Tag Archives: active recovery

4 Biggest Strength Training Mistakes

17 Mar

Here’s a nice resource from our friends at ASD Performance titled, 4 Biggest Strength Training Mistakes.  It’s a good overview for athletes, active individuals, and Strength & Conditioning professionals.

Mistake 1: Focusing too heavily on assistance exercises

Focus on the the core (main) lifts – the ones that activate your largest muscle groups – like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses (there are lots of others).  These exercises are functional (they will improve the way you feel, function, and perform) and yield a high return on your exercise “investment.”  Think of assistance exercises – like biceps curls – as supplemental exercises.  It’s okay to incorporate them into your workout as long as they’re not the primary focus.

Mistake 2: Not addressing weak points

Everyone has strengths and areas for improvement.  It’s easy to avoid exercises you don’t like or exercises that focus on your weak areas.  Not addressing your weak points can lead to functional strength imbalances and an increased risk of injury.  Recognize your weak(er) areas and incorporate exercises that will help turn them into strengths or, at the very least, decrease the disparity between your strengths and weaknesses.

Mistake 3: Skipping the deload phase

Like our friends at ASD Performance, we also refer to deloading/unloading as “active recovery.”  There are lots of different – evidence-based and effective – theories and strategies for the active recovery phase.  The basic concept is this: You shouldn’t train with heavy weight, high intensity, high frequency, and high volume, all the time.  Your recovery phase is crucial to maximize short- and long-term gains, as well as overall physical well-being.  Every so often – and at regular intervals – you should decrease your training intensity, frequency, and volume for some finite period of time (e.g., the last week of each three-month cycle).

Mistake 4: Light weight with too many reps

This strategy may work well for your short-term, active recovery phase but, if you want to get stronger and more powerful, you’ve got to train heavy with low repetitions.  This means working with loads of about 80%-90% of your one-rep max (1 RM) at a rep range of about 3-6 reps per set, while maintaining proper technique.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

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Muscles Grow BETWEEN Workouts

24 Jul

isEvery athlete knows (or should know) that strength training is an integral part of the performance improvement process.  Stronger, faster, more powerful athletes are better athletes, and strength training catalyzes that process.

And, as important as strength training is, muscles don’t grow during workouts, they grow between them.

Muscles get bigger and stronger during their recovery period, which makes rest and recovery  — following your workout — equally as important.

You can facilitate the recovery process — and gain strength and muscle more quickly — by adhering to a few simple post-workout strategies:

  • Increase blood flow and break up knots and adhesions with a foam roller.  After your workout, spend about 15-20 seconds kneading each muscle group.
  • Allow 48 hours between workouts, but keep moving.  Active recovery  — via light activity (for example, walking, jogging, lateral shuffles, etc.) — is important to the muscle repair process because it facilitates delivery of nutrients to your muscles.
  • Protein intake should remain consistent, even on your “off” days.  Keep feeding your muscles between workouts.
  • Get a good night’s sleep — at least seven hours a night.  Growth hormone is at its highest levels while you’re sleeping.

Be smart about your post-workout recovery, and you’ll maximize the benefit of each and every workout.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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