Saturday, September 1, 2007

Strength Training

As Mentioned in my previous post, Strength training is very important now let me give you a few pointers on what to do and what not to do in gym.

1. Choice of Exercise
Choice of exercise is vital for your success. 80 % of your workout should consist of full body exercises or multi joint exercise. Single joint exercise should be avoided at all costs, your training program should revolve around following exercises:

a. Squat :
Squat is one exercise that every one should start doing if they are not doing it. The key point here is to go below parallel thus working your whole leg.

b. Deadlift : Deadlift is another great exercise which everyone needs to add into there workout if looking for some serious strength gains. While doing Deadlift special care should be taken to use glutes and hamstrings for lifting weight instead of back.

c. Bench Press : Bench press is one exercise that needs no introduction, but still I when I look in gym I see half of the people doing it wrong or only doing half motion. Do not forget to balance this with heavy barbell rows.

d. Overhead Press : One of the great upper body strength exercise ignored by most. Preceded by an exercise like Clean and you can get a killer workout.

e. Pull ups: Pull-ups or chin-ups are great exercise for back and biceps. If you can not do pull ups then you can ask some one to support you. Pull down machines are not as effective as doing a pull up.

f. Rows: Rows are excellent exercise for developing the back. you can either use the barbell version or dumbbell version. Importance of rows with respect to Bench press is explained later in this article.

2. Selecting a routine
Your workout routine should be either full body or upper body / lower body split. You should never split your routine based upon muscles like one day chest other day shoulder generally what body builders do. This type of routine is highly unproductive unless you are genetic freak or you are on drugs.

3. Do not overdo
Your workout session should not go beyond 1 hour and 3/4 days per week is more then enough for most the people out there. Your body needs proper rest and nutrients to grow. and if you are spending any more time than this then you are really increasing the chances of being over trained.

4. Stay away from machines
You should stay away from machines with possible exception of cable pulley system. your most of the training time should revolve around free weights only which include barbells and dumbbells. Two reason why you should avoid machines are :
1. These movements are not functional i.e you won't use them in your daily life hence they are not effective and can possibly lead to injury.
2. These exercise are way too simple and you can't expect good results just by using machines.

5. Corrective Lifting.
Most of the people have developed a bad posture through bad habits and doing wrong exercise will lead to muscle dysfunction and even worsen the problem. Now imagine you have rounded shoulder and you only do Bench press and no rows. What would this lead to ? strong chest and week back, which will further worsen the problem. But if you dump the bench and replace it with heavy rows and other corrective exercise then you can possibly improve your posture.

I have just touched the tip of ice berg here and will be posting some more information in coming weeks, so keep checking out.
AddThis Social Bookmark Button