Welcome to Strength Training Routines
Maximal strength (MxS) is defined as the maximum amount of force one can produce irrespective of time or bodyweight. The qualifiers "time" and "bodyweight" distinguish MxS from power and relative strength, respectively.
MxS is perhaps the core quality that all individuals should be concerned with, because it's acquisition is the fastest route to all other motor qualities, including relative-strength, speed-strength, strength-endurance, speed, and speed-endurance.
To a lesser degree, MxS improvements also lead to higher levels of aerobic fitness, agility, and dynamic mobility. And to point out a sadly-overlooked fact, MxS development is a precursor to lean-mass gains, since fast-twitch motor units have much greater capacity for hypertrophy than do Type I MU's. And needless to say, all MU's must be recruited before they can be trained.
Traditional MxS training involves the use of maximal or near-maximal loads, typically 90% of 1RM and above. The maximal-load method has validity and a proven track record for results. However, load is only one-half of the equation, since it is tension- not load- that provokes anatomical adaptations leading to MxS improvements. These adaptations include improved inter- and intra-muscular coordination, as well as more efficient rate-coding.
Tension of course, is the offspring of load and speed. High loads, performed at (unavoidably) low speeds produce high tensions- that's a given. Less appreciated however, is the fact that moderate loads, moved at high speeds, also lead to high tensions. So as it turns out, there are two distinctively different methods that can be employed in your quest for MxS. Given what we know about the importance of variety for the sake of preventing physical and psychological stagnation, why not employ both methods?
Here's how you can do just that:
Set up two training sessions per week for a compound lift you'd like to improve. Any of the three power lifts are good candidates, as are the Olympic lifts.
The "A Session"
The first session (which we'll call the "A Session") features the performance of (up to) 14 sets of 2 reps, using a 4RM load, resting exactly one minute between sets. As an illustration, if your 4RM on a deadlift is 352 pounds, that's your working weight. First perform your warm-up sets, and then set your stopwatch for 15 minutes. Every 60 seconds, perform a set of 2 reps, moving as explosively as possible during the concentric phase.
During this first A Session, one of two things will happen- either you'll hit your 14 sets, or you won't. If you fail to complete 14 doubles (let's say you got 11 doubles and a single), the next time out, you try to get 12 or more doubles. Continue this procedure until you manage to complete 14 sets of 2.
If you (or once you) do manage to complete 14 sets, the next time out, add 5 pounds or 5% (whichever is less) to the bar, wipe the slate clean, and start over.
The "B Session"
The second session (which we'll call the "B Session")
Involves heavier loads- 2RM to be specific. You'll perform (up to) 7 sets of 1, using a 2RM weight, resting 3 minutes between sets. As an illustration, if your 2RM on a deadlift is 374 pounds, that's your working weight. First perform your warm-up sets, and then set your stopwatch for 15 minutes. Every 3 minutes, perform one rep, moving as explosively as possible during the concentric phase.
During this first "B Session," one of two things will happen- either you'll hit your 7 sets, or you won't. If you fail to complete 7 singles (let's say you got 5 singles and a missed attempt), the next time out, you try to get 6 or (hopefully) 7 singles. Continue this procedure until you manage to complete 7 sets of 1.
If you (or once you) do manage to complete 7 sets, the next time out, add 5 pounds or 5% (whichever is less) to the bar, wipe the slate clean, and start over.
* If you're not sure what your 2RM or 4RM weights are, err on the side of conservatism- the system will self-adjust
* If you performance decreases for any reason, use the 5/5 rule in reverse: next time out, reduce the load by 5 pounds or 5% (whichever is greater), wipe the slate clean, and start over.
* Pain is bad. Respect your body.
Speed And Load- The Fastest Way To Huge Gains in Maximal Strength!
In addition to the simple fact that you've now introduced more variety into your training, you're also attacking the MxS equation from both angles. The improved speed you acquire on your "A Sessions" will contribute to strength expression during your "B Sessions." In turn, your newly-acquired strength will improve your rate of force production on your "A Sessions."
MxS training is a drain on all of your recuperative mechanisms, but fortunately, this two-sided approach provides the perfect amount of contrast to facilitate recovery.
Try this approach on your favorite lift for 6 weeks and tell me how it went. I know you'll be pleasantly surprised.
The previous article courtesy of Charles Staley, B.Sc, MSS
Staley Training Systems
About The Author
Charles Staley...world-class strength/performance coach...his colleagues call him an iconoclast, a visionary, a rule-breaker. His clients call him “The Secret Weapon” for his ability to see what other coaches miss. Charles calls himself a “geek” who struggled in Phys Ed throughout school. Whatever you call him, Charles’ methods are ahead of their time and quickly produce serious results.
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Strength Training Routines and Burning Fat
Studies have shown that intense, short duration resistance training surpasses slow cardio for effectiveness and benefits, including fat loss.
While most exercisers focus on how many calories they burn during their workout, your greatest reward will come hours later. This reward is in the form of EPOC. No, not the Star Wars character- Excess Post Oxygen Consumption. Sometimes referred to as after-burn.
EPOC represents the amount of post exercise calories burned to return your body to the pre-exercise state. The body burns these calories to balance hormones, repair cells and to reduce body temperature and heart rate. The magnitude of your after-burn is directly related to the intensity and duration of exercise. The effect can last from 15 minutes to 48 hours.
Studies have revealed that EPOC is greater in anaerobic exercise (strength training) than in aerobic exercise (treadmill). Ever notice how some people will use a treadmill for months and fail to lose fat? The old saying "No pain-no gain", holds true. Strength training is you best bet for burning fat.
To get your maximum EPOC, keep your workouts intense, with short breaks between sets. Ideally you should be performing at 85% of your max heart rate.
If your goal is build strength, keep your reps between 1-5 per set. You will be pushing heavy loads so perform no more than 5 sets per exercise. For optimum EPOC, keep rest periods short.
If you are new to strength training routines, go with a full body workout. Veterans can focus on their weak areas.
Change your routine after 4-6 weeks or sooner if you stop making gains.
Make sure you keep a journal of your workouts. It is important to keep track of gains and program duration.
Try the sample Strength Training Routines below:
Strength Training Routines
Old School 1 Day Strength Training Routine:
This Strength Training Routine is performed one day per week. Choose a weight that you can lift 3-5 times maximum. Heavy load combined with lots of rest will provide quality strength gains.
- Squat 3-5/1 (3-5 reps 1 set)
- Deadlift 3-5/1
- Bench Press 3-5/1
- Military Press 3-5/1
- Bent Over Row 3-5/1
- Dumbbell Curl 3-5/1
Full Body 4 Day Split Strength Training Routine
- Bench Press 3-5/3 (3-5 reps/3 sets)
- Military Press 3-5/3
- Bent Over Row 3-5/3
- Squat 4-6/3
- Romanian Deadlift 4-6/3
- Dumbbell Lunges 4-6/3
- Decline Dumbbell Tricep Extensions 3-5/3
- Seated EZ Bar French Press 3-5/3
- Barbell Curls 3-5/3
- Calf Raises 12-16/3
- Hanging Leg Raises max reps/3 sets
3 Day Split Strength Training Routine
- Front Barbell Squat 5/5 (5 reps/ 5 sets)
- Barbell Lunges 5/5
- Weighted Bar Dips 5/5
- Alternating Dumbbell Curl 5/5
- Bench Press 5/5
- Alternating Dumbbell Military Press 5/5
- Bent Over Rows 5/5
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