Tag Archives: exercise variety

Variety is the Spice of… Fitness

25 Jan

Kettlebells[1]If you want to see consistent improvement in the weight room (and — more importantly — on the court or field), you need to change things up once in a while.  Doing the same exercises, the same way, can eventually make your workout “stale” and lead to performance plateaus.

Whether your goals are athletic performance improvement, strength and conditioning, or fitness, occasional variations in your workout can help you reach your goals.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Swap free weights for machines
  • Change your grip (wide vs. narrow, overhand vs. underhand, etc.)
  • Try dumbbells instead of barbells
  • Add kettlebells and medicine balls to your workout
  • Jump rope instead of running
  • Run on stadium stairs or hills instead of flat terrain

Please also refer to related articles:

Training Variety Stimulates Strength Development

Add Variety to Your Workout With Kettlebells

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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Training Variety Stimulates Strength Development

22 Apr

Football-Team-Lifting-300x200[1]“Novelty or training variety are important for stimulating further strength development,” according to research from the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. (Harries, et. al.)

Although this information is not necessarily new, it reinforces the fact that a good strength and conditioning program should incorporate variety of exercise selection; and be periodized and progressive, in order to ensure the athlete’s physical growth and development.

Training periodization is a program design strategy in which the strength and conditioning professional incorporates variations in training specificity, intensity, and volume organized in planned periods or cycles within an overall program, to promote long-term training and performance improvements.

An example of a practical application of training periodization to an athlete’s sport season would be to adapt his or her training to address the relative demands of the sport — over an entire year — including the off-season, pre-season, in-season, and post-season phases.

Obviously, the goal of a periodized training strategy is to help the athlete achieve and maintain optimal strength and power during his or her competition period (in-season phase).  Typically, this requires further increases in training intensity with additional decreases in training volume.

As the athlete adapts to the training stimulus, the strength and conditioning professional must have a strategy of advancing the exercise loads so that improvements will continue over time.  This is referred to as training progression.

A conservative method that can be used to increase an athlete’s training load is called the 2-for-2 rule.  If the athlete can perform two or more repetitions over his or her assigned repetition goal in the last set in two consecutive workouts for a certain exercise, weight should be added to that exercise for the next training session.  (Baechle, T. and Earle, R.; Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning)

It’s worthwhile to note that post-exercise muscle soreness is related to training variety more than intensity or volume.  For this reason, strength and conditioning professionals should be careful about adding excessive, novel training movements during the athlete’s in-season phase.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Variety is the Spice of… Fitness

7 Oct

Kettlebells[1]If you want to see consistent improvement in the weight room (and — more importantly — on the court or field), you need to change things up once in a while.  Doing the same exercises, the same way, can eventually make your workout “stale” and lead to performance plateaus.

Whether your goals are athletic performance improvement, strength and conditioning, or fitness, occasional variations in your workout can help you reach your goals.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Swap free weights for machines
  • Change your grip (wide vs. narrow, overhand vs. underhand, etc.)
  • Try dumbbells instead of barbells
  • Add kettlebells and medicine balls to your workout
  • Jump rope instead of running
  • Run on stadium stairs or hills instead of flat terrain

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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