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Strength Training Blog

Welcome to the strength training blog.

Basic Strength Training Principles

Progressive Resistance

The only way to make muscles grow is to subject them to an overload. As you grow stronger, the only way to make your muscles continue to grow is by increasing the work that they do. This can be done by simply increasing the weight that you lift. This ensures that your muscles are continuing to work at their maximum.

Over-training and recuperation

Recuperation is needed in order to let your muscles rest and grow. Over training occurs when the muscles are trained to often with not enough time to recover and/or not fed properly. Achieving full range of motion

This is the only way to stimulate the entire muscle. Any exercise should take the muscle through its longest possible range of motion. This means full extension to complete contraction.

Warming up

This is an essential part to the workout. By warming up the muscle it reduces the risk of injury and also allows a higher level of intensity to be achieved by preparing the joints and the cardio-vascular system.

Sets, Reps and the right weight

The number of sets should generally be around 5 in order to allow full stimulation of all of the muscle fibres. The number of reps should be generally between 8 and 12 in a beginner's workout. The correct weight to use is simply judged on if you can lift it and complete your specific number of reps without failing 2-3 short or doing 2-3 more. The last rep should be a struggle but not so hard you have to cheat to be successful.

Rest between sets

This has to be judged quite carefully. If you rush you workout and have little rest between sets you are likely to tire yourself out to early. But if you rest for too long your heart rate will slow down and the level of intensity drops to virtually nothing. The average time is roughly one minute between each set.

Breathing

This may seem a little strange but it is important to breathe correctly, i.e exhale with effort, holding your breath could result in injury.

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Advanced Strength Training Techniques

Forced reps

This is a technique for when you reach failure in a set but you have your training partner help you 'force' out 2 or 3 more reps by taking some of the wieght. These can be helpful to break a sticking point.

Negatives

Negatives provide the muscle with eccentric tension, that is lengthening of the muscle whilst under tension. For example this occurs when lowering the wieghts in a bench press or barbell curl. This negative stage should be controlled and slow. You can also have your partner assist in the raising of the wieght in order to perform more negatives.

Supersets

These are two or more exercises performed in a row with no rest in between.

Stripping method

This is used to completely exhaust the muscle. When you reach failure on the set remove a small amount of weight and do some more reps. Again when failure is met remove some more weight. This should be done only on the last set for that exercise.

21's

This is a series of half reps performed at the lower, middle and upper section of the full movement. Traditionally it is 7 reps in each section giving a total of 21 reps in a set.

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