You finished your set. You feel accomplished and exhausted. There are techniques to push yourself past the exhaustion point. Three of the more common post exhaust techniques are rest pause, drop sets, and run the rack, or ladders. With all three methods, let’s assume that when you are finishing a set, you have worked to failure.
I’ve mentioned this technique before, as it is an excellent way to work your muscles past exhaustion. After you’ve finished your last rep, pause for 10-20 seconds and rest. Then rep to failure. Repeat as necessary. An alternative way to implement rest pause is to maximize strength. With a weight just under your 1 rep max (80-95% 1RM) complete a rep. Rest pause for 15-45 seconds and complete another rep. Repeat as necessary or to about 10 reps.
A drop set is when after finishing a set, rack the weight, select a weight 5-15% lighter and go to failure. Repeat as necessary. Ideally you want as little time between sets, so machines and dumbbells are the easiest in terms of quick changes in weight. If you’re feeling good, you can drop twice or even three times before finally resting.
Run The Rack/Ladders
Arnold used this often, which should show that it can be quite effective. The traditional way of “running the rack” is, using dumbbells, after completing a set, you immediately grab the dumbbells that are 5 lbs. lighter. Go to failure again, move to the next lighter pair. On and on until you’ve run the rack all the way down to the 5’s. A different way of doing this is to start with a weight that’s lighter than normal, and do 5-6 reps. Move on to the next pair of heavier dumbbells. Go to failure, and repeat. When you can no longer complete 1 rep with proper form, work your way down to the 5’s
So next time you think you’re exhausted and ready to go home, try these techniques.