Focus your workout around one major lift each day
If you are trying to do triples of deadlifts, proceed with doing overhead press triples and then finishing with a superset of 5s of bench press with weighted chin-ups all in one workout session you are definitely wasting your time and setting yourself up for disappointment in the long-run. Continuously changing very demanding movements in one workout session will not allow the central nervous system time to change its focus and keep creating maximal neural adaptations and firing for all exercises combined, because it doesn’t agree with the laws of science.
If you want to train optimally, it would be better to take one compound movement, do it within rep ranges suitable for strength training and then add 2-3 lighter assistance exercises, which means structuring every workout session around that particular movement. This doesn’t mean you should neglect doing other exercises, it’s just that you need to make sure that they aren’t so taxing on your body so that you would be exhausted for your next workout.
Do assistance exercise as tools to strengthen weak points
Following up on the last point, as the name itself says, the role of assistance exercises is to assist you in improving the performance of the big compound movements. In the end, it’s one of the major reasons why people even train them in the first place. Trying to go heavy on an assistance exercise is useless, if not outright dangerous, like trying to ramp up to 3 rep max on a stiff-legged deadlift or doing 100 lbs cable triceps pushdowns. It just defeats their purpose.
The way to go with assistance exercises is to try to achieve higher amount of reps, full range of motion and executing the exercise with a proper tempo. This will prove to have a bigger impact on the overall improvement of your strength levels in regards to doing the big barbell compound movements.
Stop doing a movements not suited to your personal body proportions
This point is especially important. What this basically means is that you not everyone is suited to do the same movements. For example, someone who has long legs and a short torso, poor mobility in his hips and lumbopelvic rhythm is very likely to never set himself or herself into a proper deadlift starting position and will almost always be exposed to a bigger risk of sustaining an injury in comparison to doing a trap bar deadlift, where he/she can keep the torso in a more vertical position which is much more suitable.
Utilizing a certain variation of a big compound movement like front squat instead of a back squat, football bar instead of a barbell, trap bar instead of a straight bar, deadlifting from a platform instead of pulling from the floor, doing pin press instead of bench press can prove to be a real game changes and keep you progressing. Provided that you put your ego aside and are humble enough to admit to yourself that you just aren’t built for doing a certain lift. Just because you made a certain tweak to the exercise doesn’t mean you won’t get the full benefits of the default variation.
If you kill the acceleration and force transfer in the majority of big compound lifts you will create a much bigger resistance for your muscles to work against, because you’ve eliminated the stretch reflex at the bottom of many movements as well as the elastic component intrinsic to most exercises. You will immediately notice the difference when you try to move the load from a dead stop with no pre-existing momentum to aid you in lifting it. Even though you may need to lower the weight by 10-15% than you would otherwise you, it is well worth it because it will lead to significant strength gains.
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