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How To: Add Resistance To Your Workout

More and more people are venturing into the weight room and adding resistance training to their workout programs. There are many fun and challenging techniques to incorporate.

Whether you are relatively new to weights or a seasoned lifter, these techniques are great for aesthetic results and can add variety and enjoyment to your programs. They are a great way to break out of the monotony of doing straight sets every day.

Here are three techniques that I not only enjoy myself, but incorporate into my clients’ programs, as well:

1. Pyramids

This is one of my favorite ways to begin a workout: Pyramid training means starting with a lighter weight and performing the exercise for a high number of reps. In each subsequent set, the weight increases while the number of reps being performed decreases. These sets can also be performed in reverse, beginning with a heavy weight and lower number of repetitions for the first set. For each subsequent set here, the weight would decrease, while the number of repetitions being performed would increase.

2. Drop Sets

Basically, “drop sets” are sets during which you perform an exercise to failure or near failure. Instead of stopping the set there, however, you lower the lifting weight and continue. This can be done several times in the same set with any exercise mechanism, whether it be with a machine, dumbbells, barbells or cables. I personally like to use this technique at the end of my workout as a finisher.

3. Supersets

I use supersets regularly, year round. Not only are they fun and challenging, but they are also a huge time saver—perfect for people who don’t have all day to spend in the gym. Essentially, they are a set combining two different exercises together, performed one after the other, with no break in between. Often people think of “supersetting” only antagonist muscle groups, such as biceps with triceps or chest with back, but think outside the box: For instance, you could perform a superset targeting hamstrings using Romanian deadlifts with lying leg curls. The possibilities for challenging, fun sets are endless.