Since it is still early days in the life cycle of my blog I will be covering a fairly basic topic but one that is very important. Some of you know that different training equates to different results, however, many beginners in the world of fitness don’t know or understand why this is. So today I will undertake the task of explaining this to you- helping you with your future fitness.
First of all I will reveal the secrets of the most well known form of exercise… Bodybuilding. This focuses on growing muscle mass above all else with things such as endurance or explosivity being ignored. If this appeals to you then listen up because hypertrophy is the answer. Hypertrophy is a word thrown around a lot by people and its meaning is often clouded- so to clarify hypertrophy means the damage of muscle tissue in order to grow and strengthen that muscle tissue. Because it has been damaged the body wants repair it stronger and bigger so that it wont become damaged again. Therefore , with the basic science over, I will explain to you how to achieve the mystery that is hypertrophy. Well… every exercise that stimulates a muscle involves a stretch and a flex, so to damage a muscle many stretches and many flexes are needed. In proper English that means many repetitions of said exercise are needed to cause hypertrophy. A repetition range of 8-14 is a good place to start with the weight being as light as possible allowing for you to complete the needed repetitions. In regards to what type of exercise is best a mixture of compound and isolation movements will produce the optimum results.
For a power lifting based regimen you are looking to lift the most amount weight while arguably doing the least amount of work (again we will try to not start an argument). Your aim here should not be hypertrophy but instead lifting the most amount of weight to damage muscle tissue in order for it to repair stronger. A 5 set by 5 repetition system will achieve this,however I wouldn’t normally say this but because of the heavier weight you will be using a spotter would be useful to make sure you are not hurt will performing the exercises. Speaking of exercises the ones you should focus on should be the larger compound lifts being the bench press, dead lift and back squat. These are the lifts assessed at all power lifting meets and so these should be the ones you should train for . But this does not mean that hypertrophy based exercises should be ignored since a larger muscle mass can lift a larger weight easier than a smaller muscle mass.
Another popular form of training is a functional training. This is characterised by CrossFit and the thoughts behind that. Many people think that is stupid doesn’t work and has no carry over. I completely disagree with this and believe that it is often more useful than the others in this post- functional training involves using as much of your body to move a set weight the most distance. A great example of this is Olympic lifting, which again many people think is cheating because of the apparent limited range of motion and the lack of visible muscle mass on those who complete Olympic lifts. But the point of Olympic lifts is not to build muscle it is to become explosive- to use every body part to move the weight. This type of training is most useful in conjunction with another type of training and is most applicable to sports. The exercises that you are after are Olympic lifts, jumps and faster movements. There is no agreed set number of repetition range however I would recommend a 5 set by 5 repetition scheme using a weight of 60% of your one repetition maximum on that exercise.
I hope this has been useful to you in some way or another and of course if you have any questions about this or anything else for that matter then don’t hesitate to contact me via the email on my homepage. But before I end this post I would advise each of you to find a balance with your training, don’t just do what looks attractive do what is best for you. Whether that be a mix of training styles or not, really analyse your situation and plan around that. Only then will you begin to see the results that you so desire.