Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Alex's Advanced Weight Training Program - Concept / Rationale



Song:  Yet Another Movie (live in Atlanta)

Group:  Pink Floyd






As Alex is now undergoing puberty...
his Testosterone levels are naturally climbing
to a degree which is much greater than ever before
(he will be 13 yrs. old this November).


I had Alex on a moderate weight training program for a while now.
His tendons, ligaments, and muscles have had a chance to toughen some.


I will now be putting him on an advanced weight training program...
one in which he may use for the rest of his life.


It will involve the use of multiple sets of single repetitions...
once a week for each of the major portions of the body (Upper / Lower).

One important point...
the use of singles does not mean the use of maximum weights
(it is generally in the 80% - 95% of max range (of which steadily increases).

The chief variables for achieving the desired results are:

The amount of weight used (resistance intensity)...
number of times lifted after short rest between each lift (total work)...
recovery time given between exercise sessions
 (completion of supercompensatory response).

The key is providing adequate stimuli without injury
or going beyond the body's capability to fully recover
before the next training session...
and doing it again before the body decompensates
(no training...body loses its training effect).

In general...
the greater the stimuli applied for longer times...
the greater recovery that is needed
(for rigorous strength training...
longer periods of rest are necessary...
far longer than with any other type of exercise).

I will go into this more, later in the article.

For Strength / Power...
the concept is quite simple.

Bodily athletic power depends on the ability of the person to...
 generate force from the actual oars of the muscles...
to be able to send a strong enough signal from the brain
 in a fashion which will enervate the most fibers at once...
the ability to coordinate the various muscles used in the task
efficiently and without unnecessary tension in those not used...
and to be able to utilize correct leverage through athletic skill...
the ability for the tendons to transmit that power to the bones...
the ability of the bones to transmit that power to the target
by having strong ligaments and a thick walled construction
to the bone itself.


Now...
my above explanation was for STRENGTH or POWER only
(Strength = Max Force Output / Power = Force/Time).

An Athlete uses different types of muscular force
depending on his tasks.

There are endurance athletes who concentrate on 
the least amount of muscular effort necessary for a long period of time.

There are some athletes who must give relatively high amounts of force 
over relatively long periods of time...
or for many closely spaced times.

It is a sliding scale from Strength Lifts to Ultra Endurance Athletes
(Note I had said Strength Lifts instead of Power Lifting...
Power Lifting is a misnomer...as they go for max poundages in one lift...
with no consideration to time.  Olympic Lifters are actually Power Lifters...
as the more speed they can generate in their lifts...
the more they can lift...and they also generate their strength
over a longer range...and so, generate far more work "power").

What I am teaching Alex with weights is Strength Training...
along with one overall body strength endurance exercise.

As this article is for the concept of advanced weight training...
I will use other articles for the exact exercise description...
again, using Alex to model them...as he actually does them.

-----------------



The Working Principle.


Just start out in one of the main lifts
(Squat / Deadlift / Bench / Pullup / Rows).

Determine max lift
 (one rep 100% - an unstrained...no hesitation lift).

Take 80% of it as your initial training weight.

Do the lift...
rest 30 seconds to one minute
(real advanced lifters take up to 5 minutes between lifts)...
do again...and again.

Beginners will only handle about 10 sets or so before tiring too much.

Work up to 25 sets in the one lift with the same weight before 
adding weight (add approximately 2.5% - 5% in weight or less)
and reduce the number of sets (by half or so)...
work your way back up one week at a time.


On Sundays...
Warm up with Makiwara / Weighted Sit ups...
I will then have Alex do Squats / Pull ups...
then Dead lifts / Pull ups.


On Tuesdays and Fridays...
Makiwara...
then Farmer's Walk
(for body strength endurance...
multiple sets (up to 2 sets for Alex)...
up to 100 meters each set).


On Thursdays...
Makiwara / Weighted Sit ups...
then Bench press / Dips / Rows.


He will have other supplementary exercises on the other days.

I will detail them in future articles.



------------------------




Why Strength Train?

Besides for the direct health and emotional benefits...
it prepares the body for all other speed / strength athletic endeavors.

It is the most efficient use of time and energy to gain the maximum benefit
achieved only through multiple sets of high resistance.

It exercises the body as a whole...
and so, prepares it to work in a powerful and coordinated fashion
(Athletic Power is the desired effect).

It is THE way that the world's strongest men had trained 
before the use of steroids and human growth hormone
(unnatural amounts artificially infused in the body).

It takes but 2 one hour sessions a week for the strength training.

This is to enhance life...
not to spend it all in a gym.




What About Cycling The Weights?


The chief variable in progression is the total amount of sets done
before adding weight.  Bodily recovery is dramatically enhanced...
true muscle mass is gained to handle the next added weight...
tendons are thickened.  The body becomes fully adapted before
the next weight is added.  The system is self regulating.
If the lift cannot be done without cheating within the rest time limit...
end the workout session for that exercise.
Slow steady gains in true strength will be made safely in this manner.




What About Supplementary Gear?


None.

I initially had Alex wear a belt to force him into correct posture when he was first learning.  

Now...nothing.

No belts...
no gloves...
no hooks...
no wraps...
no special shirts or shorts.

He is training his body to handle real world stressors.

In the real world...
you don't wear supplementary gear.

Your body must work as a unit.
The weakest links must be strengthened
to prevent system failure in time of true need.



Again...
I am only starting Alex on this program because he is ready for it.

He will become very tired on those weight days...
 as multiple sets of a relatively heavy weight will tax the body.

But that is the idea...
producing enough stimuli to force the body to supercompensate
before the next week's session.


As his body adapts...
his muscular recovery will dramatically improve.

His energy level will soar on his recovery days as his body supercompensates.  


Tomorrow...
we are going to take Alex to a neighborhood lake to go swimming.

I will then have Alex do his Wednesday workout afterwards...
and I shall take pictures and describe each...
 as his whole exercise program has been modified to accommodate 
the singles weight training program.








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