Advanced Strength Training

Welcome to this fifth post in this blog post series all about Strength Training, exactly what it is, how it benefits you and how to workout the right way.  In this post series we will cover:

This post series aims to give you all the details you need to fully understand strength training and how best to use it to train your body to reach your goals.  Many people include strength training in their workout routine for different reasons, wanting to loose weight, to build up muscle, look good and feel confident, however it is important to understand what strength training exercises and workout routines are suited to what you want to achieve so you can build a routine that best works for you.

Am I ready for Advanced Strength Training?

Am I Ready For Advanced Strength TrainingSo, you have been doing strength training exercises for a while now and I bet your wondering when do I up my workout? when am I not a beginner anymore, and when do I need to start thinking about advanced strength training exercises?

These are all popular thoughts people have so your’e not alone, you are never sure when you are no longer a beginner and can start calling yourself experienced in strength training, so how do you know when you are ready for more advanced techniques?

Well, first things first, you should have been doing strength training exercises for a while, you cannot just jump straight into more advanced techniques as this will definitely do more damage than good.  You have to ease yourself into them, make sure that your body can handle it, otherwise you will cause yourself an injury.

There are usually 2 ways in which people think they can no loner call themselves beginner and move up to more advanced techniques, these are common in lots of people:

1. Period of Time: People think because they have been doing their routine for a set amount of time, whether that be 3 months, 6 months, a year, they can now move up a notch, they are ready to switch up their routine and move to more advanced strength training exercises.

2. I’ve Done It: People think because they set themselves a task of doing, for example, 10 squats, 10 pushups, 10 benchpress, and they have achieved that, it is now time to move on and do more.

advanced strength training yes noSo is this right, should, once you have achieved one or both of the above, you do more?

Well, yes and no, whilst these two things are not wrong, they kind of go hand in hand.  What you should be looking at is your progress.  In my previous posts I have suggested you write down your targets and what you do in each routine and what you achieve on a weekly basis.  This is so important because it tracks your progress.  So for instance, if you are aiming to loose weight, by tracking each training session on a weekly basis you are able to see how much weight you have lost on a weekly basis or on an overall monthly basis.  This is great for confidence and feeling good about yourself, as well as keeping you motivated and focused, but it also allows you to see that what you are doing, the strength training routine you are implementing each week, is working.  You will reach a point, where your progress will slow down or even come to a halt, where the routine you are doing, might still be pushing you, you may still work up a sweat and feel great and like you have just had a workout, but when you track your progress, you actually see that it has come to a halt.

This is when you need to look at things and introduce some advanced strength training techniques, some of which we will go over in a bit.  Whilst it is great to workout, you still want to achieve, you still want to make progress right? So yes, the “period of time” reason does come into play, but you cannot set a specific time frame for it, you cannot say it will be 6 months, you don’t know, your body will tell you, your progress reports will tell you.  Yes, the “iv’e done it” reason also comes into play, because you will have reached your goals of doing x amount of chest presses etc.  Just because you can do it, doesn’t necessarily mean its time to make changes.  If what you are doing is working, stick with it, if you are progressing stick with it, it means the exercises you are doing is working the right muscles and you are achieving.

Advanced Strength Training Techniques

Advanced strength training techniquesYour muscles will adapt to your training over a certain period of time, when you reach that point, is when you need to look into using more advanced techniques, you still need to work your muscles, put them under stress if you like, in order for them to continue to grow, this can be done in several ways.

1. Introduce weights: If you are not currently using weights in your strength training, introduce them, free weights like dumbbells would be a good start, you can do your current strength training exercises with Dumbbells, such as squats, you can see videos “5 Free Weight Exercises” and “30 Minute Strength Training Workout With Dumbbells” in my Strength Training Workouts post.

2. Go to the next exercise: Your routine will be made up of different exercises, for instance, 10 benchpress, 10 sit-ups, 10 pushups, you will normally rest in-between each, for a more intense workout, take away the rest in-between each exercise, so once you have completed one exercise go straight into the next without rest, complete 2 exercises without rest.  Again you can increase the intensity by doing 3 exercises without rest.

3. Increase the number of reps of each exercise: So instead of doing 10 of something, up it and do 15.

4. Introduce another exercise into your routine: Self explanatory, pick another exercise you are currently not doing and introduce it into your routine.

Those are just some ways you can advance in your strength training.  Please only do one thing at a time, don’t introduce all of the above at once, ease into it. It is not about changing things completely it is about adding to what you are already doing, by all means introduce other exercises but do not change it completely.  Switching things up slightly not only improves your strength training, but also keeps you motivated and focused.  A good tip is to either increase the number of reps with the same weight dumbbell or increase the weight of the dumbbell with the same amount of reps, do not increase the weight and number of reps, this maybe too much.

Here is a great video from Joanna Soh – An advanced strength training routine you can do from the comfort of your own home.

Advanced Strength Training Conclusion

So to conclude, you should stick with your routine until you stop making progress and it stops working for you.  That is the best sign that you need to up what you are doing, don’t worry about how long you have done that routine for or that you can do that amount of reps, take note of what your progress is telling you, that will be your sign to move onto a more advanced strength training routine or program.  Have you heard of the saying “if it’s not broken don’t fix it” well that applies here, while it is working for you, continue with it until it stops.

When you need to move up a notch, try changing the variables of weight, reps and rest, but remember not all at once, just change one thing at a time, so choose to either increase the weight or number of reps or take out a rest.

 

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