Muscular Strength is referred to as the amount of force required to perform a single maximal effort. Studies have shown that increased muscle strength is also a major contributing factor in your ability to stay active throughout your life.
Your neural connections and your muscles join forces to produce the muscular control (strength) required to perform various activities. You automatically learn this process from birth while learning to walk and stand. As you grow, this cooperation between your mind and muscles gives you the ability to exert the correct amount of force for a given task. This often neglected side of training is covered in more depth in
Balance and Coordination.
This neural link is thought to be the main contributing factor in increased Muscle Strength during the initial stages of training (first 4 – 5 weeks). It is during this stage you have an additional amount of muscle fibers being stimulated to complete the Workout, as you will find that there are no significant Muscle Mass increases (hypertrophy) during this period of time.
When you want to train for increased Muscular Strength you must follow a distinctive Workout principle that differs from those used for Lean Muscle Mass and Endurance. It is based around the theory of your 1 RM.
What is your 1 RM? It is the maximum resistance (load) required for you to lift in a single repetition. And is referred to as your 1 Repetition Maximum (1 RM). To gain Strength it is recommended that you use a resistance of approximately 80 – 90% of your 1 RM during your Sets.
|Resistance (% of 1 RM)||80 - 90|
|Number of Repetitions||1 - 5|
|Required Sets||2 - 6|
|Rest between Sets||2 – 5 mins|
|Repetition Speed||Slow / Moderate|
|Workouts per week||3 - 4|
Note: The Resistance used for each Set should allow for the desired number of Reps to be achieved.
By following the above Strength Workout you will indeed gain increased Muscular Strength. You should follow this Workout for a period of 5 - 6 weeks and then concentrate on Volume and not Intensity for 2 - 3 weeks and then revert back to your Strength Workout.
As you are required to lift a considerable resistance compared to other training principles, it is recommended that you execute the movements correctly and in a controlled manner. This will greatly increase your results and decrease your chance of injury.
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