If you’re looking to add some variety to your training program, try adding some “surprise sets” to your finisher workouts. The exercises will stimulate your mind as well as your muscles.
An athlete and I came up with these one day when we were talking about neuromuscular communication and the benefits of challenging the nervous system during workouts. How many times have you cruised through your workout on autopilot without thinking about your muscles being engaged? You enter the gym, complete the workout of the day, and before you know it, you’ve posted pictures to Instagram without even realizing you’ve lifted.
Surprise sets can provide the jolt you need to raise your awareness and lower your boredom.
You should already be spent from your workout, so as a burnout, start with a Bench Press of 50 percent of your 1RM. Slow and controlled, lower the weight, then press up as quickly as you can. Your partner will “surprise” you by quickly sliding a foam roller onto your chest, then quickly removing it to randomly change the range of motion of the exercise..
I like doing two sets of 15 at the end of the workout to help my athletes with sticking points and improving muscular endurance. As seen in the video player above, I prefer implementing an unidentifiable sequence, which constantly keeps the athlete guessing about how far they have to lower the weight.
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