strength training

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How Important Is Between-Set Rest?

weightlifting

  We frequently prescribe workout programs that read something like this: 3 sets of 8 reps at 80%. This kind of workout program carries the assumption that we’re capable of maintaining that number of repetitions in each subsequent set. Senna et al, in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, have conducted a study to see if this is the case and to see if it is different when comparing multi-joint exercises and isolation exercises.   Their subjects had some...

Mobility and Bodyweight Exercises for Children with Down Syndrome

When I’m running fitness classes for children with Down Syndrome, I find that (like all kids) they don’t do very well with the concept of sets and repetitions. The fastest way to lose a group of kids in an exercise session is to tell them to do ten of something, have them rest, then repeat the whole thing. It’s boring for them. Having said that, developing gross motor skills (i.e. the child being able to control their body) in conjunction...

Strength Training and the Brain

Strength training is thought to train the nervous system.  This makes sense as the ability to recruit muscle fibers, the ability to better coordinate between agonist and antagonist muscles, speed, power, and the ability to “tone down” protective mechanisms like the golgi tendon organs all seem to be neural qualities.  In addition, strength gains are made from training seemingly independently of increases in muscle mass, especially for beginners.  Having said that, there are some challenges with finding these neural training...

A Fresh Look At Core Training: Why The Squat and Deadlift Are Important

Core training has received a great deal of attention over the last 15 years. It is presented as a very scientific, objective, and necessary way to approach training in order to improve performance, prevent lower back injuries, and treat lower back injuries. Much of this depends upon taking research with limited conclusions and applying that to a broader context. For example, two studies published in 1997 by Hodges and Richardson showed that the deep transversus abdominus was recruited first during...

Exercise Order Impacts Performance

Over the years I have found the journal Sports Medicine to be a good source of information.  This journal publishes reviews on significant topics.  The current issue has a review on exercise order for strength training.  Conventional wisdom on this topic is that exercise should be ordered as follows: Explosive exercises (i.e. Olympic lifts, squat jumps, etc.) Large muscle multi-joint exercises (i.e. squats, deadlifts, presses, etc.) Large muscle isolation exercises (i.e. flies, lateral raises, etc.) Small muscle exercises (i.e. triceps...