Six types of Strength Training
- Isometric – there is no change in muscle length during force production. An example of this would be pressing against an immovable object.
- Concentric – causes shortening of the muscle during force production. This is known as positive resistance training.
- Eccentric – results in lengthening of the muscle during force production. This is known as negative resistance training.
- Dynamic Constant Resistance – the force generated by the muscle is “dynamic” and changing through a range of motion. An example of this would be lifting a dumbbell.
- Dynamic Variable Resistance – the resistance of the resistance is made “variable” in an attempt to match the increases and decreases of the strength curve exhibited by the muscle.
- Isokinetic – involves either a concentric or eccentric production of force where limb movement velocity is held constant.
Select at least one exercise per major muscle group to ensure comprehensive muscle development. Training only a few muscle groups leads to a muscle imbalance and increases the risk for injury.
Generally, when performing a series or circuit of strength training exercises, it is advisable to proceed from the largest muscle groups to the smallest muscle groups. This allows you to perform the most demanding exercises when you are the least fatigued.
Exercise Resistance and Repetition
There is an inverse relationship between exercise resistance and repetition. Generally, 8-12 repetitions with 70-80% of maximum resistance is a sound training recommendation for safe and productive strength development.
Recovery Between Sets
Recovery must allow for sufficient restoration of the body’s energy systems. Recovery relates to an individual’s goals, fitness level, and which aspect of strength training they are seeking to optimize.
Speed of Movement
For the average person, gains in strength are best accomplished by moving the weights slowly (about 2 seconds per repetition), through a full range of motion and accomplishing FT(fast-twitch) recruitment by using an appropriately intense overload.
Following are 7 reasons to control the speed of movement
- Constant application of force.
- More total muscle tension produced.
- More total force produced.
- More muscle fiber activation (ST & FT).
- Greater muscle-power potential through high-intensity force development using controlled speed of movement and appropriately intense overload.
- Less tissue trauma.
- Greater momentum increases injury potential and reduces effect on target muscle groups.
Recovery Between Resistance Training
Generally, about 48 hours is appropriate between workouts that are intense, or of an overload to which the body is not accustomed. Adequate recovery is essential to avoid overtraining, strength plateaus, and for progressive improvements in muscle strength and endurance. Individuals who prefer to train more frequently should avoid working the same muscle groups on consecutive days.
As the muscles adapt to a given exercise resistance, it must be gradually increased to further stimulate strength gains. It is not advisable to increase more than 10% between successive workouts.