Tuesday, September 10, 2013

How to increase weight and reps

For athletes looking for a successful training program, knowing how to select the weight and reps can be a vital component to seeing results or not.  Athletes and coaches/trainers can become frustrated by the lack of progress their program/s delivers.  When this happens, often times athletes or coaches will turn to supplements, or gimmick devices, or even unconventional exercises.

In order to get results, you have to stick with a scheduled plan and use exercises that have been used for many years that incorporate multi-joints, and multi muscle groups.  Also, constantly changing your program from week to week will not get the results you want or need either.

The body is amazing at adapting to the load or stimulus that we place on it.  Our muscles, however, are not that smart.  They don;t know if the resistance is coming from a barbell, a machine, or any other piece of equipment.  A strength training program must be challenging and progressive.

According to Robert Taylor, owner of SMARTER Team Training, the most efficient way to challenge your muscles and make gains is with the double-progressive method of overload.  What this means is that you must either increase the number of reps, or increase the amount of weight you use on an exercise every workout.

photo credit - Stack.com

If for instance you were selecting an exercises to lift in the range of 8-12 reps,  and you can complete 8-10 reps with good form, keep the weight the same but try to add 1 rep to the next set or next workout.  When you can lift the weight 12 reps or more, and a little weight and return back to your goal of at least 8 reps for the exercise.

Using proper form during each movement is important.  If you have to use momentum to lift the weight then the weight is too heavy.  Don't cheat yourself by trying to impress your friends with the amount of weight you can lift if sacrificing form.

The ultimate goal is to increase the number of reps initially, but to increase the weight over time.  Small increases will allow you to see the results you want.

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