Friday, December 3, 2010

Home Schooling - Health - The Corner Stone Of Life - Strength Training

Strength Training

The method of using a carefully structured and scheduled 
resistance overload using the largest muscles in the body
to effect an over-compensatory change in the bones, 
tendons, ligaments, nervous system, and muscles.

This is NOT body building in the popular sense.
There are no isolation exercises, pumps or burns.

The focus is on only the largest muscles of the body
using low repetitions and multiple sets...
to force overall body growth...
to teach the body to operate as a unit...
and to teach it how to get true power...
from the ground up.

The goal is to have athletic strength.

I will give you the exact layout
so your child may enjoy greater health...
true confidence, a sense of well being...
and a stronger connection to his own body.


The Second of the Basic Three components to vibrant health...
(Diet - Exercise - True Relaxation and Deep Sleep)
Strength Training

The First of the Basic Three to Exercise...
(Strength Training - Skill/Stamina/Endurance - Stretching)

I just started Alex on these particular exercises as I feared
he would injure his lower back using the traditional squats and deadlifts.

The routine is simple and effective. 
Many top lifters have used similar
routines.  The difference lies in the
lesser weights and their more infrequent use...
as I wish to allow plenty of time
for his body to fully adapt.

It gently cycles over a month's time
to prevent injury and burnout.

It is very safe...
as percentages of the comfortable max is used...
and the amounts increased is small...
to allow plenty of time to adapt.

This program is geared to be safe...
fun to do...
effective in results.

First the warm up

Some gentle stretching

The first exercise can also help in the warm up.
Then use a bare bar or 50% max for a set of 10 slow reps...
to prepare the body for that particular lift (just once for the day).

The Incline Sit-Up

The repetition (rep) is one completed exercise motion.
The set is the number of continuous reps...
before resting for the next set.

This exercise will not follow the repetition scheme of the weights...
as the resistance is far less.
However, the sets remain the same (5).

I started him out with 5 sets of 10 reps (5 x 10)

I will add 1 rep per set each week until he can do 20 reps per set.
 I shall then increase the incline..
and start at 10 reps per set.

When he reaches 20...
he will do the sit ups with a small (2.5 lb) weight..etc.

The sets and reps for all the other exercises:

5 sets of 3 reps...
with a 5 min rest between sets...
with 3 different exercises in succession...1 min rest between
the 3 sets of different exercises before the 5 min rest
after completion of the 3 consecutive sets.

For more mass...
 use 3 sets of 5 repetitions.

The basic layout of the overall program:

Wed:  Exercise Session I (Once a week)

  Incline Sit-Ups (rest 1 min)
Bench Press x 3 reps (rest 1 min)
1 Hand Deadlift x 3 reps x 5 sec hold - each hand (rest 5 min)
Do the above 5 x

Sat:  Exercise Session II (Once a week)

Incline Sit-Ups (rest 1 min)
Raised Trap Bar Deadlifts x 3 reps (rest 1 min)
Pull - Ups x 3 reps (rest 5 min)
Do the above 5 x

The weight percentages are of the comfortable max weight lifted for 1 rep.
This is the highest he can lift without breakdown of form...
and without hesitation throughout the lift.

This will be his 100% level.

Week I: 5 sets of 3 reps x 75%
Week II: 5 sets of 3 reps x 80%
Week III: 5 sets of 3 reps x 85%
Week IV: 5 sets of 3 reps x 90%

Start again at Week I but add 5% to make a new 100%...
and start out with the new 75% amount.

This program is designed to achieve gentle gains...
allowing the tendons and ligaments to toughen.
This will ensure overall body toughness...
which will make him adaptable to all sports.


Addendum:  After a while...2.5% or even 1% leaps may be necessary.

When this happens...perhaps once a year...
have him take off all weight training for 1 month solid.

An alternative method is to take off a week every couple of months.

This will allow the tendons and ligaments to fully adapt and heal...
as they grow much more slowly than muscle.

Give him plenty of extra rest and healthful food...
especially eggs, milk, fish, poultry and some red meats.

His muscles will not shrink as he had been lifting heavy
(as opposed to the fluid congestion of the popular pumping portion of body building).

His Myofibrils
(the groups of muscle strands which contain
Myosin - the actual oar like muscular contractual units that produce force)
will have increased in size...his neuro impulses to the muscles will have strengthened.
They will not degrade significantly after one month off.

After one month off heavy lifting...
he will actually go back stronger since it is in the building of the body
that strength is derived (if the stimuli is enough).

This will also ensure any cumulative stress is fully healed.


Finish off by stretching and then a shower.

The exercises as Demonstrated by Alex

The Raised Trap Bar Deadlift

Designed to take the place of the Squat
and the regular Deadlift...without the shearing 
forces on the lower back.

The bricks he is standing on raises him 
a good 4".  

This allows him to start low as in the squat.

This is the king of all the exercises.
It thoroughly works the legs, butt, back (lower/mid/upper), grip..
all the major muscles of the body...
in unison.

This is what shall give him power from the ground up.

The Pull - Up

Great for the Lats.
It ensures balanced development after the Trap Bar Lifts.

He is yet able to do one.
I am having him hold the up position for as long as he can...
until he will be able to get strong enough to do them on his own...
then with weights attached.

The Bench Press

Notice that he is in a Power Rack.

This ensures complete safety...
as the bar can never land on him should he fail to make the lift.

Exercises the major upper body pushing muscles.

The One Hand Partial Deadlift

King of all the Grip Exercises

The right equipment...

that which is SAFE...
that which is EFFECTIVE...
that which is inexpensive and convenient.

Make a home gym.

For those precious few minutes each set...
it is all seriousness and concentration.

It will be a sacred temple for his body.

The Trap Bar

There are many on the market.

This one is the Gerard Trap Bar.

It is well worth the investment.
It can hold more weight than most
mere mortals could ever hope to lift.

The Power Rack and a Barbell with plenty of 
weights in varying increments.

For smaller children...
you will need to get a child starter set.
The bare bar is only 15 pounds.

The normal Olympic Bare Barbell is 45 lbs.
He will eventually need one though.

The Incline Board

The Weighted Incline Sit-Up...
King of all the Abdominal Exercises.

Alex LOVES his workout routine.
He gets excited at the prospect of achieving 
a new monthly personal best 5x3 (Week IV)

The workout invigorates him.

Don't believe the no gain crowd.

The objective and holy mantra...


Especially for young children...
it must gently engender growth over time.

His continued growth...
measured over the months and years...
will make him a veritable Hercules...
a Triton among minnows...
Bully proofed...
Drug and Gang resistant.

He will come to see his body...
as the temple of his soul.

He won't want to desecrate it with drugs.

He will come to respect his body...
and the value of effort over time.

He shall become a living embodiment
of two of life's great lessons...
Deferred Gratification...
Positive Spiral.

To all Fathers...
you will love seeing him grow...
in body and soul.

Your encouragement of his growth
will set him on a lifetime of
Growth and Happiness.

A passion will have been born...
and an unbreakable bond
will have been forged.

Be his great Teacher in life.

Give him the great gift...
the key to his soul through his body.

The Home Gym...

A sacred time between...
Father and Son...

A Sacred Temple...
to his body...

A Sacred Temple...
to his very Soul.

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