Hi again!!! I’m preparing a pure strength training program and I was considered about the following. Firstly, how often should you train a muscle part for strength only (days per week) and how many sets, with how much resting time, should you do??? Secondly, what kind of diet should someone do if he trains for pure strength only??? And lastly, how much does it take to lose the levels of strength that you have achieved (I’ve read in a book about physiology of sports and exercise that for cardiovascular and muscle endurance it takes about a week to start losing your levels, for muscle size about a month, so when does strength get lost and how quickly???)???
Oooh, on more thing… how EXACTLY do the connective tissues (tendons and ligaments) get stronger??? I mean with what type of exercise (strength or endurance based, frequent or low volume) and what exactly happens to the body…???
I’m no expert, but I had good strength gains when I chose 2 opposing upper body exercises (pull ups and dips) and did them 6 days a week for 5 sets. I made sure that I never went to failure and left big rests between sets so I was never fatigued. Went from 0 pull ups and 1 dip to 5 pull ups and 8 dips in under 2 months.
I’ve also started doing grease the groove on bench pistol squats this week (broken finger). Been doing 10 sets of 5 on each leg throughout the day. Still feeling fresh at the end of the week and I can feel them getting easier everyday.
Pretty good work!!! Thanks!!!
Strength can generally be considered a culmination of several factors including the integrity and strength of the tendons, muscles, and neural conditioning. So if you have built up strong tendons and neural pathways, it should take awhile for it to diminish if you quit working out, but I can’t say exact figures.
Strengthening the connective tissue is a type of strength training. They need lots of rest though, and training it a lot is something you need to be careful with because tendinitis can really set you back. Generally I would say isometrics and negatives are good for this, but honestly any kind of strength training will be helpful. Also pretty much any of the straight arm leverage skills from gymnastics (back lever, human flag, etc) will work the tendons really well. I suppose you could say that anything that requires lots of relative strength.
Anyway, Al may be able to shed more light on this.
Mmm, ok, I got the general idea for the connective tissue work and the duration of the strength gains. But I still didn’t find anything about the diet and the programming of a strength training program. Also, by saying that the connective tissue needs lots of rest, you got me thinking that strength programs, like greasing the groove or another type of a frequent strength program, don’t give enough rest time for the. Is that a fact??? I hope Al Kavadlo can answer these three questions…
Diet and programming for strength training will be similar to muscle gain. The main difference with programming is that you want to be doing fewer reps per exercise. I suggest doing a super set of two exercises, with your focus on one of the two. So a heavy pushing day might have handstand push ups and pull ups, then the next workout you could do one arm rows and dips. The heavy exercise should be up to, say, 6 reps, while the secondary exercise can be in the 10-15 rep range. Honestly, you will still see strength gains up to about 10 reps a set, it just won’t be as pronounced as if you do lower rep sets…however that volume adds up over the course of 3 or 4 sets. It sort of depends on the exercise…but for specific numbers you should just try out your own schemes.
As I said, the tendons need more attention to their recovery, so let me clarify. You don’t necessarily need to train less often; once your tendons fully adapt to an exercise, there’s no reason you can’t do it with greater frequency. But, if it’s an exercise that stresses your tendons a lot, you probably will want to do it no more than twice a week until it becomes more manageable.
For diet I personally feel like just generally try to eat healthy and eat until I’m content. Beyond that, I’m not a nutritionist, but look up the roles of various minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, etc. in the human body. Anything that improves oxygen absorption/transport, cellular integrity/production, neural pathways/sheathing, bone or joint integrity, or really anything that relates to the integrity of bones, connective tissue, muscles, nervous system, or any of the functioning of cells will potentially be beneficial, as long as you don’t have a predisposition against that (like, if you already have high iron levels then don’t intake more iron).
That’s a nice site with a lot of information on quite a variety of healthy foods. There’s in depth descriptions about the unique aspects of the nutrient profiles and health benefits of each food, as well as additional information. Also, there’s pages for individual minerals (probably also vitamins) that give some information about it, plus lists the foods from the lists in order of how great of a source they are for that mineral.
If that’s not enough, I would recommend herbal supplementation, because it’s essentially food. For now, research ashwaghandha, korean red ginseng, hydrilla, and hyaluronic acid (not an herbal supplement, but still completely natural and hugely beneficial for the joints). The first two are…shoot I forgot the term for it, but they’re a class of herb that actually improves the efficiency with which your cells react to stress, which potentially has many far-reaching benefits, including but not limited to the efficacy of your training.
About the program you recommend, you say a superset of two exercises. Does this mean only two exercise a day??? (For like five supersets???)
You can do that, it’ll keep the workout short. What I used to do was a superset like that plus pistols. So it could be like, handstand push ups, then pistols on the right leg, then pull ups, then pistols on the left leg, then repeat the whole thing 3-5 times.
There’s no perfect routine man, just think about your goals, where you’re at, and how best to optimize your training towards that without burning yourself out or straining yourself to the point of injury. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve felt like I had a super awesome routine that covered everything succinctly…only to change it again within a couple of weeks. Just experiment with it man and in the meantime you will be working out still.
You’re right about it!!! It’s just that I don’t like losing my gains, so I wouldn’t like to have big changes on my programs in a way that I’ll forget about an exercise I used to work on. Let’s say I master the one arm pushup and I change the frequent strength routine I used to do for a two days per week bodybuilding routine with the one arm pushups… won’t that affect my strength gains???
Wow, very nice!!! Thank you Robby Taylor, you are great!!!
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