All Posts tagged reps and sets

Pure strength training

The program I find myself using for most clients is a typical Macrocycle and Microcycle of training  using the NSCA standards and guidelines: 
The first thing I do is the assessments – I use the Functional Movement Screen (FMS).
My first concern and goal with people is to fix any imbalance and asymmetry of the body. This is done in the first phase of working out. I usually start with foam roll training, stretches,  body weight exercises and I have clients perform body weight exercises for a count of 15-20 reps.  It’s also the  muscle endurance phase, so when I switch them to using free weights I use 12-15 reps per exercise. A beginner would only perform a little of each muscle group in a workout day until they are ready to progress into more of a split routine. Once I feel the person has muscle endurance, form, posture, and muscle balances they can move on to the hypertrophy phase.

During hypertophy I simply add some weight and perform 6-12 reps. The first few weeks is about 10-12 reps and then it progresses to 8-10 followed by 6-8 at the end of the phase. The sets may also increase along with the weight. The split routine also may change to cause overload as well. During this phase muscle mass should be gained as well as some strength. Once certain goals are obtained the client should be ready for the strength phase.

Strength is 1-5 reps with 2-5 minutes rest because it is mainly using testosterone in the phospogen system. Fat loss and whatnot is not much a concern in this phase but only pure strength. It is wise to be patient and wait for ATP and Creatine stores to recover rather than perform another set before that. I mainly perform 1-5 reps for the large multi-joint exercises such as bench press, squat, and dead-lift. As for some shoulders, arms, calves, etc I perform 6-8 reps. You do not want to do 3 rep bicep curls. This phase may last about 6 weeks. I do about 5 sets of 5 the first week, 5 sets of 4 week two, 5 sets of 3 week 3, and then I start mixing it on week 2. I am gradually aiming to get my highest max possible on week 5-6. During this phase I also look for weaknesses such as unilateral strength, eccentric strength, and stopping points. After the strength phase I go right to Power Training which is also the same reps and recovery as Strength Training however it is explosive.

The warm up for each  phase consists of  Core muscle work. I like clients to perform planks, side bridges, and glut bridges in all phases. For a new client I focus on plank form and endurance in the endurance phase. During hypertophy I have the client perform a plank for 30-60 seconds with weight on the low back.

Even though there is a system, each client gets a personal program.