Strength Training Guidelines

Written by Matt Russ

Continued from page 1

III. Advanced Training Techniques

There are several ways to stimulate muscle growth and endurance without necessarily increasing resistance. These techniques are used to keep your body adjusting and avoiding plateaus. It is important to note that each technique should be used sparingly because it might be too intense to use on a regular basis, and may not give a muscle group adequate time to recover and repair. It you are beginning to strength train I would avoid most of these techniques until you have adequate tendon, joint, and ligament strength.

1. Drop Set: Start with 1 warm up set. Selectrepparttar amount of resistance you would normally use on your last set to failure. Lift to failure, drop 10% resistance, and lift to failure and drop another 20%, lift to failure, drop 50% and do as many reps as you can. You can do a drop set with four, three, two, or a single drop in weight.

2. Compound Set: A compound set is performing two exercises forrepparttar 113060 same body part back to back with no rest in-between. Ex. bench press / push up; preacher curl / hammer curl; triceps kickback / bench dip. Compound sets will quickly bring a muscle group to failure therefore it is unnecessary to perform multiple exercises.

3. Super Set: A super set works opposing muscle groups back to back with no rest in-between sets. An example would be performing a bicep curl and triceps extension, leg extension (quadriceps) and leg curl (hamstrings), seated row (back) and chest press. Super sets are great for minimizingrepparttar 113061 amount of time needed to workout.

4. Partials: Normally an exercise works a joint through a complete range of motion. Partials are used whenrepparttar 113062 muscles are too fatigued to do a complete range of motion and attempt to squeezerepparttar 113063 last bit of strength out of them. Once you have reached failure inrepparttar 113064 full range, complete several more reps to failure usingrepparttar 113065 last half ofrepparttar 113066 range of motion.

5. Negatives: You can accomplish just as much inrepparttar 113067 lowering or negative phase of an exercise asrepparttar 113068 positive or exertion phase. The negative phase for a bicep curl would be loweringrepparttar 113069 weight torepparttar 113070 starting position. For biomechanical reason your muscles can accommodate 20% more resistance in this phase therefore increased weight and usually a partner are needed. Negatives increaserepparttar 113071 load on tendons, joints, and ligaments therefore I use negatives on only my most stable clients who have been strength training for some time. You can perform a form of negative resistance by taking as much as ten seconds to lowerrepparttar 113072 weight. This is much safer and easier onrepparttar 113073 joint. Note that negatives are used for mass building not endurance.

6. Super Slow: When you work out you attempt to recruit as many ofrepparttar 113074 fibers in a muscle as possible; at failure you are achieving maximum recruitment. The super slow method is an effective way to recruit muscle fiber without using a lot of weight. Simply take ten seconds to perform bothrepparttar 113075 positive and negative phases of an exercise. You will want to use lower weight. The first few reps will be easy butrepparttar 113076 muscle will quickly begin to burn. Becauserepparttar 113077 super slow method is tedious I do not recommend its' use in an entire workout. I would use this method sparingly in one set per body part.

7. Rep Sets: Your muscles are composed of mix different fibers, some are used for short bursts of power others for endurance. Generally speakingrepparttar 113078 power fibers hypertrophy, or get bigger thanrepparttar 113079 endurance fibers, butrepparttar 113080 endurance fibers still can be worked. A rep set works a muscle group using low weight and high repetitions versusrepparttar 113081 normal mass building routine. I use a single rep set occasionally atrepparttar 113082 end or a workout for a muscle group.

8. Pre-Exhaustion: An example of pre-exhaustingrepparttar 113083 chest would be to perform two sets of push-ups to failure prior to doing your bench press. I like to schedule pre-exhaustive outlines approximately every four weeks. Use light weight and high reps isolatingrepparttar 113084 same muscle group you will use on your next exercise.

9. Burn Out Set: A burn out set is similar to a drop set. Perform your normal set group (ex 12-10-6) of an exercise, immediately followingrepparttar 113085 last rep performed droprepparttar 113086 weight in half and continue to do as many reps as you can to failure. IV. The Exercises

Compound versus Isolation exercises: Forrepparttar 113087 sake of simplicity we will assume your body can be worked in two ways, by tackling each muscle individually or by working a group of muscles at once. When we work an individual muscle or a muscle group that acts on a joint inrepparttar 113088 same manner, it is called an isolation exercise. Examples of isolation exercises forrepparttar 113089 legs are leg extensions (quadriceps), leg curls (hamstrings), and calf raises. Compound exercises work several muscles or muscle groups at once. Examples of compound exercises forrepparttar 113090 legs include squats, leg presses, and lunges which workrepparttar 113091 glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps as well as a variety of smaller support muscles. Once again I recommend using a variety of compound and isolation exercises. Sometimes I pre-exhaust my quadriceps with leg extensions making them work extra hard when I perform squats, or I finish my leg presses with hamstring curls to really make sure I got everything out of them. Alternate between isolation and compound exercises but rememberrepparttar 113092 large compound movements should berepparttar 113093 emphasis of your workouts.

Matt Russ has coached and trained athletes around the country and internationally. He currently holds licenses by USAT, USATF, and is an Expert level USAC coach. Matt has coached athletes for CTS (Carmichael Training Systems), is an Ultrafit Associate. Visit for more information.

Who Needs a Coach?

Written by Matt Russ

Continued from page 1

Coaches monitor progress and make adjustments to an athlete’s schedule as required. Adjustments need to be made for an individual’s time constraints, to recover from or prevent potential injury, and to administer additional rest and recovery. A coach has to read betweenrepparttar lines a lot and consider an athletes mental state. Are they burned or under emotional stress? Are they challenged enough? They also adjust motivational cues from athlete to athlete. Some athletes respond well to simple orders, while others like to knowrepparttar 113059 reason behind what they are doing. Strength training is administered based onrepparttar 113060 athlete’s goals, and routine design may promote hypertrophy, power, or muscular endurance.

Perhaps one ofrepparttar 113061 best things coaches provide is consistent, accurate, and clear feedback. Skill sets such as cornering, climbing, and proper running form are best accomplished while under direct supervision. Coaches can also teach mental skills such as visualization and positive self talk which can have a tremendous impact on performance.

Training should be a gradual building process, work out to work out, month to month, season to season. If your goal is general fitness or exercise you probably do not need a coach. But if you have a specific goal in mind, coaching can providerepparttar 113062 quickest, safest, and most effective route to accomplishment. If you decide to hire a coach, make sure they are licensed by a national governing body such as USA Triathlon, USA Track & Field, or USA Cycling. You should also check references and competitive experience. Lastly make sure that your personalities mesh and that your coach is someone you enjoy and respect.

Matt Russ has coached and trained athletes around the country and internationally. He currently holds licenses by USAT, USATF, and is an Expert level USAC coach. Matt has coached athletes for CTS (Carmichael Training Systems), is an Ultrafit Associate. Visit for more information.

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