Bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the most prominent voices in the world of bodybuilding. The legendary bodybuilder and actor has collected vast stores of knowledge over the last six decades and routinely shares it with the fitness community through his daily newsletter The Pump Daily. In the recent edition of this newsletter, Arnie shared effective methods to get out of a workout plateau and embark on the journey of growth.
Arnold Schwarzenegger became a successful Hollywood action hero after retiring from competitive bodybuilding and played lead roles in iconic movies like The Terminator and Predator. The famed bodybuilder was the chairman of the US President’s council of Physical Fitness and Sports from 1990 to 1993. He also served as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 to 2011.
Arnold is one of the yesteryear celebrities that have adapted really well to the age of internet and social media. He routinely posts fitness related content on his social media handles and shares his bodybuilding wisdom. In the latest edition his daily newsletter, Arnie shared a way to break out of a rut.
Arnold Schwarzenegger advises using ‘wave training’ to break out of the rut
Everyone has experienced ‘stuck in the rut’ situation in different aspects of life. It is that phase of our journey when the progress seems negligible. With each passing day, it takes a toll on the ability to propel ourselves towards the goal. In his newsletter, Arnold stated that training with intensity is a must for seeing good results in the gym.
“The next time you hit a wall with your workouts, this technique can help bust you out of your rut.
As we’ve discussed before, transforming your body is a relatively simple equation, but it’s not easy. To see the best results, you need to train with intensity (relative to your own strength) and progressively challenge your muscles with more weight, sets, reps, or challenging exercises (or all of the above) — and do it consistently.”
Arnold then explained a simple but effective training method to increase the training intensity – Wave Training. He wrote:
“Wave training is a technique that helps trick your body into building strength and muscle. The method alternates sets of low-rep training with higher reps.
The low-rep set activates more of your motor units (what causes your muscle fibers to fire), and when you shift to the higher-rep set, it can help you lift more than usual.”
Arnold gives example of wave training method
Arnold then gave an example of a wave training method. According to him, sets during wave training should look like this:
Set 1: Perform 3-5 reps at 225 pounds.
Rest for 2 to 3 minutes.
Set 2: Perform 6-10 reps at 185 pounds
Rest another 2 to 3 minutes and repeat 2-3 more times.
The 185 pounds should feel lighter than usual (thanks to priming your nervous system with the heavy set), which can help you do more reps than you normally would at that weight.
You can also apply this to bodyweight training by alternating harder and easier variations of the same exercise.
Arnold then gave another example of wave training with a lower body exercise and wrote:
Set 1: 5 reps (per leg) of Bulgarian split squats
Set 2: 10 reps of bodyweight squats
The 7-time Mr. Olympia concluded:
“These are also called mechanical drop sets because you’re moving from a harder exercise to an easier one.
You can use this method on one main exercise per workout (like a squat, deadlift, row, or press). Give it a try, and let us know how it works!”
If you find yourself in the rut, head over to the gym and try the wave training method and let Arnold know about the benefits you got out of it!