THE ART OF STRIPPING…….sets
Have you plateaued? Can’t seem to get any more gains? If so, have you ever considered Stripping? Strip Training may be the answer you need to get over that hump. Most people who have done resistance training for an extended period of time you have run into times where it seems like you aren’t getting anywhere and seems like you’ve been lifting the same weight for weeks without being able to increase them, or not putting on more muscle mass and just stay the same weight? This is called Plateauing and is incredibly frustrating and you are not the only one. This happens to thousands of people all the time and don’t worry, there are ways to get through this. Plateauing usually happens because the body has adapted to your routine, and best ways to get over this is to give your body a little jump start and strip training is one of the most efficient ways to do this.
For example: If your “chest/triceps day” routine consists of Bench Press, Incline Dumbbell Press, Cable Cross, and Cable Press downs all for 3 sets of 10, and that has always been your routine. You probably saw great gains for the first while and then slowed down a bit and now gains came to a screeching halt, it’s because your body has adapted and pretty much has “become bored” with your routine. Sometimes it can be as easy as changing your exercise choice such as (Bench Press, Decline Dumbbell Press, Incline Flyes, Rope Press downs or Dumbbell Kickbacks) but if that doesn’t work then you might want to change your approach and here is where I bring you Strip Sets! Best way to keep the gains coming is to keep throwing in different styles in every few weeks to keep your body guessing and it can be that little bit to get you over that plateau so you can achieve new goals.
Strip Training is an amazing tool used by Intermediate and Advanced Body builders and isn’t very difficult to accomplish. It was a very popular style used by Body Building legends such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Platz, and Lou Ferrigno to name a few. Now I’m going to walk you through how to do this training using Bench Press as the exercise. Let’s say I’m plateaued at a 250 lb max bench press and have been stuck at sets of 10 with 185 lbs. So instead of just doing 3 sets with a break between each we will load up the bar to around 90% of my Max Bench Press which would be around 225 lbs. This training does work best with a partner to spot you and help you change the weights quickly to minimize the break between but you can do it one your own but won’t be able to press that extra rep out on the odd set so will need to be a little more conservative.
Now let’s look at how to do it! To increase the speed of weight change you don’t just put two 45 lb plates on each side you put one 25 lb plate and seven 10 lbs plates. Now I will get under the bar and push out as much as I can do with the 225 lbs which would be around 4 repetitions, and as soon as you put the bar down you take a 10 lb plate off the bar and immediately start the next set which would be 205 lbs which should be around 4 reps again, and so on and so forth and as the weight lowers you will be able to complete a few more reps and you will continue until you hit the 25’s left at 95 lbs which you should be able to press 10-15 times. Let’s say the results are 225 lbs - 4 reps, 205-4, 195-5, 175-6, 155-6, 135-7, 115-9, 95-12. When you look at it you have completed 8 sets in the span of a couple minutes with them all feeling like you were lifting heavy weight. You would then take a 5-minute break and set up your next exercise and complete the next strip set.
If you really want to see how this training effects your muscles let’s look at the volume of weight lifted. In each set of 10 with 185 lbs the volume of weight lifted is 1,850 lbs making 3 sets equalling total volume lifted 5,550 lbs. But now let’s calculate the total volume lifted in the strip set! Using the results posted the 225-4 reps would be 900 lbs. If I add the entire set it equals an astonishing 7,795 lbs lifted which is over 2,200 lbs more and in matter of a couple minutes over doing 3 sets with breaks which can take over 10 minutes to complete. The volume lifted being an amazing 140.5% more than the regular routine in half the time, and that’s just for one exercise! And math doesn’t lie!
This doesn’t mean do strip training every session every week. You can do your regular routine, but just throw in a different style occasionally. For myself I have my regular routine and every 3-4 weeks I do a full week of a different style like Strip Set Training, Negative Set Training, Burn/Super Set Training, or Forced/Cheating Rep Training and it has prevented me from plateauing for quite a long time now.
Since you now know the science and the procedure to do it, I wish you great success and gains in your training future. Just remember, when it comes to Stripping, take it off slow to get the best results!
by, Curt Wiebe