SEEKING ALPHA: WEIGHT TRAINING FOR ATHLETES (THE FOUNDATION)

Posted by J. Fallhowe, CSCS

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Apr 2, 2015 9:48:07 AM

In today’s world, everyone lifts! Weight training is no longer an auxiliary activity for athletes, it’s a requirement. If you don’t put your time in at the gym, bigger, stronger, and faster athletes will humiliate you on the field. However, being dedicated to the weight room doesn’t necessarily guarantee success like it used to. In the “olden days,” when training was the secret weapon of a few disciplined athletes, average training yielded amazing results. Today, more and more athletes have started weight training to improve performance. The bar has been raised and average training produces well… unremarkable results. In today’s world of sports, becoming Alpha requires more.

So, is it possible to squeeze more out of your training, become a truly dominant player and achieve super-human like results?

The short answer is yes, and your road to success starts with smarter training!

We’re going to show you how to intelligently structure your training routines so that you maximize your training results. While your competition is knocking out 5 x 5 routines, you’re body will be going through a ferocious beast-like transformation that will have coaches, players and scouts in awe of your super-human like abilities.

1-FoundationTHE FOUNDATION


THE FOUNDATION – Building Alpha:

 

If you want to build a massive and impressive building you can’t start with a weak foundation. Imperfections in the base of the structure could lead to disaster down the road. The same goes with your training foundation. If you don’t have a strong foundation, you won’t MAXIMIZE your training results and you'll be more susceptible to injury as a result improperly structred training routines.

 

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Estabilishing a strong training foundation will not only ensure that you get more out of every set and rep than your competition, it will also help you avoid injury and maintain greater strength gains throughout the season. A solid training foundation will establish a framework that will allow you to intelligently combine training variables, i.e. proper loads, rest between sets, exercise combinations, exercise order, rest between training sessions, etc. to synergistically maximize your results!  

Tweaking and tracking your training variables, will allow you to OPTIMIZE your training routines i.e. you'll get more out of every set and rep than your competition. 

Optimize: make the best or most effective use of (a situation, opportunity, or resource).

Think of yourself as a mad scientist tweaking and adjusting variables to bring your Frankenstein-like creature, yourself, to life. You want to create a super beast that redefines #beastmode!

 

 

Let Your Opponents Do Sets of 8-10 or 5 x 5 Programs.

 

Weight training isn’t rocket science, but there are some incredibly smart people doing research to help athletes improve performance. One area that they’ve focused on is training structure and it’s impact strength increases.

From a view of 30,000 feet, there are two types of training structures. First, are training structures that don’t vary, this is most commonly known as classic training. Second, are training structures that vary. The general term for this is periodization. As we’ll see with periodization, there are subcategories based on the degree of variation.

So how do the two compare and is there a structure that has empirically been shown to produce better results? The short answer is yes, obviously, why else would we be writing this article, but the degree of effectiveness between the various program structures will shock you!

 

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Training Structures Simplified:

 

Classic Training: Classic training involves performing either 6 sets of 8 repetitions, 5 sets of 10 reps or some variation thereof. The primary characteristic of classic training that it is consistent and does not vary by training session.

Linear Periodization (LP): LP begins with high-volume (a high number of reps) and low-intensity training (low percentage of your 1-rep max). As you progress through the different phases of training, called mesocycles (Mesocycles are a period of training that typically last several microcycles (weeks) in length), you gradually decrease volume and increase intensity.

  • LP Example: The first mesocycle might consist of training that focuses on increase muscle size (hypertrophy) and therefore might prescribe a rep range of 8-10. After the end of the first mesocycle (several weeks) the athlete would begin their second phase of training with a different focus, for example, power. The athlete would shift gears and train using a rep range of 1-6 reps and loads ranging from 30-60% of their 1 rep max. Basically, training focus shifts every few weeks or so.

Non-Linear Periodization (NLP): With NLP, intensity, volume and other training variables differ from workout to workout.  NLP essentially incorporates themed mesocycles that place an emphasis on a certain training intensity and volume while inter-mixing various training intensities and volumes. 

  • NLP Example: A mesocycle with an emphasis on improving power might center roughly 50% of the training sessions around power exercises, i.e., using a rep range of 1-6, power exercises like power cleans, a load ranging from 30 to 60% of the athlete’s 1-rep max, and rest intervals ranging from 2-5 minutes.  

 

 

Training Strategies, Head to Head:

 

Classic Training vs. LP:

Studies (1) compared performance improvements in both bench press and back squat over a 16-week period. Researchers found that participants who followed a classic training program using 8-10 reps improved their bench press results by roughly 7-10% and their back squat results by roughly 15-24% while those following a NLP program increased their results by nearly 23% and 34%, respectively!

Winner by unanimous decision, LP!

LP vs. NLP:

Researchers have compared NLP and LP to determine which training structure produces greater strength increases. Though studies have varied on specific outcomes, research favors NLP as a more effective method of structuring training sessions.

Winner by KO, NLP!

How Much More Effective is NLP?

One study (2) put NLP and LP head to head and found that, after 12 weeks of training, the NLP group increased their 1-rep bench press max by 29% versus 14% for the LP group.  The NLP group also improved their 1-rep leg press max by 59% versus 26% for the LP group.

 

 

The Future Of Sports:

 

The world of sports and training is quickly becoming more and more competitive. Establishing and maintaining a physical edge is harder than ever. It’s not enough to go into the gym and knock out reps with heavy weights. If you want to establish truly remarkable results, intelligent training is a must and starts with laying a solid and well-structured NLP program foundation.

A strong foundation however is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more variables that we have to evaluate and intelliigently adjust and tweek in our training in order to create a program that compounds our training results. 

 

COMING SOON: The Secret To Rest Between Sets! 

We'll show you the secrets to out train your competition, avoid platueus and how to continue to maximize your training results!

Make sure to subscribe to get the lastest training updates.

 

RESEARCH:

1) D.S. Willoughby, D.S. (1993). The effects of meso-cycle-length weight training programs involving periodization and partially equated volumes on upper and lower body strength. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

2) Reah, M.R., Alvar, B.A., Burkett, L.N., & Ball, S.D. (2003). A meta-analysis to determine the dose response for strength development. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.

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