maybe some extra muscle! So, if you are happy to walk, or even limp to the “finish line,” then this article is not for you…BUT, if you are ready to all-out sprint, then read on and learn about 6 ways to finish the year off strong!
While I normally recommend that high-intensity techniques be used sparingly, it is sometimes beneficial (for short periods) to truly exploit them in order to shock your muscles into new growth! Utilize such techniques as forced reps, drop sets, supersets, rest pause sets, forced negatives, and others a bit more often before 2016 is a memory!
Most people train anywhere from 3 to 5 days per week, which is smart, as the body does need off days to recover and refresh. However, on occasion you can push your body to the limit by hitting the gym daily! For 2-3 straight weeks, try training just one muscle group per day and pushing it much harder than normal. If you decide to give this a shot, please note that the workouts should take no longer than about 30-45 minutes.
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3) Change Everything
One of the best ways to instantly spur on new growth in a short period is to literally turn your program upside down. If you have been training with lower reps, try higher reps. Are you a low-volume trainer? Try high volume. Change up your body part split. Move your reps faster or slower. Add in some exercises you have never tried. There are so many ways to revamp your regimen and shock your system before 2016 ends!
Sometimes something as simple as adding in some extra daily protein can ignite new growth. Try consuming an extra 10 grams of protein per meal, or fitting in an extra protein drink (containing about 50 grams) during the day. When I feel like I am stagnating, I often find that drinking a whey/casein shake in the middle of the night gets things moving in the right direction again.
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5) Go Basic
There is no doubt that training with cables and machines can be both effective and fun, but every experienced lifter will tell you that nothing builds more muscle than the basic, free-weight compound lifts.You want to really challenge yourself before 2016 ends? Try training exclusively with the most basic, and brutal (squats, deadlifts, bench presses, bent rows, etc) BB and DB exercises until it’s time to ring in the New Year.
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6) Get Coached
In this day and age, even the most elite athletes have coaches – in every single sport. If you don’t already use one, why not take advantage of the expertise, experience and knowledge of a quality personal trainer/coach? Finish off 2016 with the most unique and intense workouts of your life with a qualified coach guiding your every step, and pushing you far harder than you ever have before!