101119 The Seventeen Absolute Rules of Strength Training
Reading through these rules will be the ONLY part of your strength training that is going to be easy.
Consult with your Doctor before starting a new exercise program.
RULE # 1: THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS TO STRENGTH!
You probably don’t want to hear it but that’s a fact.
A strong foundation is built with basic full body strength exercises and not fluff done on an exercise ball. This is a critical first step to improved physical fitness. You have to work hard to be strong.
RULE # 2: It’s a rough road filled with pitfalls
If you are just starting out then you can avoid the common pitfalls of training. These are the ones the magazines NEVER tell you about, like spending your hard earned money on the supplement of the month, or the ones that will give you bulging biceps in twenty days or those that proclaim doing one set to failure will make you huge.
What a crock! We are not talking rocket science here; it’s as simple as the rest of these seventeen rules, however, knowing this isn’t going to make your training easier. But at least you’ll know what you’re getting into won’t you?
Rule # 3: You have to work hard to get stronger. This is not going to be a ten-minute strength program or one that consists of sitting on a bike and riding it slowly for a long time, i.e. in the phantom fat burning zone There is no such a zone. Intensity is what it’s all about and low intensity doesn’t cut it.
Rule # 4: You have to have a solid well designed training program. Just going into the gym and doing what everyone else is doing won’t make you stronger. It will make the gym owner happier because they don’t have to spend any time working with you in an area they probably don’t know much about anyway. Get with a good strength coach and get on a good program designed for you and not for every other person that stumbles into the gym wanting to do bench presses or ride the bike to lose some weight. Be focused with your training time and do it right each time you exercise.
Rule # 5: You have to overload the muscles of your body in order to become stronger-soups cans won’t cut it unless you are working the shoulder rotator cuff muscles or are into your eighth decade of life and have not exercised and stayed healthy.
Moreover, neither will working out in the so called fat burning zone. This is just another term for don’t push your trainee because they may not come back again and you need the money. This type of trainer is either one of two things, unethical or uneducated. Neither is what you need to get stronger.
Rule # 6: You have to be under the loaded bar a certain amount of time in order to stress your muscles. This is time under tension and I am NOT referring to slow movements. There are very few activities or sports that require slow movements. Explosive speed is usually a critical component in any sport and in regaining your balance to prevent a fall. Train slow to be slow…it doesn’t make sense to train slowly. So don’t do it.
Excite the neuromuscular system and be rewarded with positive results.
Rule # 7: You have to do multiple sets and multiple repetitions. One set of an exercise is not going to make you strong.
Rule # 8: You have to pick the right exercises for your particular goals. If you are active in a sport then choose the exercises that imitate the velocity, joint angles, and coordination required for the greatest training transfer into your sport.
Rule # 9: You have to struggle; it is not easy. Granted, there are times when just putting a check on the calendar after a light restorative workout is in order to show yourself you exercised may be ok. But, these days should be few and far between, especially if you are noticing a lot of them during a training cycle. If so, something is wrong with your schedule and this needs to be addressed.
Rule # 10: You have to sweat and it isn’t pretty. I am not talking about sweating for the sake of exercising your sweat glands. I am referring to the sweat that comes from hard work.
Rule # 11: You have to train more than once every seven to fourteen day. The people who tell you that gains can be made by training only once every seven to fourteen days are selling you snake oil. It doesn’t work.
Rule # 12: You have to rest and recover to build strength. Active rest and the use of recovery aids will help get you stronger because it allows the muscles to rejuvenate and adapt to the training.
Rule # 13: You have to eat five to six times a day-not huge buffet style eating. Getting the nutrients into your body is an important factor in becoming stronger. Your car won’t run without gas and neither will your body grow stronger without food. Keep your body filled and there won’t be a moment when it is searching for a specific nutrient to rebuild the muscles.
Rule # 14: You have to eat the right amount of calories and the proper nutrients at each meal. You don’t need to be taking multiple hundreds of grams of protein a day unless you weigh multiple hundreds of pounds. You do need to get at least a gram per pound if lifting heavy every day.
NOTE: Us older people don’t assimilate the protein like the younger people do, so make sure you are getting at least the minimum amount throughout the day for your body weight.
RULE # 15: You have to exercise your body every single day.
However, too much, too soon leads to an injury, overtraining or peaking before your potential is reached. Follow a decent periodization schedule and you will gain strength.
RULE # 16: Follow the advice of a nationally certified strength coach, i.e. NSCA or ACSM. These men and women know how to get people strong. You must realize that many of the so called trainers out there have simply paid their money over the internet and have obtained a certificate. In one such case, the test booklet is on line and the test can be taken while looking at the book. Is this who you want helping you out?
RULE # 17: Persistence counts-stick to it and you will become stronger.
The rise in obesity in our nation is costing each one of us a fortune in increased health care premiums, lost hours at work and a poorer quality of life. Do your part to maintain your correct weight by exercising each day following the fitness triad recommendations and eating a healthy well balanced diet.