Basic strength training terms & concepts

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Knight_Errant, Nov 20, 2004.

  1. Knight_Errant

    Knight_Errant Banned Banned

    There've been a lot of quite basic weightlifting questions recently, and I thought I'd draw them all into one tight thread to clear everything up.

    First, a few basic terms.

    Failure- the point where a trainee is not able to complete another rep of a given exercise.
    1 rep max (1RM)- the maximum amount of weight a trainee is able to lift in one repetition.
    Volume- the 'amount' of training you do. Either in terms of one workout (sets and reps) or in terms of an entire week (sets).
    Hypertrophy- the process by which a muscle grows. Of which;
    Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy involves the fluid surrounding the actual muscle fibres
    Myofibrilar hypertrophy involves the muscle fibres themselves.

    Next, a few home truths about weightlifting.
    1. In order to become stronger, you need to be lifting weights close to your 1RM. Light weights, with the exception of explosive lifting, may be good for cardio, but don't come into strength training at all.
    2. By definition, if you're lifting big weights like that, you won't be able to complete many repetitions. I'm sick to death of having to deal with idiots who think you should be doing light weights for a huge number of reps. God knows where this myth came from. With brings me to;
    3.TONING IS A MYTH. Your muscle 'tone' is determined by the amount of muscle there and your body fat percentage. Lifting tiny weights for lots of reps for 'tone' is a red herring.
    4. The keyword for increasing strength is progressive resistance. I.e. adding weight to your exercises. Whatever your approach to volume, you need to be adding weight to see gains.

    A few approaches to volume.

    HIT or High Intensity Training.
    This revolves around very short, full-body workouts, reaching failure every time, and allowing for plenty of rest in between workouts- i.e. one or two sessions a week. Currently enjoying a great vogue amongst the martial arts community.

    Bodybuilding 'splits'.
    This approach will have you working 1 body part out a week, allowing you to fit in more sets. Doing as much as 20 sets for the arms is not uncommon. This approach is currently undergoing widespread discredit, and rightly so. This amount of overtraining will not produce results in the majority of trainees.

    'Greasing the groove'.
    This approach to volume involves lifting regularly, without failure. Typically, you'll do a large number of workouts- as many as 3 a day.

    German volume training.
    Involves selecting one exercise and repeating it for 20 sets. close to the end, your body actually undergoes a kind of neural 'bounce-back' and your reps go up- that's the rumour, anyway.

    The old fashioned way.
    3 full body workouts a week. Big lifts.

    Basically, i want to clear up the points on technique that have been cropping up recently. Take a good look at the write-up links I've listed for each exercise.

    The squat.

    The bench press


    I've alread covered chins and dips in detail here;

    If anybody has any exercises they're unclear on, please bring them up in THIS thread rather than starting a new one.

    A few links;
    Totality's guide to lifting teh weights
    The home of beyond brawn, bastion of natural, drug-free training
    T-nation, fast becoming the internet's favourite strength training resource

    And we're done.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2004
  2. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

    Great post :D
  3. Ad McG

    Ad McG Troll-killer Supporter

  4. Knight_Errant

    Knight_Errant Banned Banned

    Fixed- I also got the poster wrong :eek:
  5. binski20

    binski20 Valued Member

    That depends on the goal of the training.
  6. harhar

    harhar I hate semaphores

    sticky and say "we kick your ass if you dont read this before posting"
  7. Knight_Errant

    Knight_Errant Banned Banned

    You're right- if your goals are overtraining, muscular imbalance and dissapointment, it's a great program :)
  8. JohnnyX

    JohnnyX Map Addict

    Excellent stuff KE. [​IMG]
  9. binski20

    binski20 Valued Member

    Should also mention high set workout schemes shouldnt be jumped into. Many bodybuilders could perform 20 sets no problem due to their past experience. Any faults in musuclar balance will come from the hands of the person not adaquately working all muscles.
  10. Knight_Errant

    Knight_Errant Banned Banned

    I still think it's massive overkill. 20 sets using maximal weights is pretty much impossible unless you're prepared to involve sissy isolation exercises. Why bother? why not just stick to a protocol that involves big, compound movements and doesn't involve overtraining?
  11. Sever

    Sever Valued Member

    Excellent guide, thanks very much
  12. binski20

    binski20 Valued Member

    For general strength for sports or other martial arts you are absolutely right.

    For bodybuilding, yes these types of workouts are neccesary. Which is why I said it depends on the goal.
  13. TkdWarrior

    TkdWarrior Valued Member

    man were u drunk on these threads mate?
    anyways u write wayyyyyy better when u r drunk... :D
    great post..
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2004
  14. binski20

    binski20 Valued Member

    All of that aside though, good post. There is alot of misinformation out there about weightlifting and this helps with that.
  15. Shortfuse

    Shortfuse King of Hearts

    Nice post, it cleared up a few more questions i had on differant ways of training
  16. Wesker

    Wesker Professional Lurker

    Dumb question: will doing heavy weights for low reps build some muscle? My first priority is increasing my strength, but it'd be nice to add a few pounds too.
  17. Ad McG

    Ad McG Troll-killer Supporter

    Dave Tate - one of the best powerlifting coaches in the world. They aim solely for strength and do tons of low rep work. New students under him routinely gain 20-30lbs of muscle per year, training only for powerlifting. If you eat enough, you will put on muscle.
  18. Knight_Errant

    Knight_Errant Banned Banned

    Yes, it will. Sooner or later, the muscle has to grow larger to exert more force.
  19. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

    Strength = muscle.

    Live with it :D
  20. Lanakin

    Lanakin It's all about discipline

    You know that power dealt has to do with mass.. Right? And the mass has to have somewhere to go... You figure it out.


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