Weight training for strength gains

This article is provided by my good friend and Exercise scientist Timothy Hanson

Exercise Prescription for Strength

This is a basic program designed for increasing strength of the main muscle groups. Provided is a two way split routine, two programs, one for the upper body and one for the lower body. The following exercises are ones that can be done at most gyms and even with most home gym equipment. Technique is key to not only avoiding injury, but getting results and is more important than the weight lifted.

Warm Up:

  • Very important, low to moderate aerobic activity eg jogging, cycling, rowing, etc are all good as they prepare the body for the coming exercise
  • Static stretching before exercise is not recommended as it increases the risk of injury, but dynamic stretching, ie moving the muscle through it’s Range Of Motion (ROM) is recommended.

Upper Body Exercise Prescription:

  • 3-5 sets of 8-12 repetitions of Bench Press, 1 minute rest between sets
  • 3-5 sets of 8-12 repetitions of Seated Row, 1 minute rest between sets
  • 3-5 sets of 8-12 repetitions of Lateral Raises, 1 minute rest between sets
  • 3-4 super sets of 8-12 repetitions, involving one set of a Bicep Screw Curls followed immediately by a set of Tricep Rear Extensions

Lower Body Exercise Prescription:

  • 3-5 sets of 8-12 repetitions of Squats, 1 minute rest between sets
  • 3-5 sets of 8-12 repetitions of Lunges, 1 minute rest between sets, alternating legs either after each set or each rep
  • 3-5 sets of 8-12 repetitions of Hamstring Curls, 1 minute rest between sets (Note, machine or Swiss ball can be used, depending on availability)
  • 3-5 sets of 8-12 repetitions of Calf raises, 1 minute rest between sets

Abdominal Exercise Prescription:

Abdominal exercises can either be done on every second day or with a certain workout, as during all the above exercises the abdominal muscles are working isometricly to maintain correct posture and form.

  • 3 -4 super sets of the following exercises, 8-12 repetitions of each exercise with no rest between each exercise; Bicycle twists, Vertical Leg Extensions and Abdominal Crunches

Cool Down:

  • Again very important, this helps you to recover quicker and avoid injury. Low to moderate aerobic activities are fine, as is static stretching of the main muscle groups worked

Timbo’s Tips:

  1. Have at least a day’s rest between programs eg Monday Upper Body, then Wednesday Upper Body
  2. You can perform each program consecutively but be sure to give each main muscle group a full days rest
  3. Technique, technique, technique! One of the big myths about resistance training is the more you lift the bigger and stronger you’ll get. This is true to a point, but the WAY you lift is more important than the weight.
  4. Keep your fluids up!
  5. Don’t treat exercise as a chore, if it begins to feel like one mix up your program to reenergize your workout!

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