Sunday, November 6, 2016
Introduction Into Resistance Training
Elevating Human Performance Through Proper Nutrition and Resistance Training
Resistance training is the staple of human performance. Not only does it provide the obvious physical improvements to one’s body, the emotional and psychological benefits gained from resistance training is arguably just as beneficial. How does one begin a weight training program? A person simply can’t walk into a gym and start curling dumbbells and expect to look like Arnold the very next day. Always remember that It is a good idea to give yourself as many sets and repetitions as you need to learn technique — preferably with proper supervision.1
The basis of all weight training programs need to be based on goals, sets, and reps per set. This blog is focusing on the sets and reps per set portion of the equation. In the most basic of senses, rep schemes can be broken down into three main categories: hypertrophy, strength, and power. This is also the order in which a program needs to be designed, starting first with hypertrophy before moving into the strength phase and finally ending with a power phase. One of the most tried and true rep schemes for hypertrophy training is the 4x8 which is four sets of eight reps per set. “A moderate range of 4 sets of 8 reps allows the lifter to handle loads that stress the muscle quickly while facilitating sufficient time under tension.”2
The second phase of resistance training is the strength phase which encompasses rep schemes ranging anywhere from 3-5 reps per set while training anywhere from 85-95% maximum strength capacity. The strength phase is primarily designed to improve, an individual’s strength either overall or at a specific lift or exercise. Now while the hypertrophy phase is primarily designed to help an individual gain muscle mass, the strength phase is designed to harden the muscle fibers rather than increase their size.
The third and final phase of resistance training an individual can perform is the power phase. This phase has rep schemes dealing primarily in 1-3 rep ranges. Other modalities of training such as olympic lifting, kettle bell training, and high intensity cardio can also be used to improve an individual’s overall power output. While using weight training, an individual needs to keep in mind to train at 90-95% max capacity.
Now while this is a very basic and straight-forward approach to resistance training, it is nonetheless a very solid starting point for any novice looking to improve their body composition and overall health and well being.
1Dunn-Lewis, C., & Kraemer, W. (n.d.). ACSM | Articles. Retrieved October 20, 2016, from http://www.acsm.org/public-information/articles/2016/10/07/the-basics-of-starting-and-progressing-a-strength-training-program2Syatt, J. (n.d.). The Best Set and Rep Scheme for Your Goal | T Nation. Retrieved October 20, 2016, from https://www.t-nation.com/training/best-set-and-rep-scheme-for-your-goal