Training for Strength
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Strength (resistance) Training: a program of repetitive, progressive exercise that uses a range of devices such as free weights to increase strength and ultimately improve athletic performance
- Aims of a strength program: improving muscular endurance, strength, power, body bulk, muscle tone
- Program must be: exercise specific, employ the overload principle, progressive resistance
- strength: ability to exert force against a resistance in a single effort
- Types of Strength:
- Maximum/absolute strength: maximum force that can be generated by a muscle, 1RM
- Relative strength: max strength that can be generated by a muscle relative to a person’s weight
- Strength/muscular endurance: ability of a muscle group to withstand fatigue, the ability to repeat a repetition
- Speed strength/power/elastic strength: ability to apply force at a rapid rate, the product of strength and speed, the ability to exert max force in a short period of time
Exercise Design for Major Muscle Groups
- Repetitions: the # of times an exercise is repeated without rest
- Repetitions maximum: the maximum weight that can be lifted a specified number of times, 1 RM = lifted once
- Set: number of repetitions done in succession
- Resistance: weight/load
- Rest: the period of time between exercises/sets/sessions
- Periodisation: varying the training load over discrete periods of time
- If the tension is lower than 2/3 of the maximal force, strength gains will not occur
- Safety features: warm up/cool down, appropriate load, rhythm incl breathing, focus on major muscle groups, concentrate on technique
Types of Resistance Training
Isotonic Strength Training
Force against an external load that remains constant.
- The most common type of resistance training, the traditional method
- Uses free weights with a fixed resistance
- Includes concentric (shorter) and eccentric (longer)
- Progressive Resistance Exercise (PRE): 10 reps at ½ 10RM, then 10 reps at ¾ 10RM, then 10 reps at 10RM
- Muscle length changes as the resistance is moved through a ROM
- Resistance does not remain maximal eg the last movement in a bicep curl is easier because of momentum
- General strength training using an isotonic program: 8/10 RM, 3-4 sets, slow/moderate speed, 3 days/week, 1 rest day between sessions
Isometric (also static training)
Muscles develop tension but do not change in length.
- Eg pushing against a wall
- Program: 6-8 reps, hold for 6 secs, 4-5 days/week, performed at joint angles
- Advantages: cheap, short time, done anywhere, easy, good for rehab, used to overcome weak points
- Disadvantages: speed is reduced, blood pressure ^, static contractions rarely occur in competition
A machine adjusts resistance according to the force exerted.
- Newest form
- Advantages: develops maximum strength gains through a full ROM, good for rehab, gains are long-lasting
- Disadvantages: expensive equipment
- By increasing: reps, resistance, sets, speed or decreasing: rest
- Used to stress a muscle in a particular way
- Blitzing: isolating a particular muscle group with a range of exercises (from different angles) until the muscle is fatigued
- Forced repetitions: a partner gently supports where the biomechnical advantage is the least. This helps the athlete life past the ‘sticking point’. Overcomes the problem that you can only lift as much as the weakest part of the muscle can lift.
- Cheating: using other muscles to help overcome the weakest part of a muscle
- Negative repetitions: using eccentric contractions
- Pre-exhaustion: a muscle is isolated and fatigued by an exercise and then used in another exercise eg leg extensions and then squats
- Rest-pause: lift at 1RM. Pause for 10 seconds. Lift again
- Pyramid training: increasing resistance to the optimal weight then decreasing the resistance. The # of reps decreases as the resistance increases.
- Reverse pyramiding: decreasing resistance to allow for increased reps. Muscle is worked to fatigue.
- Super sets: two or more exercises applied without rest
- Up and down the rack: working from light to heavy weights
- Compound training: combining exercises of a muscle group and muscles of the antagonist muscle group with minimum rest.
- Hybrid exercises (compound repetitions): involve moving through a greater range of motion because more than one joint is involved
- Triple drop: decreasing weights so that more reps can be completed
- Programs: for muscular strength: resistance >80% RM, 3-6 sets, <6 reps
- Lean body mass: 8-12 RM, 2-3 sets, every 2nd day
- Muscular endurance: 15-20 RM, 20-60 second sets, low rest, measure intensity by heart rate
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