How to Get Better Results from Weight Lifting

Get 10 tips on how to increase the difficulty of your workout and get better results.

Ben Greenfield
4-minute read
Episode #27

There is a principle in exercise called SAID. It stands for specific adaptations to imposed demands, and it means that our bodies eventually adapt to the demands we place upon them. For people who lift weights, that means you must constantly change or alter your routine in some way in order to burn more calories, make your weight lifting workouts harder, and get better results.

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How to Get Better Results from Weight Lifting

But there is far more you can do to make a weight lifting workout harder than simply add more weight. So in this article, you’ll learn ten quick and dirty tips for getting more work done, burning more calories, and making your muscles feel it more.

Tip #1: Bouncing

Rather than taking a pogo stick to the gym, bouncing actually involves doing mini-reps at end ROM. Yes, that last bit of lingo may require some explaining. “ROM” stands for range of motion, and end ROM refers to the very end of the range of motion. For example, the end ROM of a body weight squat is when your knees are bent, at the very bottom of the motion. At this point in the squat, you could do 5-10 “mini-reps” or very short, bouncy squats, and then stand. Bouncing works for push-ups, crunches, lunges, curls, and just about any basic movement.

Tip #2: Explosions

Pyromaniac readers, please settle down--this has nothing to do with dynamite. For explosions, hold a movement in the toughest position, then explode quickly up and down, then back into toughest position. For example, when you get to the bottom of a push-up, you can hold for 1-2 seconds, then push-up as fast as possibly (your hands can even leave the ground) and land back in the bottom of the push-up.

Tip #3: Quarter Reps

For quarter reps, you do your exercise normally, but in the very middle of the movement you stop, do a quarter rep, and then continue. For example, while performing a lunge you would stop when your knee is halfway bent, stand halfway, then continue through the lunge, which basically turns every 1 rep into 1.5 reps. I suppose quarter reps could also involve lifting rolls of quarters, but I don’t imagine that activity could possibly burn too many calories.

Tip#4: Ladder Reps

For ladder reps, do 5 mini-reps in the bottom range of motion, 5 mini-reps in the middle range of motion, and 5 mini-reps in the top range of motion. For example, during a body weight dip, you would do 5 reps with your elbows bent at the bottom of the dip, 5 reps in the middle of the dip, and then 5 reps at the top of the dip.

Tip #5: Stripping

Contrary to how it might sound, stripping does not involve taking your clothes off at the gym (although pole dancing cardio classes are increasing in popularity). Instead, stripping involves lifting a weight until you cannot perform any more repetitions, decreasing (or stripping) the weight, then continuing with the same exercise for as many repetitions as possible. In a single set, you can strip the weight to your heart’s content, until a tiny, embarrassingly small weight is making you grunt and groan. 


All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own health provider. Please consult a licensed health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.