Wednesday, October 31, 2018

How To Maximize Your Strength Gains

So what's the best training method for maximizing muscle strength? Ask a hundred different trainers and you'll get a hundred different answers.

Indeed, the advice we get when it comes to strength training is no more clear-cut than the IRS tax code. Fortunately, we have researchers like Professor Mark Peterson at Arizona State University to help us sort it all out.

Recently, Professor Peterson carried out a comprehensive review of 37 strength-training studies performed on competitive athletes at the collegiate or professional level in an effort to pinpoint the training method that seems to produce the best gains in muscle strength. After review the data and crunching the numbers, Professor Peterson found that the maximal strength gains are elicited among athletes who:
  • Train at a mean intensity of 85 percent of one-repetition maximum
  • Train each body part 2 days per week
  • Train at a mean volume of 8 sets per muscle group 
What This Means to You:

According to this research, if you want to maximize gains in muscle strength, you should be training heavy, training often and training with a high degree of volume. Along these lines, a sample chest workout for someone with a maximum bench press of 265 pounds might look like this:

Monday
  • Barbell bench presses: 5 sets of 5 reps with 225 pounds
  • Incline presses: 3 sets of 8 reps with 205 pounds
Thursday
  • Dumbbell bench presses: 5 sets of 5 reps with 100-pound dumbbells
  • Dumbbell flyes: 3 sets of 8 reps with 50-pound dumbbells
Note: Rest 1 minute between sets. Try to increase the weight a little each week. 

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