Optimising body composition doesn’t require brute strength, yet it is still highly advisable that you concentrate on improving your strength levels – especially if you want to look your best. Don’t think for one second we are saying without having the strength of an enraged Silverback Gorilla you won’t be able to look great, that is not the case. Instead, we are merely outlining the benefits improving your strength levels can have on your appearance and health. Interested? Read on. . . . .
The ‘h’ word is one which has been forbidden in many corners of the industry in case somebody becomes frightened, but hormones are, like it or not essential to health and body recomposition. When you train for strength the body reacts by increasing GH output to help compensate and GH is known for its capabilities in promoting body fat metabolisation.
When you train for strength all of your effort become ‘’maximal’’ because as logic would tell you, every last piece of energy you can conjure up is required. Of course this will inevitably lead to an increase in strength, what’s more your overall calorie expenditure will be greater both during as well as post-workout.
You go to the gym to look good but you also have to have health at the forefront of your mind, right? Building muscle which actually has a function is not only necessary it is essential for long term health. Muscles which support your joints and promote good posture offer overall protection for your long term health, a must for any avid gym goer.
Driving up your strength levels requires the application of a few basic principles –
This simply means to monitor your strength levels over a period of time with a view to make small increases within that timescale. If you are serious about getting strong this is absolutely essential, without periodisation you have no idea whether or not your strength is improving as it should be.
Use of ‘’Accumulation & Intensification’’ principles
Principles put together in this context by the master, Charles Poliquin. The idea here is use two high volume weeks known as the ‘’accumulation’’ phase to the point of near over training, and for the third week the volume is halved (approximately) and the intensity increases – of course this is the intensification phase.
Emphasis on repetition tempo
Repetition tempo and the correct application of it is crucial for noticeable gains in strength. If your form is off then you are not gaining strength within the muscle which is what this is about, see the benefits above once again! As a rule of thumb the following rep tempo is optimum for fast increases in strength during the intensification period.
Concentric phase – 0 seconds
Isometric phase – 2 seconds
Eccentric phase – 4 seconds
Isometric phase – 2 seconds
You are armed for strength and more than that you are armed with the knowledge explaining why getting stronger pays, even when strength isn’t a main priority!