Workout Extender #5:
Switch Exercises
Whether you're just bored by the lifts you've been doing or you've plateaued with them, swapping out the main exercises in your routine for similar moves can be an excellent solution. Many times, a plateau is the result of an overused movement pattern-in other words, your nervous system has recruited the same muscles in the same way for so long that it can't do it any better. For example, if you've been doing the squat for ages, try switching to the front squat for a few weeks. This variation hits essentially the same muscles, but in a slightly different way - just enough to get your nerves to recruit muscle fibers a little differently and get you growing again.

Other times, stagnation is the result of a weak point in your range of motion, which, once addressed, will send your poundages soaring. For instance, if you've gotten your deadlift up to 350 pounds but can't budge 360 off the floor, you might benefit from deadlifts done on a platform for a few weeks. Stand on a box and use a moderate weight for a few explosive reps-that will build the pulling power you need to overcome inertia in the opening seconds of your deadlift. Afterward, you'll be able to get 360 with no problem.

You can also rearrange the order in which you perform exercises. For example, if your upper-body days pair bench-press and row movements, but they start with benching, spend the next few weeks doing the rows first in the pair so that they get the priority.