If you’ve been going about your workout but just can’t seem to get past that one sticking point on one of your lifts, there’s no question that you’re likely feeling very frustrated. It may feel like no matter what you try, you just can’t get more weight up on the bar, thus your progress is at a standstill.
For those moments, the pre-fatigue training is perfect for busting through.
Here’s what you need to know about this concept and how to best apply it to your own training regime.
What Is The Pre-Fatigue Training
First, let’s discuss what this pre-fatigue training does. Basically, you are going to select whatever lift it is that you want to push through a plateau and achieve a higher weight lifted and then identify all the muscles at work.
For example, let’s say you just can’t add any more weight to your bench press. Try as you might, you’re stuck.
The main muscles at play in the bench pressing activity are the chest, the shoulders, the triceps, and to a small degree, the biceps.
So, in effort to help boost your chest muscle strength, you’ll want to make sure that this muscle is doing the brunt of the work as you go about the bench press exercise. At this point, all the other muscles are helping out, thus the total tension on just the chest muscle is dramatically reduced.
The concept of pre-fatigue takes care of that. With this concept, you’ll perform a few direct, isolation sets for the shoulders and triceps first. So for instance, you might perform two sets of lateral raises, two sets of tricep extensions, and then move into your standard chest press exercise.
Now when you do it, since the other muscles are tired out, the chest will have to work harder.
Perform the bench press in this manner for a few weeks and then in time, when you go back to your straight sets, you’ll see great strength improvement as the chest will now be stronger. This should allow you to push through the plateau and lift more weight.
How To Use The Pre-Fatigue Training Properly
To use this concept properly, you’ll want to use it on just a single lift in the workout session. Using this training technique too frequently or too often in your program could put you at risk for overtraining syndrome.
Remember the body can only handle so much stress and total rest and set number – which translates into total volume, is going to influence this.
Try and do the pre-fatigue concept towards the start of the workout so you’re feeling most fresh and can perform your best.
You only need to do two sets of each isolation exercise prior to the main compound lift as well. Don’t do too many or else you may run the risk of tiring out your central nervous system for the compound exercise, which will lead to reduced performance there.
Also, you should aim to have a spotter with you while doing this exercise – as often as possible, for safety reasons.
Points To Remember
Finally, as you execute this into your workout routine, make sure that you are maintaining good form the entire time throughout. You will be in a highly fatigued state, so you will be at a greater chance of letting poor form take over, putting you at risk for an injury.
Also remember to fuel up properly before and during the workout. Take an inter-workout energy beverage such as Gnarly Boost to ensure you have the energy to do this type of training. It is going to be more demanding than straight sets, so you’ll want to be prepared. In addition to this, make sure that you have some liquid carbohydrates throughout the workout as well as this can help you maintain a higher total force contraction rate as was demonstrated by a study in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise journal.
Once you’ve busted through the plateau on the one lift, try using it for another lift in your workout program. Varying the exercises you choose to do it with will help you ensure you consistently challenge your muscles and see great gains over the long term.