In a new video on the Athlean-X channel, Jeff Cavaliere C.S.C.S. explains how he has been able to keep training while recovering from a pretty serious shoulder injury, by dropping the volume of his workouts and increasing the load. He uses his chest and back workout as an example, demonstrating how this approach can stimulate the muscles in a new way.
"The thing that will bother a damaged structure is not going to be the load, it's going to be the accumulation of more and more rotations on the tire," he says, adopting a car metaphor. "So volume is what you need to manipulate when there's already an issue... The volume is going to exacerbate an underlying condition that's already there."
Instead of performing one high-volume set after another, Cavaliere focuses on performing a smaller number of reps at a higher intensity on each exercise, increasing the weight and reaching failure on each set. "If I try to rush through my sets and lose good form, then I'm losing the stability and all of a sudden the structure becomes exposed," he says.
The workout begins with a superset of dumbbell floor flies and dumbbell bench press, performed for 1 to 2 sets. Cavaliere recommends using a high enough weight here that you will reach failure in the 6 to 10 rep range. He follows this with 1 to 2 sets of crossovers, reaching failure in the 15 to 20 rep range.
Next up is another superset, this time cable straight arm pushdowns and lat pulldowns (1 to 2 sets, reaching failure between 6 and 10 reps), and 1 to 2 sets of straight arm pushdowns (15 to 20 reps).
"If you're not used to these really low-volume workouts or these ultra high intensity efforts, this is going to be a novel stimulus for you that is going to push you to those edges of what you're comfortable with, and that is exactly where you want to be," says Cavaliere.
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