The 3 forms of strength

When most people think of the word strength they will immediately think of big guys like Zydrunas Savickas and Benedikt Magnusson. Massive guys that can lift huge weights. These guys are unbelievably strong, there is no denying that. However there are different types of strength that these guys are not the masters of.


Strength comes in 3 forms:


Static strength – The ability to hold or carry a large weight (usually an isometric contraction. I also class a one off big lift as static strength. A maximum deadlift for example)


Dynamic strength – Overcoming a force, multiple times or for multiple reps. Normal weight training for bodybuilders etc will rely on dynamic strength.


Explosive strength – Often referred to as power it is the speed of the contraction that is important. Explosive strength will overcome a force at great speed.


These 3 different types of strength all have their uses and purposes. It is rare that you will get a person who is of an elite level in all 3 areas. People that come to mind when you think of an athlete who can cover every area of strength would be an American footballer. They need a combination of all 3 to be the best at what they do.


You can train each type of strength individually by making a routine that just works the type of muscle stimulus involved with that area of strength. For example deadlifters will rarely do workouts that just consist of sets of 10-12 repetitions. If they are training for a maximum static strength contraction then they will train in the 1-3 rep range more often to develop that area of strength. A basketball player who needs lots of explosive strength to jump up for a slam dunk will rarely do maximum load squats.


The type of training to develop each of these areas of strength is relatively well researched and you can find many great routines online. The good thing about it is that few exercises are limited to one type of training or the other. It is more how you use the exercise than the exercise choice itself. For example doing a squat. You can load the bar up to your 1 rep max and do one rep to develop static strength, you could use 60% of your 1 rep max for 10 reps and develop dynamic strength, or you could put 40% of your 1 rep max on the bar and do explosive jump squats to develop explosive strength.


The main point I want to discuss with you in the article is the importance of using all 3 forms of strength in your training. Unless you are an elite athlete who has to focus on one area over another, I personally believe there to be great benefit to using all 3 types of strength in your routine. To gain muscle it is important to vary your training, types of training and types of muscle contractions. Many people will leave out higher rep training, 1 rep max training and plyometric training and just stick to the norm of a few sets of 10-12 reps. I personally have found massively greater benefit from using explosive exercises as well as maximum loads to develop strength and muscle at a much greater rate than normal hypertrophy training. A great example of this is my last leg workout. I combined 1 rep max squats with 50 rep leg presses and supersets on box jumps and kneeling explosive jumps. All of this combines to give massive improvements in strength. I have added 30kg to the squat in 4 weeks and increased the reps on leg press from 25 to 50 on the same weight. Strength in every area is increasing. Its too early to judge leg size but I have gained 5lbs so im heading in the right direction.


Here is the video:


so try including some different types of strength training in your routine and enjoy the fast gains you will see in all areas of strength and muscle gain.



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