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Develop Superhuman Strength

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I’m not the strongest guy out there by any means, but being someone who went
from getting crushed under a 135 lb barbell trying to max out on bench press
shortly after getting into training, to a few years later bench pressing 315 lbs for
a set of three (full range of motion and no assistance) at a body weight of 165
pounds as well as completing a full range of motion one arm chinup with ease, I
like to think I’ve picked up a thing or two about maximizing strength.
While I defer most people to seek the help of a qualified strength coach, here are
a few tactics that have made a huge difference in maximizing performance that
you can start to incorporate easily into your current routine:
Utilize Activation Sets: Activation sets, as opposed to warmup sets, are
meant to stimulate the nervous system for a particular exercise without
fatiguing the muscle. These activation sets usually call for an extremely
explosive movement to amp up the nervous system. An example would be
to do a couple high jumps before squatting, or do a single explosive rep on
a squat at a relatively heavy weight that doesn’t wear the muscles out. My
preferred activation exercises are: High jumps before squatting. Explosive
pushups (think clapping pushups) off a bench before bench pressing, and
explosive pullups before back exercises.
Utilize Slow Sets: While explosive lifts are important for activating the fast
twitch muscle fibers, slow sets are important for taking out momentum and
working a muscle through the full range of motion. I noticed huge gains in
my squat numbers when I started incorporating sets of squats with a 3
second descent, a 3 second pause at the bottom, and a 3 second raise. This
strengthened the bottom portion in particular which was my weak link to
getting stronger on the lift.
Utilize Dead-Start Sets: A set done from a dead start means there is no
lowering of the weight before it is lifted. Setting up a bench in a squat rack,
setting a barbell just above chest level on the pins, and then pressing
starting from the bottom portion of the movement is a challenging stimulus
that takes the stretch-reflex (momentum) out of the exercise putting
tremendous tension on the chest. Utilizing this technique in my training was
part of how I was able to work up to a double bodyweight bench press at
one point. Pausing for several seconds in the stretched position of a lift is
another way to accomplish a similar outcome.
Here’s a sample of how I would set up a squat routine to utilize these things:
8 reps at 135 to warm up
3 high jumps for activation
2 super slow reps, then 1 explosive reps at 185 for activation
3 explosive reps at 225
3 high jumps
1 slow rep at 275
1 explosive rep at 275
1 explosive heavy rep at 305
Start doing work sets at 315
After work sets, drop weight down to 225 – 275 and do 1 set with 3-3-3
tempo OR do 1 set from a dead start. Sets are not typically not done to
absolute failure, but close.
Recommended Strength Training Routines: Starting Strength:
startingstrength.wikia.com/wiki/The_Starting_Strength_Novice/Beginner_Programs
5/3/1:
tnation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/how_to_build_pure_strength
Westside:
tnation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/westside_for_skinny_bastards
I Bodybuilder:
tnation.com/free_online_program/sports_body_training_muscle_anaconda/anaconda_protocol#8211-training-program/phase-1-8212-shoulders/monday
Gymnastic Bodies: Great resource for building high level strength with body
weight and gymnastic workouts. gymnasticbodies.com/

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