The following is a list of progressive strength workouts:
1) 1RM – 1 Rep Max (Rep max = your maximum weight lifted at one time).
2) 3 RM – Three repetitions with the same weight.
3) 5 RM – Five repetitions with the same weight.
4) 7 RM – Seven repetitions with the same weight.
5) 10 RM – Ten repetitions with the same weight.
6) 15 RM – Fifteen repetitions with the same weight.
7) 20 RM – Twenty repetitions with the same weight.
You may have heard about these programs before but they are not very popular among the masses because most people do not want to lift heavy weights. They believe that if they train hard enough, they will get stronger without any effort or even too much effort.
However, it is true that some people can become strong without lifting heavy weights. However, they need to work hard and develop their own unique abilities which are beyond what anyone else can provide.
It is the reason why there are many different types of strength athletes such as bodybuilders, powerlifters, Olympic lifters etc. These kinds of sports require a lot of physical ability and mental toughness to perform well.
The bodybuilders focus more on how they appear while the powerlifters and Olympic lifters concentrate more on how much weight they lift. Be it as it may, all of these sports require strength and a lot of it.
Most of us do not have the time to train like these athletes or want to focus on just one area of training mainly because most of us do not compete. It is not necessary to develop one area of strength at the cost of all others.
For most people, it is more important to stay fit and healthy while being able to function in our day to day lives. It is for this reason that most people should use a combination of all of the above programs based on their goals and abilities.
It is for this reason that the multi-pace training program was created. The program can be changed to suit your abilities while still maintaining balanced strength in all areas.
You will have to learn what weight is suitable for you in each exercise but this will only take a couple of weeks to figure out.
The biggest advantage of this form of training is that it targets more than one muscle group at a time. This is also known as compound exercises.
There are several major compound exercises that can effectively replace many single joint movements. These include:
1) Dips – This exercise mainly targets the chest and triceps but also engages the shoulders and arms to a small degree.
It is one of the best exercises for the chest.
2) Chin Ups – Chin ups mainly focus on the lats, shoulders and biceps.
It also engages the chest, shoulders and arms to a small degree. It is very similar to the dip but targets the back more.
3) Barbell/Dumbbell/Trap Bar Deadlift – This exercise mainly targets the entire backside along with the legs, hips, grip and lower back to a small degree.
It is arguably the best overall exercise for strengthening the entire body.
4) Barbell/Dumbbell/Trap Bar Clean – This exercise mainly targets the shoulders and traps along with the arms and upper back to a small degree.
It is one of the best exercises for strengthening the shoulder girdle.
5) Barbell/Dumbbell/Trap Bar Bench Press – This exercise mainly targets the chest along with the shoulders and arms to a small degree.
It is one of the best exercises for strengthening the chest.
6) Barbell/Dumbbell/Trap Bar Curl – This exercise mainly targets the biceps but also engages the forearms and a small part of the shoulders.
It is one of the best exercises for strengthening the biceps.
7) Barbell/Dumbbell/Trap Bar Shrug – This exercise mainly targets the traps but also engages the shoulders and arms to a small degree.
It is one of the best exercises for strengthening the traps.
8) Dips (weighted) – This is a combination of exercise one and two.
It targets the chest, shoulders, arms and back to a small degree.
9) Pull Ups (weighted) – This is a combination of exercise three and four.
It targets the back, lats, biceps and forearms to a small degree.
10) Barbell/Dumbbell/Trap Bar Deadlift (weighted) – This is a combination of exercise five and six. It targets the lower back, glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, abs and grip to a small degree.
It can also be used to strengthening the knees and when done properly can take stress off the lower back.
11) Barbell/Dumbbell/Trap Bar Bench Press (weighted) – This is a combination of exercise seven and eight. It targets the chest, shoulders, arms and upper back to a small degree.
12) Barbell/Dumbbell/Trap Bar Curl (weighted) – This is a combination of exercise nine and ten. It targets the biceps, forearms and grip to a small degree.
It can also be used to strengthen the elbows.
These twelve exercises can effectively replace hundreds of more isolation based exercises. Free weights can also be used to great effect but some gyms don’t have the proper equipment.
Free weights can be as effective as machines if you know how to use them properly.
If your gym has Smith Machine or Power Racks, these are examples of an acceptable substitute for Barbell/Dumbbell/Trap Bar Deadlift and Barbell/Dumbbell/Trap Bar Curl respectively. These three exercises will form the core of your routine.
You can pick two or three more exercises from the list above to form your routine. If you do not know how to perform these exercises or need a guide on how to weight and sequence these exercises in a routine then I suggest reading “The Elite Way” by Brian Carroll. It has everything you need to know about proper strength training.
Remember, it’s always easier said than done so don’t beat yourself up if you can’t perform an exercise or lift a weight as suggested. Just because you can’t bench press 200lbs.
doesn’t mean you’re a weak person. It just means that you need to keep on working at it until you get there.
Sources & references used in this article:
Kick-strengthening soccer practice ball, and production and training by J Komitor, E Adamson – 2000 – Penguin
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Raw: A Fresh Approach to Eating Well—with Over 150 Delicious Recipes by C Borkowski – 1999 – Penguin
Suspension Training as an Exercise Method by AS Haseltine – US Patent 6,402,647, 2002 – Google Patents
Deliberate performance: Accelerating expertise in natural settings by K Karter, G Mezger – 2000 – Penguin