Tag Archives: heavy lifts

Spend More Time Working Big Muscles

13 Jan

the-barbell-squat-620x330[1]I spend a fair amount of time in high school and college weight rooms, working with a variety of athletes and teams.  This past September and October, I worked with an area high school girls basketball team, in their weight room, helping them prepare for the upcoming season.

As is the case in most schools, there are multiple teams sharing the weight room at any given time, and the girls shared the weight room with the freshman football team.

As I observed them, I could have sworn that these young men did more sets of biceps curls and triceps extensions than all other exercises, combined.  It was comical and — ultimately — ridiculous (35-40 of them were being “supervised” by one coach).

If you’re like these guys, investing a significant portion of your gym time working on your biceps and triceps, you’ve got it backward.  It’s not that those muscles aren’t important, but your biceps is the size of an orange for a reason.

Your smaller muscles exist to assist larger muscles with the important stuff — pushing, pulling, lifting, carrying, and throwing.

The next time you’re in the weight room (and every time thereafter), do your heavy lifts first and focus the majority of your strength training efforts on exercises that work the big muscles, like squats, deadlifts, presses, rows, chinups, and pullups.

Exercises that target your legs, chest, and back  — working multiple joints and muscle groups — provide the greatest return on your workout investment.  And your smaller muscles will get plenty of work in the process.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

3 Tips to Increase Strength

5 Feb

3-Tips-to-Increase-Strength_46d1f626-d679-4457-ae40-360b6e724ece_1024x1024[1]If you want to increase — and continue to increase — your strength, you have to lift fast, lift heavy, and lift more (over time).  Our friends at ASD Performance provide a simple algorithm for building strength:

Lift Explosively

Speed lifts (e.g., box squats, speed deads & speed bench) are essential to increasing strength, acceleration and power. Loads around 60% 1RM should be used and moved as fast as possible. Accommodating resistance (e.g., bands and chains) can be applied to further challenge your ability to accelerate the load. Obvious explosive exercises that should come to mind are the Olympic lifts (e.g., clean & jerk and the snatch) however, medicine ball throws and kettlebell swings also fit into this category as well.

Lift heavy

If you want to get strong you have to lift heavy. Sure, using light weights for high rep sets may give you some tone but doing so will never make you strong.

Lifting heavy requires a large amount of tension. You will be forced to recruit muscle fibers in places not normally directly activated by the lift. Tension is strength. The greater the weight the greater the amount of tension required.

Progressive Overload

This means systematically increasing your work load. This is a very important concept as doing the same thing over and over for extended periods of time will eventually yield no additional benefit. Without progressive overload you will be spinning your wheels and moving nowhere fast!

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

Spend More Time Working Big Muscles

14 Jan

the-barbell-squat-620x330[1]I spend a fair amount of time in high school and college weight rooms, working with a variety of athletes and teams.  This past September and October, I worked with an area high school girls basketball team, in their weight room, helping them prepare for the upcoming season.

As is the case in most schools, there are multiple teams sharing the weight room at any given time, and the girls shared the weight room with the freshman football team.

As I observed them, I could have sworn that these young men did more sets of biceps curls and triceps extensions than all other exercises, combined.  It was comical and — ultimately — ridiculous (35-40 of them were being “supervised” by one coach).

If you’re like these guys, investing a significant portion of your gym time working on your biceps and triceps, you’ve got it backward.  It’s not that those muscles aren’t important, but your bicep is the size of an orange for a reason.

Your smaller muscles exist to assist larger muscles with the important stuff — pushing, pulling, lifting, carrying, and throwing.

The next time you’re in the weight room (and every time thereafter), do your heavy lifts first and focus the majority of your strength training efforts on exercises that work the big muscles, like squats, deadlifts, presses, rows, chinups, and pullups.

Exercises that target your legs, chest, and back  — working multiple joints and muscle groups — provide the greatest return on your workout investment.  And your smaller muscles will get plenty of work in the process.

Get STRONGER, Get FASTER!

Your thoughts?

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