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3 Weight Training Principles

Updated: Dec 27, 2022

In order to get strong and not get injured it is best to understand how weight training programs are designed by the pros.


The pros manipulate these 3 variables:


#1 Body Position/The Lift-

Pick the right exercises. Your program should be balanced. Know the pillars of strength. They are: push, pull, bend, squat, and rotation. So to be balanced have equal amounts of pushes (e.g. push ups) to pulls (e.g. bent over rows) and bends (e.g. Romanian deadlifts aka RDLs) to squats and then add abdominal exercises that have a rotational component.


#2 Volume-

Volume is the total load in a weight training session (sets x reps x weight). The volume changes based upon what training phase you are in.


So what are the 4 phases of weight training?


Phases:

1-Endurance (Reps 15-20; 2-3 sets)

2-Hypertrophy (12-15 reps; 3-4 sets)

3- Strength (8-10 reps; 3-4 sets)

4-Power (3-5 reps; 3-5 sets).

5-(maintenance)


Know what phase you are in and adjust the sets and reps each month.


Pick the right weight to work with. You should not be able to do 2-4 reps more than the prescribed reps in a set to know that you are working with a good amount of weight.


Selecting the right weight ensures a training change that offers results. Lifting too light keeps a person ONLY in the endurance phase which could set a person up for fatigue and injury and never really increase their strength. This the most common mistake I see.


So pick a good weight, considering you have good technique.


Now periodization. Periodization is a weight lifting term describing the cycling of sets, reps, and weight on a schedule. Periodization ensures a challenge and a change in the body that allows for delivery of results.


For example, in January work on muscle hypertrophy to get the muscles and nerves ready to handle work. Keep the load light and perfect your form in the hypertrophy phase. The hypertrophy phase is considered high volume and stresses the body the most. That is why body builders commonly manipulate this phase the most. They are actually trying to "hypertrophy" or increase grow in their muscle tissue.


Then in February go to the strength phase. In the strength phase the volume is lower. The weight is higher but the sets and reps are lower.


Now in March, if you are a performance athlete go for the power phase next. In the power phase the lifter handles the highest weights, but surprisingly the lowest volume due to less sets and reps.


Taking a week off of weight training before your competition is important. Now you are ready to perform at your peak.


When you are in your competing session, go to a maintenance phase of 2 sets of 10 reps.


Now in April go for endurance. The endurance phase is similar to the hypertrophy phase in that the volume is high. The difference is that in the endurance phase the weight is the lightest.


If you are a casual exerciser skip the power phase all together and cycle between the other 3: Endurance (Reps 15-20; 2-3 sets), 2-Hypertrophy (12-15 reps 3-4 sets), 3- Strength (8-10 reps 3-4 sets).


For the remaining months, you can cycle back to where you started and repeat, now with increased weights as you have gained strength.


You may also add in a month of a maintenance/rest phase.


#3 Rest-

Never lift back to back days, unless you are a bodybuilder rotating upper and lower body exercises creatively. Get 8 hours of sleep every night. Drink water and electrolytes as needed. Eat a balanced (preferably mediterranean) diet. Eat your biggest meal after your lift.



Enjoy a STRONG life with less injuries and more CONFIDENCE!


Email me for an example of a full program at jen@drjenphysicaltherapy.com


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