Achieving Muscle Strength and Power
Strength training is an essential component of exercise programs for increasing muscular strength and size. Other terms that are used to refer to the use of weights or some form of resistance in order to increase muscle strength and size are “resistance training” and “weight training”.Strength training increases muscular strength, muscular endurance and muscle size. The increase in muscle size which is due to an increase in amount of contractile proteins in the muscle fibers, is termed “muscle hypertrophy”. As individuals become more familiar with strength training, more advanced program designs can be used. Also, the rate at which strength gains are achieved slows considerably as increases in strength are due primarily to muscle hypertrophy.
More experienced lifters may want to incorporate additional free weight exercises into their workout program and perform more complex exercises. Individuals should set realistic goals for the amount of weight gain per week or month. Insetting goals, several key points should be considered. The desired weight gain is muscle not fat, and the more rapidly an individual attempts to increase body weight, the more likely that a greater proportion of the weight gained will be fat rather than muscle. The rate at which an individual can gain weight will be affected by several factors, including their level of strength training experience and genetics.
Program Design for More A dvanced Lifters:
Type of training equipment: Free weights and machines; increasing emphasis on free weights.
Frequency: 2 times per week per muscle group;
2 to 6 days per week; split routines often performed.
Number and order of exercises: 8 to 10 exercises; Larger muscle mass and more complex exercises first and smaller muscle mass, simpler exercises later.
Number of sets per exercise: 2 to 5; may differ for various exercises.
Repetitions for each set: 3 to 12; should be varied on a regular basis.
Weight to be used for each set: 70 to 90% of 1-repetition maximum; one or more sets incorporating maximal effort must be performed.
Rest periods: 1 to 3 minutes between sets depending upon goals of the workout; 1 to 3 minutes between exercises.
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