The training comprises a good number of key variables to make sure you are making progress in your strength development goal. If you train nonchalantly, you will get nonchalant results. And if you decide to train without a concrete plan, you may not make appreciable progress.
Draw out a plan, challenge your body, and pull yourself out of your comfort zone so as to create an adaptive response in your muscles. Making them work in ways they are not used to would make them break down and then repair stronger.
You’ll require the right balance and integration of some of the key training variables that will be discussed in this article to create an effective training program for strength development. Train smart, train hard!
Key Training Variables Important for Strength Development
Intensity refers to the difficulty and quality of the training. Intensity depends on the type of training program you are observing, as well as the specific goal you are aiming at. If your goal is adding muscle and strength development, a high level of intensity is required.
There is an inverse relationship existing between the intensity of training and its volume. Since intense training sessions are usually stressful and can be highly fatiguing, you need to reduce the volume of your training because fatigue limits the number of quality repetitions you will be able to carry out.
Likewise, more rest and recovery are usually required after intense training sessions, unlike when the training sessions are less intense.
Volume is the work that is being performed in terms of quantity, that is, how much work is being completed in a training session, how many sets, as well as how many repetitions. For strength development, it is often the number of repetitions multiplied by the number of sets. For instance, carrying out two sets of 8 repetitions generates a volume of 16.
Strength and muscle development require the completion of high amounts of volume per training session. This is to allow the breaking down of muscle fiber and stimulation of muscle fiber activation, for growth and repair.
Volume can be expressed in ways such as with respect to distance, number of throws, time, number of jumps, etc. An example of volume being expressed with respect to distance is sprinting for 30 meters.
As earlier stated, there is an inverse relationship that exists between the intensity of training and its volume. Therefore, the greater the volume of training is, the lower the training intensity is expected to be.
Apart from volume having an inverse relationship with intensity, volume is also a powerful stimulus for several types of adaptations from training. For instance, low volume is suitable for activities that call for a great deal of speed, technique, and power. Meanwhile, moderate volume is okay for developing hypertrophy. While higher volume helps improve resistance to fatigue.
Rest is simply the time taken after each set of training. Longer periods of rest will allow you to achieve a greater training intensity. An example is if you train with heavy weights, you should give room for about three to five minutes of rest after each set, just to recover.
In addition, rest encourages recovery. The period of recovery is when all the adaptations for the development of your strength that you are training for occur. Failure to give room for adequate recovery can lead to overtraining and injury.
Your training program needs to be organized such that your muscle and energy systems get a chance to recover. Generally, the 48-hour rule which states that “rest a muscle group 48 hours before training it again” is a good rule to follow.
First, you should train all the muscles around a joint. Failure to do this creates a strength imbalance around the joint, which can set you up for injury in the long run. For instance, if you carry out two sets of pushing movements, you should balance out with two sets of pulling movements. This helps to prevent one side of the body from being overdeveloped.
In the same way, a number of sprinting, heavy ropes, and total-body exercises should be included overtime in your program, to help make sure that you achieve muscle balance.
Tempo refers to how rapidly you move a weight or carry out a movement. Breaking down muscle tissue to allow it to repair and grow back fuller and stronger needs what is usually referred to as time under tension. This refers to how long your muscles are working to carry out training.
With regards to strength development, time under tension is a good thing. After all, it grants your muscles more opportunity to break down and grow stronger again.
Nevertheless, you can not lift a heavy weight slowly. Because during the concentric motion of a lift, the brain thinks fast. However, when carrying out training exercises solely for strength development, you should control the weight during the eccentric (that is, lowering portion) of the lift. This will help create more time under tension.
Variety in Exercise Selection
Variety is key, with regard to muscle hypertrophy and strength development. Carrying out the same movements over and over again will make you attain your plateau and regress in your training, even if you change frequency. This is because the harder the body works in new and challenging ways, the more response you will be getting out of your training sessions.
To add variety to your exercise selection, compound movements like deadlifts and squats can be included, as they can assist in getting you stronger and help in achieving strength development.
It is essential that you manage the key training variables that have been explained here, as they will challenge you, and you will always leave each training session with a certain level of confidence, knowing you’re making progress in your goal of strength development.
The key training variables will help in building your muscles, connective tissues, and ultimately the development of strength.