5 Core Concepts of Strength Training

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    5 Core Concepts of Strength Training


    Core Concepts of Strength Training
    Posted 11/13/96




    Is it possible to make continual progress in your athletic endeavors? I believe the answer is YES, in the vast majority of cases. Most athletes reach premature, "false" plateaus in performance abilities as a result of basic mistakes made in their training. In my debut presentation to In Balance, I'd like to share five of the most prevalent mistakes made by athletes, along with suggestions on how to correct them.
    1) Don't ask your body to adapt in more than one direction at the same time: For example, training for strength and endurance simultaneously leads to compromised results. A better approach is to work on different training objectives in succession. Aerobic athletes do most of their strength training early in their training cycle, and gradually switch over to more aerobic forms of training as the competitive season nears. Strength athletes, on the other hand, have little need for aerobic exercise, but what little they do is done at the beginning of the training cycle.

    2) If you're not making progress, re-vamp your program: Most athletes chalk up a bad performance to the luck of the draw, but it can almost always be traced to poor program design.I'll use an example from business to illustrate the importance of planning: A CEO wants to launch a new marketing campaign. First he'd document his current sales per month. Then he would launch the campaign for a set period of time. Afterward, he'd compare the sales per month during the campaign to the pre-campaign sales. If sales went up, the campaign would be continued. If not, it's back to the drawing board. Athletes would be wise to follow suit. Let's say that you're a competitive 10K runner. Set your sights on a run 16 weeks down the road. Design a training program and follow it. Then enter the race, and use it as a test of the effectiveness of your program.

    3) Be careful when applying the principle of specificity: Many athletes use programs which are specific to their current level of performance, rather than their projected level. A novice track coach for example, might work with a beginning 400 meter runner who's best time is 90 seconds. Typically, the runner would be urged to run 400 meter intervals, for the sake of specificity. The problem is, such a program would only further entrench the ability to run 400 meters in 90 seconds. A better approach would be to set a goal, say, 75 seconds, and then run 75 second intervals, regardless of the distance covered. Gradually the athlete will be able to cover more and more ground in 75 seconds, until he reaches a full 400 meters. With a bit of imagination, you'll find ways to apply this concept to your particular situation.

    4) Never sacrifice quality for quantity: In all training endeavors, the quality of the effort must be established before the quantity (or volume) is added. As an example, if you wish to cycle 10 miles within a certain period of time, you must first calculate how many pedal revolutions per minute are necessary to accomplish the task. So let's say you want to ride 10 miles in 60 minutes. Simply ride one mile in 6 minutes while counting the revolutions, and then multiply by 10. Now you know what your training intensity should be. Then, during training, you must be careful that the amount of cycling you do does not significantly impair the desired revolutions per minute. This process (where you first establish the goal, and then work backwards to establish the sub-steps necessary to accomplish it) is known the Harold Geenan principle.

    5) Do not underestimate the value of nutritional support for training: All training components require a recovery period- if this weren't true, you'd be able to do a hard workout, and then do another one right away, and so on. To reach a given level of fitness for your sport, you have to do a certain number of workouts. The time it takes to complete this number of workouts depends on your ability to recover from them. Good nutritional habits improve your recovery ability, and therefore, the decrease the time it will take to reach your athletic objectives. I'm an avid supporter of the 40-30-30 macronutrient balance, and I find that Balance bars are a great aid in achieving this balance.

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    Originally posted by YellowJacket
    5) Do not underestimate the value of nutritional support for training: All training components require a recovery period- if this weren't true, you'd be able to do a hard workout, and then do another one right away, and so on. To reach a given level of fitness for your sport, you have to do a certain number of workouts. The time it takes to complete this number of workouts depends on your ability to recover from them. Good nutritional habits improve your recovery ability, and therefore, the decrease the time it will take to reach your athletic objectives. I'm an avid supporter of the 40-30-30 macronutrient balance, and I find that Balance bars are a great aid in achieving this balance.
    i might be an example of this. (more of the recovery/time off aspect than nutrition). Ive been bangin' out some hard workouts with minimal days off the past 2 month or so and it finally got to me over the weekend, sending me to the hospital for check up even. end result were high liver functions and what not, but recovery and the importance of being careful in letting your body recover couldnt be underestimated man. These next few days gonna do some good i believe for not only my body, but my take on working out and everything which surrounds it. Sage

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