Protocols for Enhancing Intensity in Strength Training
The formula for increasing muscular strength is simple: overloading the muscle(s) + proper nutrients and downtime = increased strength. This is a simple prescription to understand. However, it can be difficult to implement due to these human behavior pitfalls: 1) not applying the proper overload, 2) applying the proper overload too frequently, and/or 3) poor nutrient intake.
Regarding the overload part of the formula, there are many ways to enhance the intensity of effort applied. We know anyone can use a barbell, dumbbells, selectorized and plate-load machines, manually applied resistance, or even sand bags as the tool for proving the overload stimulus. Regarding the training plan, various training days and weeks can be used, provided they allow adequate downtime and adaptation between workouts.
When it comes to the nuts and bolts of workout sessions, a number of set/repetition scripts and repetition-performance techniques can be used to create overload. But there is an issue: often trainees use the same mundane training routine session after session. As I have mentioned in the past, doing the same thing from workout to workout will leave you going nowhere and will flat line any potential gains. Something must be done to create a new stimulus to further progression.
If you are in “doing the same thing from workout to workout” category, I am going to get you out of that rut. Here are some stimulating options to help you break out of your slump. You can use them many ways:
- Single training session – use for all exercises or selected exercises each workout.
- Weekly plan – use on designated training days during the week.
- Training period – use progressively from week to week in some logical plan.
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