How to Do Overcompensation Exercises

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

You've been hitting the gym for a while now and everything is locking into place; your lifts are getting heavier, your endurance is at an all time high, and your body is shaping into the ideal sculpture. Then, suddenly, it all starts to stand still. Your lifts seem to go weeks without getting heavier. Your endurance feels like it's reached its best limit. Worst of all, you aren't seeing many changes in your body, which is what most people go to the gym for in the first place! What do you do? Overcompensate.

Step 2

Overcompensation exercises are extremely efficient for forcing your muscles to react and grow. The fundamental process of weightlifting is as follows: you lift weights that your muscles are not used to lifting, your muscles then grow, and then you repeat the process as many times as you'd like. However, eventually normal resistance exercises lose their luster. This is where overcompensation comes in. With overcompensation, you force your muscles to lift weights in a way that leaves them no choice but to grow in order to compensate for their next at-bat inside the gym.

Step 3

How do you do overcompensation exercises? Easy. First, pick the most enjoyable exercise you have for every body part. This is important, because overcompensation is difficult, and if you aren't doing it will an exercise you enjoy then you will simply burn yourself out and lose motivation.

Step 4

After you've picked your exercises, you will alter them in one of the following ways: First, you can choose to massively increase the weight of the exercise. You will want to have a spotter nearby whether you're doing bicep curls or bench presses, because you should be using a weight that you can only normally get 1 or 2 reps out of. You will incorporate the spotter so that you force the muscle to work at 8-10 reps of this enormously difficult weight. This alteration of your favorite exercise will force your muscles to grow stronger and larger for their upcoming routine.

Step 5

The second option is an increase in rep range. Again, you want a spotter for this one. You will attempt a weight that you normally get 8-10 reps out of, and you (along with your spotter) will force a minimum of 25 reps out of each set. By tripling the repetitions you do with an already difficult weight, you will force your muscles to buck up and get bigger.

Step 6

The third option for overcompensation is to do the exercise you choose with a very, very, very, very slow speed. Load up enough weight to do 8-10 reps at normal speed, and force yourself to take the exercise as slowly as possible, and contract for as long as possible on every single rep. Also, incorporate Fat Gripz The Ultimate Arm Builder, Black color on any exercises that require you to grip a barbell or dumbbell. This will force your muscles to work EXTRA hard. And did I mention each rep should be very slow? Do all of this, and your muscles will thank you, whether they realize it or not.

Step 7

Finally, you can seek to perform overcompensation exercises by doing drop-sets. Put weight on that will be difficult to get 2 reps out of, and do those two reps. Then immediately drop the weight by a couple of pounds and do more reps. Wash, rinse, repeat- with speed! Don't take any time to rest during the drop set, just drop weight and keep pumping. If you do a couple of sets like this on an exercise that you enjoy, your muscles will react in a beautiful way: growing huge and getting powerful.

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

Overcompensation exercises require you to focus intently on what you're doing. Not only that, but they require you to wander far outside of your comfort zone. For a weightlifter, growth and strength get slower and slower as time goes on. In order to keep the train rolling, you've got to give it more steam. Overcompensation exercises do exactly that, but they won't come easy. Just man up and jump in- you got this.

Stuff You'll Need

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This Student Author's Background

Funny or interesting story about this topic...

I was workout out with a kid for about a year straight who had great genetics and made great gains. The only way I could keep up with him was through performing compensation exercises during every workout. He never wanted to join in, because he saw how hard they were for me to do. But he had great genetics and didn't need to- for a while, that is. Eventually I caught up with him and started to pass him up. He started seeing me lift heavier and get bigger week by week, and he finally decided to grab a piece of the action. Once that kid started doing overcompensation exercises with me I didn't have any chance to keep up. That just goes to show that hard work will beat talent when talent doesn't work hard- but that talent and hard work put together is a combination destined for greatness.

When did you first do this & how did you get started?

I'm a natural ectomorph (skinny frame, hard to gain muscle) so I've always needed to be savvy on the best exercises to promote muscle gain. I began doing overcompensation exercises within 3 months of working out. I saw that I wasn't progressing as fast as I would have liked to, so I knew something needed to be done. With overcompensation exercises I have been able to break the barrier that so many ectomorph's face. Now I put on muscle no problem and have been for years. Do the work and the results will come, I promise-

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