By Eric Martinez
Dec. 10. 2010-
Strength, what most people in the weight room overlook. Many people believe they should just train for size, but you really should be trying to maximize your strength week by week in order to eventually increase the size you desire. There are numerous myths, methods, and ways to go about strength training. The three I go by are Maximal Effort, Dynamic Effort, and Repetition methods. Max effort method produces the greatest strength gains by improving intramuscular coordination, 1-2 reps are used for this method. Dynamic effort is used to replace a max effort workout; this method indirectly builds strength by increasing a fast rate of force development and explosive strength. Repetition method is used for failure sets, failure sets should be done with no partner’s assistance and again the set should be done to complete failure where you can’t do it anymore. Since I am such a nice guy I am going to give you “7 rules” to use when it comes to strength training for you to try.
1) Select a weight that brings you to near muscle failure on the last two reps of your last two sets. If you can do more reps than listed, add more weight to your next set. If you can’t reach the target number, back off a bit on your next set, you will get it next time.
2) Take at least two minutes of rest between sets. Stretch while resting, this is very crucial. You must be rested for each set so that you can put max intensity into each rep.
3) Select a challenging start weight for each exercise and stick with it, don’t fear the weight people it will not bite. If you happen to miss the mark by a rep or two, make a note of it and attack it again next week.
4) Each week try and add 5-10 pounds to upper body workouts and 10-20 for lower body workouts, once again don’t fear adding weight its good for you.
5) To maximize the amount of weight you move each workout, try taking 3-5 grams of creatine, 3-5 grams of BCAA’s, and 1-3 grams of Beta-alanine both pre-workout and post-workout. This is optional, but this will indeed help you in the long run with your workouts.
6) I recommend you reduce or completely eliminate the amount of cardio that you typically do, this is to ensure that you have enough energy for your workouts. If you absolutely can’t say no to cardio then keep it low intensity, brisk walks no more than 30 minutes once or twice per week. Keep in mind as your strength training you are already burning tons of calories as it is from these intense workouts.
7) The last tip is probably the most important to follow. Don’t ever overlook warm-up time before you train! Spend at least 15-20 min preparing for the workout ahead of you by doing some dynamic stretching activities. Such as: jumping jacks, jump rope, mountain climbers, stationary bike, jump squats and lunges no weights, ect. You must get your blood flowing and sending to your muscles and connective tissue. This is a great way to prevent any injuries.
So there you have my 7 rules for strength training, let’s hit it hard ladies and gents!