Strength and Conditioning
When you really think about it, the strength and conditioning phase is one of the most important phases when it comes to fat loss and getting awesome muscle tone.
If you don’t have a focus on gaining strength in your workout regimen then you also won’t be seeing results, because only with this strength can we continue to push through to the next level.
In this article we’re going to look at some unique ways of you increasing your strength so grab a cup of green tea and get ready to open new doors…
Strength and Conditioning: The Main Concept
The traditional way of gaining strength has always been focused on increasing weight or the resistance that you are training with. But if we look at athletes this concept doesn’t really hold true because the training they are doing with the strength and conditioning also includes different varieties of movements.
So let’s talk about these and while you are reading your main goal should be to think of how to incorporate these strategies into your training plan.
Power Training involves using almost all your muscles fibers in one exercise. A great example would be the clean and jerk with a barbell. You start in the squat position with the barbell on the floor, and with an overhand grip you lift the barbell to your chest and then raise up into the air above your head (view image).
This is pretty awesome because it involves all your primary leg muscles to push you body up, your arms, shoulders and back to raise the bar to your chest, and then your chest and shoulders to raise the bar up.
If you are a beginner and reading this, it may sound like it would be too much of an advanced exercise, but the thing is that you don’t even have to have weights on the barbell to do this. As long as you watch your form and push through it the barbell will have a good amount of weight to start off until you really get your body to learn the entire movement.
Drop sets is a very powerful training method that I love doing one or two exercises at the end of my workouts. It basically turns everything upside down so instead of increasing weight with each set you actually start at your heaviest and drop weight on each set.
It’s a great way to shock the muscles and allows you go hardest with your first set rather than lose energy along the way.
You’ll find this can work really well particularly when you are trying to isolate a muscle like the biceps or shoulders.
Negatives are also a fun and easy way to get your strength up by confusing your muscles. The idea is that you reverse the movement of the exercise. It’s best to explain this by giving you an example.
Take for instance a squat where you are starting at the top and moving downwards. The negative variation would have you starting from the lower position and raise instead.
Because this can be tricky it’s a good idea to do this with a training partner who can spot you along the way or if that’s not an option then using a lighter weight to start with until you get the swing of things.
Make this even more challenging by standing on one leg or standing on a bosu ball.
Strength and Conditioning: Conclusion
If you are thinking about doing any of the advanced methods above to increase your strength and condition your muscles you may want to start out at home. If so I’d recommend checking out my article Best Home Exercise Equipment for some very cheap gear you can for your home. Remember to watch your form and use a mirror when you can.
Have any questions or feedback about this article? Please leave me a comment below…