Modernized Strength Secrets,
The fitness question of the century has been “how to get stronger.” For some time now we have all been following what we were told, whether it worked or not, it was the “old way” or “no way.”
I. Stretch for Strength
Static vs. Dynamic
Dynamic stretches involve movements that activate more muscle fibers than static or (stationary stretches.) Dynamic stretches are responsible for a neuromuscular priming method knows as postactivation potentiation or P.A.P. This is key for kick-starting your strength performance in and out of the gym. When you think of PAP think of sprinters jumping behind their blocks before a race or a baseball player taking practice swings behind the plate before hitting a home run.
First Secret: To fire up your nervous system and see immediate increases in strength performance, prior to lifting, do any type of plyometric-body-weight exercise (engaging the same muscle groups) for 3 reps.
II. Less Time Lifting
Yes, it sounds contradicting but in all actuality it’s not. You don’t have to exceed your limits every time you hit the gym, it can help but it is NOT a must. The more time you spend in the gym or working out – the less effective your exercises will become and you increase your chances of becoming injured. Your body’s energy levels will decrease with (time in the gym) as your glycogen stores will deplete. So the key is to know when enough is enough and call it a day.
Second Secret: If you’re used to working out for 1 hour, try split-workouts with 30 minute sessions each. This will enhance your body’s natural method of recovering while enabling your muscles to >>> recruit more motor units for strength.
III. Increased Repetitions
Sets vs. Reps
Obviously we are all accustomed to lifting heavier weights for fewer reps to increase muscle size and gain strength. The thing is, lighter weights with much higher reps will also cause your muscles to grow. The Journal of Applied Physiology recently published a study revealing that lifting lighter weights for higher reps in the 3 sets of upwards of the 30 rep-range can boost muscle growth.
The Third Secret is to push your muscles to fatigue. Strength and muscle growth will be gained with fatigue and the results typically follow this pattern:
- Heavy weights, less reps: Recover quicker from workouts, experience hypertrophy and some form of muscle definition but not a drastic amount.
- Light weights, more reps: Longer time for recovery, experience intense amounts of muscle definition with less hypertrophy or “bulking.”
We’re all used to certain truths: “Big lifts produce big gains, greater intensity fuels greater results, and less rest equals less fat and more strength,” obviously, it all depends on your goals but either way, true strength can be gained by balancing out “the old” with “the new” methods. Nobody likes to jump on the newest bandwagon, but these new strength training methods are the truth. In the world of health, fitness and strength these tips are undoubtedly the 3 New Laws of Strength.