After yesterdays post, I got a few questions as to what a program focused on getting stronger looks like, and how it can differ from a program based on fat loss or even just general physical preparedness.
There can be quite a few different variations one can apply to a program focused solely on strength, but the most common, and probably most important, would be-lift heavy, really heavy. I just looked over my program for yesterdays workout. Not one single lift I did was over 6 reps for a set.
Trust me, that’s heavy.
Think about this, if a program calls for 3 sets of 6 reps, then you want the weight you are going to be using to be challenging for those 6 reps. If it calls for 12 reps, you would need to lighten the weight to get that many reps. So, the lower the prescribed number of reps, the heavier the weight needs to be.
Here’s an example of what yesterday looked like for me:
A1. Sumo Deadlift (3 sets x 3 reps)
A2. Ankle Mobilization Thing-a-ma-jigs
B1. Barbell Reverse Lunge (3 sets x 6 reps)
B2. Dumbbell Push Press (2×6)
C1. Dumbbell Row (3×6)
C2. Barbell Rollouts (3×10)
This was also a de-load week (a back off week) for me. This means that in previous weeks, most of the above lifts had an additional set added to them. (If 3 sets this week, then 4 last week.) This turns out to be quite a bit of work with weights that are challenging for not very many reps.
If I was focusing on more general conditioning stuff, (gaining some strength, staying leaner, etc) I would be doing lifts with a rep range more around the 6-12 rep range, with weights that were a bit lighter. I would also be doing less actual lifts-probably 3-4 compound movements instead of 5-6. This would leave room in my training session for more metabolic work, conditioning, etc.
This is a very brief overview of how a strength based program can differ from a fat loss or general conditioning program. If there is any interest in it, I can certainly go into more detail in a future post. I just figured I wouldn’t get too detailed today.