By: Julia Solimine
We’ve all been there: you begin a new training program and for the first three to six months you are seeing tons of progress and improvements. Then, after a while you stop progressing and feel like you are stuck in the same place even though you are still following that same routine that once gave you such great results. This feeling of being literally ‘stuck’ and unable to progress further in your workouts is referred to as hitting a plateau, and is an extremely common issue that athletes of all levels encounter.
In order to get over this plateau, you need to find a new way to shock your muscles in order to spark new growth. As much as your current routine may have challenged you at first, hitting a plateau means that your muscles are no longer challenged but rather are used to the exercises being performed. I have found that tri-sets are an extremely useful training mechanism that can help you get over these plateaus and push further towards new muscle growth. Due to the overall intensive nature of this training principle, I think it is best suited for those who are already moderately experienced in bodybuilding.
When you train using a tri-set you first choose a muscle and from there perform three exercises targeting that specific muscle one after the other. After completing each exercise allow yourself a 60-120 second rest before cycling through the three exercises again. I complete each tri-set 3-4 times, depending on the muscle I am working. I also like to keep my reps higher and my weights lower for my tri-sets, but the way you perform them should be dependent on your own personal fitness goals. If you’re looking for a form of training that’ll leave your muscles burning and pushed to their limit, you have found the right one… trust me.
While performing tri-sets I prefer to keep the weight a little on the lighter side, just because you are performing each exercise one after the other with no resting until all three have been completed. It’s also a good idea to slowly introduce tri-sets into your routine since they are a pretty intense form of training. If you find them to really burn you out, try to incorporate only one tri-set as your final set of exercises in your lift.
Here’s an example of some tri-sets I use for specific muscles:
- Barbell Curl
- Hammer Curl
- Alternative Dumbbell Curl
- Skull Crushers
- Tricep Pulldown
- Tricep Dip
- Barbell Overhead Press
- Barbbell Front Raise
- Bent-Over Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly
- Wide-Grip Seated Cable Row
- Single Handed Seated Cable Row
- Neutral Grip Seated Cable Row
- Reverse lunge
- Romanian Deadlift with Dumbbells
- Jump squats