Resistance training: Load training

Load training or weight training is performed to increase muscular endurance, strength, and muscle size.  Load training can also improve your body composition, movement, function, and health.

A program to improve muscular endurance would include the following:

  • Frequency – 2-3 times per week.
  • Intensity – 60-70% of maximum resistance.  Maximum resistance is the amount of weight you can lift once for the specific range of motion (exercise).
  • Repetitions – 12-16 repetitions with a speed of 6 seconds for each repetition.
  • Sets – 2-3 sets of each exercise with less than or equal to 60 seconds of rest between sets.
  • Type – Variety of exercises including free-weights, machines, bands, and medicine balls.Group_Personal_Training_at_a_Gym

A program to improve muscular strength would include the following:

  • Frequency – For total-body workouts, two training sessions per week should be performed, allowing 72 hours between workouts.  For split routines, 72 hours between same muscle workouts, will take 4-6 sessions.
  • Intensity – 80-90% of maximum resistance.
  • Repetitions – 4-6 repetitions with a speed of 6 seconds for each repetition.
  • Sets – 1-3 sets with 1-2 minute rest between sets.
  • Type – Free-weight and machines are the preferred training types for increasing muscle strength.140420-M-HZ646-027 U.S. 5TH FLEET AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY (April 20, 2014) Josh Hostler, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 263 (Reinforced), 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), avionics technician and native of Pensacola, Fla., bench presses 385 pounds during a weight-lifting competition aboard the USS Bataan (LHD 5). Hostler placed first in the heavy-weight division of the competition, lifting 1,295 pounds between bench presses, dead lifts and squats. The 22nd MEU is deployed with the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group as a theater reserve and crisis response force throughout U.S. Central Command and the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Austin Hazard/Released)A program to increase muscular size would include the following:
  • Frequency – Typically, a six-day split routine is used with a 72 hour recovery period for each muscle group.
  • Intensity – 70-80% of maximum resistance.
  • Repetitions – 6-12 repetitions with a speed of 6 seconds for each repetition.
  • Sets – 3-6 sets of each exercise with a rest period of 30-90 seconds between sets.
  • Type – Free-weights and machines are typically used to increase muscle size.bodybuilder-646506_960_720

For both muscle endurance and muscle strength training, the rate of progression should increase 5% whenever the end range of repetitions (e.g. 16 repetitions) can be completed in all the sets for a given exercise.  Once the weight is increased, you will reduce the number to the lower range.  For muscle size progression, body composition and body-part circumference should be periodically assessed, with adjustments made accordingly.  Often a progress plateau is due to over training, not under training.  If this is the case, decrease the volume and increase your recovery time between sessions.


Resistance training: Movement training

Once you have developed good posture, improved your core function and your flexibility, and can maintain good joint position and function, you are ready to progress to the next phase: movement training.

Movement training concentrates on performing the five primary movements in the three planes of motion.  By training in all three planes, you will improve your ability to perform daily activities.

The five primary movements include:

  • Bend-and-lift movements:  This movement is used when you sit and stand from a chair or when you squat to pick something up from the floor.
  • Single-leg movements:  This movement is used when walking or climbing stairs.
  • Push movements:  This movement is used when pushing open a door or when putting an object on a shelf.
  • Pulling movements:  This movement is used when pulling open a door or starting a lawn mower.
  • Rotational movements:  This movement is used when reaching across your body to grab something or when turning around to look behind you.

Once these movements can be performed with proper form, resistance can be added to develop strength.  The increase in resistance loads should be gradual so that form is not jeopardized.  Examples of exercises for each movement include:

  • Bend-and-lift:  squat using a medicine ball, elastic band, or dumbbells.squat
  • Single-leg:  lunge using a medicine ball or dumbbells.lunge
  • Pushing:  chest press standing, sitting, or lying using a machine, bands, or free weights.chest press
  • Pulling:  rows or pull-downs using resistance bands, cables or machine.seated row
  • Rotational:  wood chop or hay baler using medicine ball or cables.hay baler

You should perform movement training 2-3 days per week.  Intensity should be kept low, as proper form is more important during this phase.  Since intensity is low, more repetitions can be done.  As you start, only perform one set of exercises, but as you progress, you can add 1-2 more sets.  If you are a beginner, start with basic exercises, adding more complex moves as you become stronger.  You can add ~5% in resistance once you can perform the maximum repetitions for the weight while maintaining good form, including neutral posture, a stable center of gravity, and controlled movement speed.  You may want to engage a personal training to ensure you perform and progress appropriately with movement training.


Resistance training: Stability and mobility training

We’ve discussed cardiovascular training but let’s shift gears to resistance training.  Similar to cardio, you want to establish a strong base before moving into more demanding training.  You need to establish stability and mobility.  This component is key to performing your daily activities.

With stability and mobility training, you want to develop a strong core, mobile spine and hips, stable and mobile shoulders, and mobile arms and legs.  You need to develop or maintain good balance, both standing still and in movement.  Finally, good posture is an essential component to this training.

Stability and mobility training starts with stability of the lumbar spine, moving to the axial skeleton, and finally to the mobility of the arms and legs.  To improve mobility, you want to include stretching.  To improve endurance and strength, you want to start with isometric contractions of the muscle with the joint positioned in good posture.  For example, performing reverse flys with supine 90-90reversefly strengthens the posterior muscles of the shoulder while maintaining proper position of the hips and shoulders.

Core function is critical to resistance training.  The lumbar spine needs to be stabilized, which helps to prevent injury during movement.  Core refers to the muscles of the lumbo-pelvic region, hips, abdomen, and lower back.  Core activation is the first step and includes exercises such as pelvic floor contractions and TVA contractions.  Next is the core stabilization and includes exercises such as the bird-dog.  You can refer to ACE for more details on these exercises.  Next are hip and spine mobility exercises and include cat-camel,catcamel pelvic tilts, hip flexor stretch, and lying hamstring stretch.  Stability and mobility of the shoulder is the next progression and includes exercises such as shoulder packing, should formations, and prone arm lifts.  Calf stretch is an example distal mobility exercise.  Finally, balance exercises include single-leg stands and dynamic movement patterns. singlelegstand These exercises can be incorporated into your cool-down portion of your cardiovascular training.

You may want to engage the expertise of a personal trainer.  He/she can assess your posture, balance, and strength, as well as, help you establish the stability and mobility foundation to build from.  This will go a long way in preventing future injury and development.

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Cardiorespiratory training: Anaerobic-power training

Anaerobic-power training is geared towards the competitive athlete that is training for high-speed performance during endurance events.bikerace  You may never train in this phase.  If you do, you need to have advanced through the previous phases: aerobic -base, aerobic-efficiency, and anaerobic-endurance.  Examples of those who would train in this phase are runners and cyclists who compete in races that require repeated sprinting and recovery throughout and sprint towards the finish line.  Other athletes that would need this type of training include kayakers, basketball and soccer players, and cross country skiers.  These athletes require cardiorespiratory endurance and the ability to repeatedly perform short periods of anaerobic efforts.

Anaerobic-power training is basically strength training but specific to the activity.  The purpose of this training is to increase the tolerance of metabolic by-products of high-intensity training, such as lactic acid.  The body adapts to these by-products, providing a better buffer against the acid metabolites.Whitewater_kayaker_rolls_on_the_Middle_White_Salmon

You may never be able to or want to train in this phase.  This type of training is not done on a regular basis.  The weekly exercise program is very similar to anaerobic-endurance training, with 70-80% at RPE=3-4, 10-20% at or above RPE=7, and less than 10% at RPE=5.  The difference is the types of intervals done in the higher intensity.  Intervals in this training will be short, highly intense with RPE=9-10, with long recovery intervals.  The recovery intervals may be 10-20 times longer than the work intervals.