Tag: weight lifting

Pain vs. Pleasure: how do you workout?

Many gym goers will go to their gym, run to the weight room, sit on a machine and read a news paper and think they are working out and doing their body good. I would say that yes they have taken the first step to getting healthier…they have gotten to the gym. But my question would be are they really making any changes in their body that will make them healthier and improve their quality of life? Here are some tips to help you make sure you are getting the most out of your workout time:

  • Make sure to change into proper workout clothes you can sweat in.
    In order to really push your body and workout so that you make progress you need to wear the appropriate attire to accomplish this. This means actually get a locker and change out of your diesel jeans and into clothes that allow you to move freely and perform exercises without hindering your range of motion. Changing into gym clothes should be able to change your mind set and allow you to focus on the tasks at hand…starting a great workout.
  • Make sure your muscles reach fatigue; this is not a comfortable feeling.
    When working out using weights to goal is usually to over load the muscles; this in turn will break down the microscopic muscle fibers. If your body senses a weaker muscle because of the broken down muscle fibers it will try and build up bigger and stronger muscle fibers to resist the stimulus. Your body will continue to do this each time you add enough weight to stress the muscle fibers, so as we workout we need to make sure that we have heavy enough weights to stress our muscles safely. If you can do a chest press or any weighted exercise and hold a conversation with a friend or space off and think about your day the weight is not heavy enough. Your weight is heavy enough to create a positive adaptation to your muscles when you need to concentrate on that movement specifically; recruiting all the muscle fibers to finish all of your reps…and when I say finish all of your reps it should be just barely finish all of your reps. You should look for the last two or so reps to be very challenging where your muscles you are working are shaking and/or burning. This feeling can be slightly uncomfortable but if you are looking to change your body and muscle tone you need to create this feeling.
  • Make sure that you are challenging your heart muscle.
    Your heart is composed of different muscle than your body; it is cardiac muscle. It is very fatigue resistance and involuntary…it is the only muscle in your body that will never stop working as long as you live; which is why we need to make sure that we are working it out properly and ensuring that it is functioning at full capacity. In order to really work the heart muscle we need to make sure we are stressing it; as it needs stress from exercise in order to become a stronger pumping machine. When doing cardio (standing for cardiovascular training – training the heart, blood vessels and lungs) we need to make sure that we are creating enough stress on this system. Sitting on a bike and reading a paper is not enough stress to create an adaptation needed or wanted. At the bare minimum you should try and get to the point where holding a conversation is hard (you should have somewhat labored breathing) and you should be sweating (a by product or work is heat, your bodies defense against raised by temperature is to sweat). If you have never been able to achieve these two tasks while doing cardio try upping your RPM’s or resistance. Going for a longer time at the same pace will not get you to sweat and have labored breathing as much as increasing the intensity or resistance.
  • Make sure your workouts are finished with you being tired
    This is an easy point to discus, in order for your body to grown and get better at anything you must give it enough stimuli to change. This stimulus could be adding more weight to your workouts, increasing the intensity of your elliptical, play a better squash player than yourself, try a more advanced yoga class, swim more laps in the same amount of time…and the list could go on and on. Just remember that by the time you finish your day at the gym you should have known that you were at the gym, you should be putting your gym clothes in one of those plastic bags because they are sweaty and you should have some muscle fatigue where your body feels comfortably tired.

Remember that the goal of going to the gym should be to provide your body with a stimulus and hope for some kind of adaptation. This could be playing squash and working on foot speed, grabbing some dumbbells and hoping to increase your bicep size or swimming in the pool and hoping to increase your speed. The underlying theme is that you should want your body to change for the better; and this will not happen if the effort is not there. This effort is not always comfortable but nothing worth having ever comes to use easily.

Why Lift Heavy Weights?!

Say what…put on weight? That’s rarely the goal. Well I’m here to tell you perhaps it should be more of a goal than you think. I mean, let’s lift some heavy weights! Add an extra 5lbs to the bar, go up 10lbs in your dumbbells, push yourself and let’s move something heavy!

Why? Why not! Lifting heavy (I don’t mean that if you are shoulder pressing 8lbs right now that you should try and press 45lbs the next go around), or what you would consider “heavy” will really help you gain strength quickly and efficiently. Usually when I tell people to move heavy weight, especially women, the first thing I hear is, “But I don’t want to bulk up.” Oh my Lord, if ever there was a misconception! The “bulking” that most people think of when lifting weight comes from many hours in the gym, a high protein diet, heavy heavy weights, and some good genes! To become The Hulk you would really have to put in serious amounts of time and effort. This will not be happening to your average gym goer. But still I hear some people say, “When I’ve lifted heavy before I did seem to get bulkier.” This would come from a lack of fat loss, a lack of a decent diet, and a misconception about what is “bulking.” My guess is the 2 times a week you lifted “heavy” did not in fact give you raging thighs, instead it was the other things you were or were not doing outside of your exercise.

So why lift heavy? There are a multitude of reasons why pushing yourself with the amount of weights you lift is a good idea:

  1. Increase lean muscle mass which = a higher metabolism. The more lean muscle mass in your body the more calories your body burns every day. Unlike cardio, lifting weights and stressing your muscles will burn calories for you while you are doing the exercises, for an hour after, and the many hours after that. While cardio may burn 400 calories in the hour you are running your body soon loses that spike in metabolism and ends an hour after you finish. So while the number may look good on the machine, if you had lifted you would have burned nearly (if not in some cases more) that many calories in 45 minutes and will continue to burn more throughout the day. Muscles need fuel and worked muscles need extra fuel to repair and grow.
  2. Increased strength quickly and efficiently. Squatting with the 10lb dumbbells in your hands 20 times might make you feel like you have gotten a lot done in a short amount of time but in fact we’ve done just the opposite. If burning calories, increasing your strength, and spiking your heart rate is your goal you need to cut the high reps and increase your weight. The heavier weight will push your muscles more (gaining strength), push your heart rate higher (to pump more blood to your strained muscles), and give you much more benefits in half the time (think 5-10 reps instead of 15-20). Your calorie burning will shoot much higher and your body will work much harder in half the reps!
  3. Increasing your mental toughness. It’s hard to lift heavy, not just for your muscles but also for your mind. Telling yourself to try something new, pushing yourself to move up in weight, pushing yourself to keep going even though the back of your mind is telling you it’s too heavy, is so much about mental strength. It’s the old saying, “If I can do this I can do anything” kind of mentality. Work your mind and your body and finally be proud and impressed with what you can do!
  4. So helpful in the real world. I don’t know about you but I have yet to find the 5lb bag of bark/cement mix/bricks at Home Depot. If you can lift it in the gym, when you go to tackle that new retaining wall in your back yard it will be no problem! Long gone are the days of waiting for your husband to come home to move the couch/washing machine/lawn mower/etc, your a strong lady, do it yourself!
  5. It’s fun, it’s hard, it’s mental, it’s a huge accomplishment. I realize it’s not everyone’s goal to deadlift one and a half times their body weight but it should be your goal to be strong, efficient, fit and healthy. Lifting heavy is one of the best ways to accomplish all of those things!

The only draw back to lifting heavy? It’s hard to do if you aren’t sure about your form. It’s hard to do if you aren’t sure about how much you should move up in weight. It’s hard to do some of your exercises without a spotter. My advice…grab a trainer, ask some questions, get a session, and/or join a weight lifting class. If you aren’t comfortable on your own get some help or free advice, that’s what we are here for! The best way to start is move up 2.5-5lbs in the exercises you normally do (lat pull down, dumbbell bench press, lunges, etc) and cut your reps. If that seems too easy for a set of 10, go up another 10lbs. The goal should be to use heavy enough weight that by the time you get to 10 reps you shouldn’t be able to do another. If you aren’t stressing yourself you aren’t lifting heavy enough. This is hard work. It will make you wish you were downstairs running endlessly on the treadmill! Eww.

Have questions? Looking for a good way to get started on strength training? Then please contact Personal Fitness Trainer Adriana Brown.

Say what? Put on weight?

Say what? Put on weight? That’s rarely the goal. Well I’m here to tell you perhaps it should be more of a goal than you think. I mean, let’s lift some heavy weights! Add an extra 5lbs to the bar, go up 10lbs in your dumbbells, push yourself and let’s move something heavy!
Why? Why not!

Lifting heavy (I don’t mean that if you are shoulder pressing 8lbs right now that you should try and press 45lbs the next go around), or what you would consider “heavy” will really help you gain strength quickly and efficiently. Usually when I tell people to move heavy weight, esp women, the first thing i hear is, “But I don’t want to bulk up.” Oh my Lord, if ever there was a misconception! The “bulking” that most people think of when lifting weight comes from many hours in the gym, a high protein diet, heavy heavy weights, and some good genes! To become The Hulk you would really have to put in serious amounts of time and effort. This will not be happening to your average gym goer. But still I hear some people say, “When I’ve lifted heavy before I did seem to get bulkier.” This would come from a lack of fat loss, a lack of a decent diet, and a misconception about what is “bulking.” My guess is the 2 times a week you lifted “heavy” did not in fact give you raging thighs, instead it was the other things you were or were not doing outside of your exercise.

Why lift heavy? There are a multitude of reasons why pushing yourself with the amount of weights you lift is a good idea….

  1. Increase lean muscle mass which = a higher metabolism. The more lean muscle mass in your body the more calories your body burns every day. Unlike cardio, lifting weights and stressing your muscles will burn calories for you while you are doing the exercises, for an hour after, and the many hours after that. While cardio may burn 400 calories in the hour you are doing your running your body soon loses that spike in metabolism and ends an hour after you finish. So while the number may look good on the machine, if you had lifted you would have burned nearly (if not in some cases more) that many calories in 45 minutes and will continue to burn more throughout the day. Muscles need fuel and worked muscles need extra fuel to repair and grow.
  2. Increased strength quickly and effciently. Squatting with the 10lb dumbbells in your hands 20 times might make you feel like you have gotten a lot done in a short amount of time but in fact we’ve done just the opposite. If burning calories, increasing your strength, and spiking your heart rate is your goal you need to cut the high reps and increase your weight. The heavier weight will push your muscles more (gaining strength), push your heart rate higher (to pump more blood to your strained muscles), and give you much more benifits in half the time (think 5-10 reps instead of 15-20). Your calorie burning will shoot much higher and your body will work much harder in half the reps!
  3. Increasing your mental toughness. It’s hard to lift heavy, not just for your muscles but also for your mind. Telling yourself to try something new, pushing yourself to move up in weight, pushing yourself to keep going even though the back of your mind is telling you it’s too heavy, is so much about mental strength. It’s the old saying, “If I can do this I can do anything” kind of mentality. Work your mind and your body and finally be proud and impressed with what you can do!
  4. So helpful in the real world. I don’t know about you but I have yet to find the 5lb bag of bark/cement mix/bricks at Home Depot. If you can lift it in the gym, when you go to tackle that new retaining wall in your back yard it will be no problem! Long gone are the days of waiting for your husband to come home to move the couch/washing machine/lawn mower/etc, your a strong lady, do it yourself!
  5. It’s fun, it’s hard, it’s mental, it’s a huge accomplishment. I realize it’s not everyone’s goal to deadlift one and a half times their body weight but it should be your goal to be strong, efficient, fit and healthy. Lifting heavy is one of the best ways to accomplish all of those things!

The only draw back to lifting heavy? It’s hard to do if you aren’t sure about your form. It’s hard to do if you aren’t sure about how much you should move up in weight. It’s hard to do some of your exercises without a spotter. My advice? Grab a trainer, ask some questions, get a session, join a weight lifting class. If you aren’t comfortable on your own get some help or free advice, that’s what we are here for! The best way to start is move up 2.5-5lbs in the exercises you normally do (lat pull down, dumbbell bench press, lunges, etc) and cut your reps. If that seems to easy for a set of 10, go up another 10lbs. The goal should be to use heavy enough weight that by the time you get to 10 reps you shouldn’t be able to do another. If you aren’t stressing yourself you aren’t lifting heavy enough. This is hard work. It will make you wish you were downstairs running endlessly on the treadmill! Eww.

Have questions? Looking for a good way to get started on strength training? Contact Personal Fitness Trainer Adriana Brown

Weights Before Cardio or Vise Versa?

This is a question that we are asked quite a bit. “Should I do my cardio first, or hit the weights?” The answer is somewhat ambiguous, as it depends on your goals. So…we always discuss it.

Firstly, we need to define what is meant by the term “cardio”, because you should be participating in a light cardiovascular warm up prior to executing your resistance training routine. Appropriate warm up consists of three to five minutes of light cardiovascular activity, which will help get your heart pumping, pushing fluid to your extremities and in turn simultaneously preparing your body for optimum performance and injury prevention. However, do not go much longer than a few minutes, as you will begin to waste precious energy!

For most individuals (i.e. those interested in improving overall fitness, preventing injury, maintaining joint strength, improving body composition, and the like) the weights should come first. We have a limited supply of energy to commit to each workout, and thus as you progress through your routine you have less and less energy to spend. Lifting with less energy means less repetitions and sets performed, which translates to less results. The consequences for your cardiovascular routine are not nearly as dire. While running with less energy means you may not be able to go quite as fast, you will still be able push yourself to a level of exertion relative to that which is possible at the beginning of your workout. An equivalent level of exertion means an equivalent heart rate, which means…equivalent results.

From the standpoint of injury risk, the weights win out as well. Technique is critical in the weight room, and our ability to maintain correct form decreases as we become increasingly exhausted. Attempting to lift with reduced energy impacts our ability to maintain appropriate form and tempo which increases the likelihood of an injury occurring.

The only real exception to this rule is if your primary goal is to improve your cardiovascular fitness (e.g. you are in the final training phase for a marathon). If that is the case, working on your cardio after you have already spent some of your energy in the weight room can impact your ability to train at the level that you must in order to make the anatomical adaptations requisite of your culminating training event.

All of that said, ideally you should separate your resistance and cardiovascular training! Separating your cardiovascular and resistance training workouts (e.g. performing them on alternating days, or perhaps one in the morning and one the other in the evening) will give you time to rest, recover, and replenish your body (via rehydration and eating healthfully), and in turn receive the most from your workouts. So if you have the time, split up your training! If not, do what is best for you based upon your individual goals.

Reciprocal inhibition and how it applies to you

The term reciprocal inhibition might not mean much to you but there are few things that affect your body more regularly. The theory of reciprocal inhibition states that “When the central nervous system sends a message to the agonist (muscle causing movement) to contract, the tension in the antagonist (muscle opposing movement) is inhibited by impulses from motor neurons, and thus must simultaneously relax”, taken from Massage Therapy Principles & Practices by Susan Salvo. What this means is that our muscles act in pairs and coordinate with each other by simultaneously relaxing and contracting as a protective measure to help keep us from injury. If both opposing muscles were to fire simultaneously, not allowing the other to relax, a tear in the muscle may occur. A common example of this is running. The action of striking the ground will send impulses from the central nervous system to contract and relax opposing muscles (hamstrings and quadriceps) to ensure a fluid and safe motion.

Although much of reciprocal inhibition is controlled subconsciously, we can use this principle to “trick” the body during a stretch in order to achieve a greater range of motion. For example, if the goal is to stretch the hamstrings, contracting the quadriceps upon reaching a near end range of motion will allow for the hamstrings to relax further, thus increasing the stretch. Another example of this is during a stretch involving the chest muscles (pectoralis major/minor). Upon reaching the end range of motion of this stretch, contract the muscles located directly behind the shoulder (rear deltoid/mid trapezious) to send a signal to your body forcing the chest muscles to relax further.

Stretching should be an essential part of everyone’s workout, however simply stretching alone is not the most efficient way to ensure a proper muscular balance in your body. Although there are many different forms of stretching that can have dramatic effects on increasing range of motion, without addressing strength and tension imbalances of the opposing muscles, these results are often only temporary. If the goal is to stretch the muscles of the chest in order to correct a forward shoulder tilt, it is crucial to also strengthen the muscles of the back that are responsible for holding the shoulders in place. To correct the pelvis from excessive forward tilt, it would be important to not only stretch the hip flexors but strengthen the glutes as well. By strengthening these opposing muscles you will ease the pull created by muscles that are too tight, allowing for the range of motion gained through stretching to have a long lasting effect. If you would like to know more about properly balancing your workouts or more information on how to stretch effectively, please contact Personal Fitness Trainer Will Paton.

If I had to choose…

I get asked all the time by my clients…”On the days I’m not training with you should I just be doing cardio? How many days a week should I do cardio compared to lifting? Won’t I burn more calories doing cardio than lifting?”

Well let’s just dive in to these questions…
When my clients aren’t training with me I always suggest they do lifting on their own. After training, clients gain the knowledge of how to build efficient and effective lifting routines. Will they work as hard on their own as they do with me, probably not (many reasons for that but one major one is not having someone, anyone else, to be accountable to)? But that’s okay. They know how hard they can work and they know if they are totally sandbagging it. So my answer is always, you need to be doing some sort of lifting/body weight exercises. Why is that? Most of the members that choose to train want to do so for changes in body composition, fat loss mainly. The best way to achieve that is through weight lifting. If you are using a good format and productive exercises, every time you lift it should feel like cardio. That’s the best part about an effective weightlifting program, once you are done with your 30-60 minute workout you should feel like you just did cardio and that you really couldn’t manage much more physically. If you go bee-bopping out of the weight room and then go down to do another hour of cardio on a bike, elliptical, treadmill, etc than you obviously didn’t put enough effort into your lifting.

The idea is:

  • that you stress yourself enough with the amount of weight to gain muscle fiber size (thus increasing your metabolism and looking more “defined”)
  • you stress yourself enough through the type of lifts (double jointed, arms and legs at the same time
  • complex exercises moving in all planes of direction)
  • and you stress yourself enough with the pace (super setting, adding in sprint cardio between lifts, keeping rest to a minimum, etc.) to really keep your heart rate up

If you are just sitting around on benches, wandering around the weight room, or using light weights for basic movements (bicep curls) then you are not keeping your heart rate up and you are not stressing your muscles enough to make serious gains in body composition changes. So the magical answer is, do more lifting! Maybe on your “off days” you do short cardio sprints or intervals combined with body weight movements to full range of motion (push-ups, box jumps, squats, lunge jumps, box dips, etc). Long cardio is for the birds. You can spend an hour on the bike and burn 500 calories and be done with it or you can spend 30 minutes running stairs, jump roping, squatting, and throwing around a medicine ball; and burn the same amount of calories and then some because the exertion from lifting will continue to burn calories throughout the day! No brainer!

I do cardio when I want to “rest.” I’ve been known to get on the Stepmill and do intervals for a good 40 minutes. I like to do that when I’m too lazy to lift, when I am too sore to lift, or when I just want an easy day. I get on my machine or run and push myself but I find it much easier than pushing myself through my typical weightlifting workout. You know you are working out hard in the weight room when you feel like running stairs or sprinting on the Versa Climber is an easier workout. So if you want a “break” by all means do some cardio. But if you choose to do so, make it count. Don’t go over 45 minutes (if you can you probably aren’t working hard enough) and if you hit it that long make sure you aren’t sandbagging it! Don’t go easy on yourself, do intervals, do sprints, do a machine you aren’t great at. Lastly, if you choose cardio don’t get used to it, you only “need” to do cardio 2 times a week to get heart health and some mix up to your routine.

As I touched on earlier, you will burn way more calories with a good weightlifting routine than you will by doing cardio. There are a few reasons for that but the main one being that by taxing your muscles you are actually putting small tears in the muscle to then be filled back in and repaired with Amino Acids (proteins) and that process takes extra calories. Not only that but the more muscle fibers you have (not to say you need to look like Hulk Hogan) the more calories it takes every day to contract them and to maintain them so in general you will be burning more calories every day just having more muscles. That increase in metabolism will be with you every day, helping you lose weight. Also, when you are performing a good weight routine you will not only be using muscles but will also be using your cardiovascular system and so really its two birds with one stone. You get to build muscle, you get to burn calories contracting so many muscles at one time, and you get to burn calories keeping your heart rate up. So when it comes down to it, working hard with the weights will be way more calorie efficient than doing cardio, even if it is hard cardio.

It’s hard not to get sucked into the idea of sweating and running for 10 miles and seeing the calorie count on the machine when you are done. It’s hard to turn your back on the many years you’ve heard that the only way to lose weight is to become a “Cardio Queen.” Those days are over like the days of the Thigh Master. It’s time to get with it and find out how much better you could be doing in the gym by getting yourself up to the weight room and really working at it!

If you would like to know more about how to design an effective weightlifting routine contact Adriana Brown. *Also note that if you are training for a distance sport (marathon, triathlon, etc) that while long cardio is obviously part of your training the weightlifting should also be a huge part of your training! It’s important to keep strong and powerful for injury prevention, joint health, and the next time you face that killer hill at mile 20 it will be a piece of cake if you have the leg muscles and power to push yourself!

Correct Breathing For Stronger Lifting

Do you ever wonder while you are lifting weights, when to exhale? Is it when pulling or pushing? Well, it can be both. It depends on which muscle group you are targeting and which aspect of the muscle’s contraction you are in. There are three types of muscle contractions: concentric, eccentric, and isometric. An isometric contraction is when there is no muscle fiber movement. For example, many yoga positions are isometric contractions. Holding a plank position is an isometric contraction for numerous muscles. The concentric contraction is when the muscle fibers are shortening, while the eccentric is the reciprocal and the fibers are elongating. In this dynamic movement, you will want to exhale on the concentric contraction of the muscle group you are targeting and conversely, inhale on the eccentric. In using a chest press for our example, which utilizes the pectoralis major (pecs), one would inhale lowering the bar to the chest because the pecs’ muscle fibers are elongating (eccentric) and exhale as you push the bar away from the body which contracts or shortens (concentric) the muscle fibers in this muscle group. If we are using the seated row as an example of the opposing muscle group exercise utilizing the latissimus dorsi (lats), then one would exhale while pulling the weight towards the body shortening the lats’ fibers and inhale when eccentrically releasing the weight away from the body.

So to sum it up, exhale when you’re doing the work part of the movement and inhale for the non-work part of the movement. If you are ever questioning which muscle group your exercise is targeting or if it is a pushing or pulling exercise, please do not hesitate to ask any one of our training staff. We love to educate.

Top 5 Weightlifting Myths

Myth #1:Weight Lifting is Bad For Your Joints.
One of the biggest concerns regarding weight lifting is that it is bad for your joints. What most people don’t know is that running alone can be far more strenuous on your joints than weight lifting is. Weight lifting involves controlled, non impact movements, that in turn will strengthen the muscles, ligaments and tendons surrounding the joints and improve overall joint movement and functionality. Studies have been preformed on top power lifters and has shown that even with extremely heavy loads their knees are far stronger and healthier than the general population.

Myth #2: Weight Lifting Makes You Bulky.
Have you ever found yourself on the scale week after week seeing the same number yet somehow your clothes are fitting better? This is due to the density of muscle compared to that of fat. Muscle is far more dense than fat and it is because of this fact that the scale appears to play tricks on us. It is impossible to build muscle without adding the calories behind it. In order to achieve that “bulky” you must first provide your body with the necessary amount of calories to build muscle. Bottom line is as long as your daily caloric intake doesn’t exceed the amount of calories that you burn throughout the day, it is impossible to become “bulky”. Simply training hard alone won’t do the job.

Myth #3: Weight Lifting Decreases Flexibility.
One of the realizations people who get into weight lifting have is how inflexible they are. Years of sedentary lifestyle may have tightened your hips, preventing you from squatting correctly. Weightlifting helps regain flexibility and maintain it. The squat is a great example of a lift that will give the muscles surrounding your hips a great stretch and in turn improve joint mobility. Increasing your muscle mass or strength alone will not hinder your flexibility.

Myth #4: Muscle Turns to Fat If You Stop Weight Lifting.
This myth is common throughout gyms and advertisers around the world. The fact is due to their different chemical makeup that transformation of muscle into fat and vis versa is impossible. In fact, you are born with all the fat and muscle cells you will ever have, they merely shrink and expand due to the amount of excess calories you consume and the physical activity you are currently doing. If you stop weightlifting completely, in time your muscle fibers will shrink and your fat cells will expand. Weight gained from discontinuing resistance training is due in large part to a decrease in your metabolism. Muscle is like an engine and calories are its fuel. To maintain muscle it requires upwards of 20 calories per day. So, 5 pounds of muscle would in turn add 100 calories to your daily caloric burn. Not to mention the 400-500 calories consumed during the workout and an estimated 300-600 calories burned through a process known as “post exercise oxygen consumption”.

Myth #5 The longer you work out, the better.
It just isn’t necessary to do 10-20 sets for a body part, or even 5 sets like many ‘experts’ would have you believe. In fact, research has shown that it is possible to completely fatigue a muscle in one set, provided that during that set the muscle incorporates as many muscle fibers as possible and takes them to the point of ischemic rigour where, rather than contract and relax, the muscle fibers freeze up. This kind of intensity can usually be achieved by doing “drop” or “break-down” sets where you rep out, lower the weight and continue doing reps until you can’t do another rep.