Resistance Training Techniques
As the title implies, this blog is going to talk you through some basic training methods for working with resistance (weight training). My aim is to encourage you to add variety to your workouts and challenge yourself in new ways; the benefits of variety are innumerable – beating plateaus, beating boredom, improve results and a broader range of fitness. That being said, let’s get straight into the core of the blog and discuss some great ways of mixing up your workouts.
Resistance Training Techniques
- Single Set Training – this training method is great for those who have very little background in fitness and are at a starting point. It involves working each muscle group of the body for one set of an exercise usually consisting of 8-12 repetitions. It’s the perfect way for beginners to get in to training and build up their fitness before moving on to more challenging exercise.
- Circuit Resistance Training – potentially one of the industries most famous and most popular training styles. Circuit training when tailored to resistance training means avoiding all cardiovascular exercises and sticking to resistance choices. The great thing about circuit resistance training is that it’s incredibly time efficient and can help you to maximise the effectiveness of your workout. A good example of circuit resistance training would be barbell squats, hamstring curls, leg press, dumbbell lunges and kettlebell swings in sequence for 10 repetitions of each. At the end of the circuit you would take 1-2 minutes rest and then repeat the circuit.
- Basic Set Training – generally in fitness we work in sets of 3 or sets of 5. This basic set format involves repeating a certain number of repetitions against a certain resistance, taking a short rest and then repeating the same repetition range as a second set and proceeding in that format.
- Tri-Set Training – essentially exactly the same premise as circuit resistance training but utilising only three exercises in sequence – it generates an increase in intensity shocking the muscles into greater hypertrophy (the growth of skeletal muscle). Sticking to the same muscle group for 3 exercises can hyper-fatigue the muscles and result in a far better workout in a shorter time. An example of which would be a bicep workout consisting of ez bar bicep curls, preacher curls and dumbbell hammer curls. It’s important to only work with resistance that enables you to maintain correct form and technique.
- Rest Pause Training – The idea of rest pause training is to work yourself until failure on a specific exercise, followed by a short rest and then finished off with additional repetitions. This causes greater fatigue, involves a greater number fast twitch muscle fibres and results in improved strength. The great thing about this method is that it enables you to work a muscle group harder with good form in spite of fatigue.
- Pre-Exhaust Training – One of my favourite training methods and extremely effective in developing muscular strength and endurance pre-exhaust training involves performing an isolation exercise such as leg press immediately followed by a compound exercise such as barbell squats.This forces the full body to work harder and strengthens the smaller, supportive muscles to a greater extent; this means you’ll gain far greater muscle fibre recruitment than if you performed only the compound exercise.
- Pyramid Training – basic pyramid training involves an ascending and descending repetition range with a high peak in the centre. It’s important to stick to the same weight throughout this basic form as you will notice a greater fatigue on the descent to lower repetitions resulting in a far more challenging work out and accumulated fatigue.
- Partial Repetition Training – breaking down a movement into “sections” and then performing each section for a set number of repetitions can develop the muscular potential at a far greater rate improving the speed at which your strength and endurance increases and also advancing your potential maximum strength.
If you train regularly and are looking to move past a tough plateau, add interest in to your workout or just challenge different aspects of your muscular fitness then including some of these methods in to your session can be hugely beneficial and show results very quickly! Just remember that variety is the spice of life and your body is built to adapt, improve and cope with a variety of challenges.
“To be really in shape, it’s dynamic. It’s got to be a lot of different everything, always switching it up. So a good day for me would be hit the gym, do some sort of cross training in the gym and then go surfing and then maybe take a jiu-jitsu class at night or go swimming at night or go stand up paddle boarding in the evening.” Scott Eastwood
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