The Match 5: progress within the health club

For all of our fans who send us questions on our Twitter and Facebook page, this one is for you. Each week we draw on our pool of editors and experts to help you with any questions or challenges you have with your fitness regimen. This week, Dan Trink, CSCS, Director of Personal Training Operations at Peak Performance NYC and Founder of TrinkFitness, answers your questions about making serious progress in the gym.

1) Increase size and strength - Asked by Alex Ross: I do 3 sets of 10 reps on the bench press with a barbell, 4 sets of 10 reps on the incline press with dumbbells, and 3 sets of flies once a week for the chest, but I have one Increase in strength and mass stalled. What do you suggest?

"It looks like you've adapted as much as possible to your current training regimen, so there's only one thing left to do - change it. Try 4 weeks of lower reps in each of the movements as follows: 5 sets of 3-5 reps for bench press, 4 sets of 4-6 reps for incline press, and sets of 8-10 reps for flye. As you decrease the number of repetitions, you can increase the weight used, which will make you stronger. If you go back to sets of 10 in a month you should be able to lift more weight. Alternate between these strength and size training sessions, and you should be able to make progress. You might also want to think about changing your moves. Try dumbbell bench presses and barbell inclines for a while. Try to fly your passes from different angles at the cable crossing station, e.g. B. from low to high or from high to low. In other words, don't be afraid to stimulate your muscles by adding some variety. Adding some military or other standing overhead press has been shown to improve bench press strength. Finally, have someone review your form to ensure you are getting the most out of your press.”

2) Do more pull-ups - asked by Eric P. I was trying to get 100 pull-ups, so I do traditional pull-ups and chin-ups twice a week, but after 5, 6, or 7 sets I'm stuck at 50. How else can I increase my pull-ups?

"Pull-ups are a great exercise, but difficult to master when you're exhausted. Strengthening the often-neglected smaller muscles of your mid-back (like your middle and lower trapezius muscles) can make you better at pull-ups, as they are the muscles that tire most quickly. You can also try adding some eccentric or negative training to your program Once you reach technical failure (the ability to perform one rep with proper form), use one step and "jump" to the top of the pull-up position and lower yourself as slowly as possible. Repeat for 3 or 4 reps. You can also try some harder pull-up variations with fewer reps that will make you stronger when you return to the traditional pull-up. These include sternum pull-ups and lean-away pull-ups. After all, there's no faster way to improve pull-up performance than by reducing the load you're pulling. So if you're carrying extra body fat, try leaning.”

3) Increased Deadlifts - Asked by Julian Scott: How can I increase my deadlift counts other than deadlifting every week?

"You can try to strengthen the main movement forces involved in the deadlift - namely the glutes and hamstrings - with alternative exercises. Pull throughs, hamstring curls, good mornings, hip thrusters, and step ups can all improve your pull strength. If you're concerned about deadlifting too often due to the stress it puts on your body, try slower loading rate deadlifts by putting a much lighter weight on the bar than usual and lifting it off the floor as quickly/explosively as possible take off Recruit more high-threshold motor units, which ultimately makes them stronger when they return to training at near-maximal effort.

4) Faster Running Time - asked by Josh Abandonato: What training structure would you recommend to shorten my 5k time?

"That's hard to answer as I don't know what your current training is like. However, it has been shown that incorporating sprints into your training program can improve your endurance times. I would also undertake a strength and conditioning program that focused on strengthening the key muscles of your lower body. Those involved in running include your glutes, hamstrings, and quads. Finally, I wouldn't ignore soft tissue work, foam rolling, and healing and corrective exercises to aid in recovery, regeneration, and injury prevention, as you'll never run your best time when you're totally broken."

5) More effective shoulder training - asked by Michael Hunt: My shoulders have stayed the same for years. Is there a good shoulder workout you can recommend for growth, including days, sets, and reps?

“Shoulders contain 'mixed fiber type' muscles, which in simpler terms means they respond well to both high rep/light load and low rep/heavy load schemes. So make sure you incorporate both strategies into your training. Focusing on the middle or mid-shoulder head will give you more of that cropped look if you're strictly aiming for size. So make sure you include some sort of side raise in your routine. Remember that the shoulder is one of the most complicated and delicate joints in the body. They're used in a variety of non-shoulder movements like bench presses, pull-ups, and dips, so keep that in mind when determining your training volume. I would not hit the shoulders alone more than once a week to allow for a full recovery. And make sure you include external rotation, rotator cuff, and trapeze exercises in your overall training program as you want to keep your entire shoulder girdle healthy and balanced."

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