Maximize your strength training routine by cutting out these time wasters.Read article
If you’re the typical red-blooded male, you have a trait that seems to come right along with your trusty Y chromosome. That trait? The constant hunger for more. More money. More cars. More power. And, of course, more strength and size: heaps of muscle to carry around all that cash or lift that BMW overhead to impress the neighborhood kids. Of course, you can’t get more than you have if you keep doing the same thing, day in and day out, hoping for magically different results. For more muscle, doing the same old bodybuilding routine week after week will just leave you spinning your spindly wheels.
Instead, you must decisively change your approach and infuse your training with power. That’s where this results-packed workout comes in. Drop it into your regular training schedule just once a week, and you’ll be on your way to building more mass and brute strength. As you incorporate the “Power-Up” workout into your regular regimen, you’ll get stronger, of course, but you’ll also be able to better generate speed during training.
When it comes to bodybuilding-style routines, the concentric (positive) contraction of each rep should be performed as quickly and explosively as possible. You should push or pull the weight as hard and fast as you can on your heaviest sets. That doesn’t mean you should throw or bounce weights around. In fact, the weight will still move slowly, as you take 2-4 seconds to complete the positive rep. The weight is key: It must be heavy enough that, although you move it quickly, it doesn’t move at super-speed. Explosive power training can also rewire your body for greater physical control over your muscles. Remember how awkward you felt the first time you trained, how heavy the weight felt? After your initial sessions, the exercises didn’t feel so odd, and the weight seemed lighter. Now, you can take those neural adaptations to the next level with movements that are more complex, thus creating new pathways between mind and muscle.
For this workout, you’ll perform a different combination of plyometric exercises and variations on Olympic lifts. The plyometric training ramps up your movement speed by hitting your fast-twitch muscle fibers; the Olympic lifts (3-6 sets of 4-6 reps each) require extreme levels of power output and coordination throughout your body. The goal of each set is to move the weight fast without sacrificing form. Be sure to get 2-4 minutes of rest between sets. While this program works well over time, you should learn other plyometric moves and Olympic-style lifts to add to the mix. For instance, you could switch out the push-press for the clean and jerk or the high pull for the snatch. Doing so keeps your routine interesting and fresh, allowing your body to be continually off-guard and adapting. More strength, more size, more of what you want — the Power-Up plan might just be the missing link you’ve been looking for.
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