How to Get STRONGER & TOUGHER Training Under Fatigue (Pre Exhaust Method)

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Tom-Platz-Squat

I find myself more and more returning to methods I used in the 90s.

Maybe it's my age, both in biological terms and training age terms. Spending all these years under the bar since 1989 I am still excited to train and finding new ways to keep getting better.

I don't want to make the mistake I've seen others make, which is resisting change. I remember even as a young teen bodybuilder how others weren't making any progress year after year and I remember exactly why:

- They didn't attempt to get stronger, never adding weight to the bar, never challenging the muscles.

- They always did the SAME thing. Same exercises, same weight, same lack luster intensity.

At this stage, my body cravess something different and if you've spent enough time under the bar you'll need something different as well.

As I write this to you, my legs are still crushed from 2 days ago.

Here's a breakdown of my recent leg workout:

1) I started that leg workout with 100 reps per leg of bodyweight walking lunges.

2) Then, I hit the safety bar squat for 1 x 10, then 4 x 5 climbing in weight each set.

3) Then I hit a heavy single with a belt.

Then....

4) I dropped the weight for a good ol' 20 rep set of squats, aka The Gut Check.

Here's a Video I did not long ago in the same fashion.

[youtube width="640" height="360"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lw0FesrVy3I[/youtube]

Here's another video of my box squats. Before this session I fatigued my legs with 100 reps of banded leg curls and 100 reps of leg extensions using Kettlebells locked on my feet (primitive, I know).

Back in the mid 90s, when I was bodybuilding, I used to come up with crazy ideas to "pre exhaust" myself before hitting the BIG lifts. I loved the challenge from both a physical and mental stand point. I craved it, where as many people avoid the pain, I looked for it.

On "Chest Day" I would do very heavy cable crossovers for multiple sets and THEN go and bench press. Or I would start with heavy dumbbell benching on the incline and then bench the bar on the flat bench.

On "leg day" I would superset the leg press WITH heavy squats (Up to 405) to make the squats harder and to challenge myself mentally. My normal squat sets would be at 455 but I needed to break through plateaus so I made the squats harder rather than easier on myself.

On "back day" I would do heavy barbell rows with 315-335 lbs and THEN do weighted pull ups afterwards.

A few years ago Mark Smelly Bell told me to hit dumbbell benching coupled with rear delts for 4 x 15-25 reps and THEN bench heavy. I remember almost dying under the bar in my garage while benching that night.

 These are not beginner or even intermediate strategies, I would recommend them for advanced lifters.

Or, from an athlete performance stand point, you can incorporate this if your sport requires you to be strong and / or explosive while under respiratory fatigue. This happens in many sports such as Football, Wrestling, Rugby, MMA, BJJ, Tennis and more.

There is a mental toughness aspect to this as well. If you're only strong and explosive out of the gate but you crumble mentally as soon as fatigue sets in, you will always lose the close battles that require the mind to rise above the physical fatigue.

Don't fear change in your training. The smarter and more experienced you get, the more you will learn. None of us are ever "good enough". Good enough is the death of greatness.

Live The Code 365,

--Z--

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