Tempo Contrast Method

This is an interesting method of varying your training. You will be varying the speed of the exercise during the same set of an exercise. For example, on the barbell squat, let's say you have a weight where you can complete 10 perfect reps. On reps 1 and 2 you lower yourself slowly, taking 8 seconds, and up slowly, taking 5 seconds, then on reps 3 and 4 you move quicker, 4 seconds downs, and maybe 2 or 3 seconds up. This allows the athlete to work the muscles differently, and keeps the body responding to a new stimulus. In fact, as a beginner, before you increase your weights, try using the tempo contrast method for 3 weeks. This is a safer way to intensify your workouts as a beginner as opposed to lading the weights on. It also gives you more time to master your exercise technique. If you are doing an exercise incorrectly, it doesn't matter how heavy of a weight you are moving! Do not worry about what your friends are doing in the gym. Focus on your own progress.

Rest Periods are next when determining how to move through a work out. When using body weight exercises you can rest very little between exercises or simply perform one exercises after another in circuit style. Here are the various names given to performing more than one exercise at a time.

• Super sets - this is when you perform two exercises in a row with no rest after the first exercise. Perfect example is doing chin ups and dips. Do 10 chin ups then immediately do 15 dips. After the dips you can rest anywhere from

30 - 90 seconds. The more advanced you get, you can go non stop with no rest and go for a certain time (5 - 10 minutes non stop) or 5 sets of each non stop (this non stop training for time is a CIRCUIT, explained below) Another example would be to do dumbbell chest presses on the stability ball immediately followed by the curl - press combo.

Last example, medium grip flat bench press immediately followed by a few reps of plyo push ups.

Circuit Training - this is when you perform more than 2 exercises in a row non stop. You can do this using free weights or body weight or a combination of both. Here is a sample circuit.

3. knee tucks on stability ball - 12 reps

4. trap bar deadlift - 8 reps

7. walking lunges with body weight - 30 seconds

8. dumbbell curl - press combo - 8 reps

No doubt a circuit like that will kick your body into high gear and get your heart beating faster than a steam train! You can rest 1 - 3 minutes after a circuit and then repeat it once or twice or even more depending on your energy level as well as how long you have been training for. A circuit is more for an intermediate or advanced trainee. They are also highly beneficial in the practice room - picking all bodyweight exercises and performing them in circuit fashion helps the body get used to higher fatigue levels in the muscle. Your body then becomes better trained at performing in a higher state of fatigue. This is a key factor in tough matches where 3rd period is neck to neck - who is the better conditioned athlete?

• Straight sets - this is when you perform a set of one exercise, rest the appropriate time period, then perform the same exercise again, etc. until you complete the correct amount of sets. I like to use straight sets when I work on power & strength in order to give the central nervous system ample time to recover. Often times the first exercise of the day is going to be straight sets where you are performing max effort lifts and shooting for heavy weights and reps of 5 or 6. Make no mistake about it though, power & strength training can still be brutal and exhausting. Yes, you rest longer, but you NEED to rest after you exert yourself so intensely to move the heavy weights with proper form.

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