What Are You Weighting For? Strength or Size [Part 1: Strength]


By Beau:

So I know a lot of my posts have mainly been focused on women, so here is one that’s more focused on the guys who check in time to time. When it comes to lifting weights there is more than one way to skin a cat, sorry to all the animal lovers for the analogy, but there are a few grey areas for people (girls too) when it comes to getting in the weight room. Depending what your goals are there are certain ways of lifting, most commonly it's either for strength or size. Now I'm not going to get in to the specifics for the body types, but this will be a general run down for the difference between training for strength and training for size.

Put your hands up if you want to get strong? Ok, cool! So there are a few people who are keen on getting stronger. This is called Myofibril Hypertrophy (strength training). When we lift weights, our goal is to lift as much as we can with as much load, which causes the muscle to contract and tear. The body sees this as if its an injury and sees the need to repair (protein) and go beyond the capabilities of the tendon before your training session. So next time you go to the gym to work the same muscle it will be prepared to lift the same amount of load with out a tearing the muscle, it will tear a bit, but its not going to help you progress and get stronger, this is called progressive overload. Coming back to next weeks session you should aim to either lift heavier or do more reps in order to tear the muscle even further, thus making you stronger!

So how do you do myo-lib-isupercalifrag…….. how ever you say it training? Ok, lets just call it strength training. It happens when the muscle is placed under an immense amount of load. The best way to lift a heavy load is to shorten the reps, for men 3-7 reps, women 5-9. It doesn’t just end there, your nutrition is a big part of getting strong, if you don’t have the energy, you're not going to complete reps/sets. The energy source for strength training comes from low and high GI carbs that synthesise into CTP (Creatine Tri-Phosphate] and create your phosphate energy. Your phosphate energy is a powerful, explosive energy that is used for lifting weights, sprinting, jumping, anything that’s short bursts of energy under 10 seconds at a high intensity. Let’s say for example after you have banged out your 1st set of bench at 5x100kgs you need to rest. The ultimate time for your CTPs to recover takes about 5 mins, depending where you are that too long to rest, other wise you will spend 30 mins on one exercise, so the recommended recovery time would be 1-2 mins.

Back to the progressive overload part. Aim for 1 warm up set then 3 work sets at 80-85 % I like to do another work set at 50-60% of your 1rm (1 rep max) and double the reps, once you have completed those move on to your next exercise. Here is another example for you, say this week you did:

Work set 1 – 5x90 Work Set 2 – 5x90 Work Set 3 – 5x90

Next week would be Work set 1 – 7x90 Work Set 2 – 5x90 Work Set 3 – 5x90

And you just continue to add the reps on until you reach the top of you rep range (3-7) and then add on weight and start from the beginning again! EG: Work set 1 – 7x90 Work set 2 – 7x90 Work set 3 – 5x90

Week later: Work set 1 – 7x90 Work set 2 – 7x90 Work set 3 – 7x90

Week later: Work set 1 – 5x100 Work set 2 – 5x100 Work set 3 – 5x100

Depending on what muscle group you want to train, you have muscles that are stronger than others, the bigger the muscle the stronger it is, these are the guys who can take the most load and can get the best results for strength training, so you always want to start with these muscles. For chest your strongest muscle is your Pectoral Major (chest) your legs are your Glutes (butt) and for back are your Lats and traps.

Now you are ready to get strong! remember after every session to recover properly stretch, get a massage drink plenty of water and have a good amount of protein, we will touch on protein and other supplements in a few weeks with a great offer from ASN.

I will be doing a part 2 of this post on size building with in the next couple of days and if you are interested in a strength training program leave a comment below and I will be in contact!

Happy Training beausignature#behyperactive