The benefits from strength training are well documented. However, putting a well rounded strength program together is more in depth than you think. Sound exercise programs are put together to tap into your body’s potential and get the most out of your training. We normally recommend that a strength program should be created and implemented by a strength and conditioning coach. Exercising aimlessly without a goal in mind yields subpar results and at times can leave you vulnerable to injury.
However, for those who have a basic understanding of strength training, we’re going to go over some strength training methods that are commonly utilized in our programs. Want to get stronger? Want to build more muscle? Then these training methods can be utilized with good results! Who better to demonstrate some exercises than coach Mike Moon, who is our head strength coach at Next Level Strength and Conditioning! (Follow coach Moon on Instagram here.
Strength Training Methods Explained
Supersets are a great training variable that are very common in strength and conditioning programs. This method is executed by performing two exercises in a row, back to back, without any rest in between. For the purpose of this article, programming supersets will usually involve exercises that work muscles in direct opposition of each other, such as a pushing and then a pulling task. Adding supersets increases the overall amount of work in your program and challenges the intensity that you are working at. Supersets can be used if working larger muscle groups, or can be utilized if you are working muscles in isolation. Some simple examples are described below:
- Upper Body: Weighted Push-Up superset with Kickstand Dumbbell Row 3 sets of 12 repetitions each exercise.
- Lower Body: Goblet Squat superset with Kettlebell Deadlift 3 sets of 8 repetitions each exercise.
Giant sets combine 2-3 or more different exercises that focus strictly on a certain muscle group. Utilizing giant sets increases the amount of time that muscle group is stressed and forces that tissue to have to work harder for longer durations. Giant sets can be used if there is a muscle that is lagging in terms of strength and ultimately needs more attention. We also use this from a rehab setting to help improve the ability for that tissue to recover after an injury or surgery.
An example of a giant set would be:
Upper Body Giant Set: Pull-ups (video now shown) into Kickstand Dumbbell One Arm Rows (video shown above) into TRX Inverted Rows. 3 sets of 8 repetitions each exercise.
Lower Body Giant Set: Goblet Squat (video shown above) into Reverse Lunge into Step Down
Drop sets involve doing one exercise, doing as many repetitions as possible so that you are near complete exhaustion, and then dropping the weight and performing it again. The goal with drops sets are to create a stimulating an enormous muscle pump is the goal. Programming of drop sets should be towards the end of workouts to reduce risk of injury. An example would be:
Upper Body Drop Set: Push-Up with 10lbs on back, Push-up off elevated surface (bench), Push-Up on Wall
Lower Body Drop Set: Dumbbell Goblet Squat at 40lbs AMRAP, 20lbs AMRAP, and then 10lbs AMRAP.
These strength training methods are very simple to implement into your workouts without having to overthink things. The intent is to increase the intensity of your training and also increase the stress on the targeted tissues to improve muscle strength, endurance, and size. Give some of these methods a try and see what you think. Leave a comment and let us know what you feel are the best training variables that have worked for you!