Recently, I’ve been experimenting with doing different types of strength training on myself.
When I started lifting weights in high school and college, a typical workout was a basic body building workout. It was pretty much taken from Muscle and Fitness and it looked like:
1. A lower body exercise, usually squats or a leg press.
2. A chest exercise, usually bench press
3. Back exercise, usually pull down machine or rows.
4. A shoulder exercise, usually military press or lateral raises.
5. Arm exercises consisting of curls and tricep extensions.
6. Sit-ups or leg raises.
Typically, it would be three sets of ten for each exercise and I’d try to go to failure on most them.
To be honest, this still isn’t the worst workout. It takes a while to complete (about an hour) and gets a full body workout in.
I’ve gone through lots of variations and experiments. Here are some I’ve done or am currently doing:
- Body Part Splits: (Back/Chest, Legs/Shoulders, Arms/Core)
- 3 x 8 and 5 x 5. (I’m doing these much more now than the sets of 10)
- Reducing chest and arm lifts and doing more back exercises. I’ve done this to protect my shoulders.
- Metabolic workouts. I love these and believe that most kids and youth sports teams should be doing variations of these.
- Bodyweight workouts. I do these too. I typically will alternate them with a weight room workout during the week.
- Single limb exercises. Sometimes I love these…sometimes I don’t think they do much. Right now, I’m in the state where I don’t do them very often.
- Rotational exercises. I like these a lot but have to be careful with doing too much.
- Different types of strength movement. This is what the article is mostly about.
So the different types of strength movements seems to be quite the rage. I think because it works for sports skills, weight loss and just looking good.
Here are the different types of strength workouts that I’ve been experimenting with:
- Maximum strength. How much can you lift one time?
- Strength endurance. How often can you lift a given weight. Of course, this can vary greatly depending on the weight you use.
- Explosive lifting. How fast can you lift a given weight. Includes plyometrics and weighted throws.
- Isometrics. Pushing against something that doesn’t move. Can vary time and degree of movement.
- Pulsing. Taking a heavy weight and pushing it up and down quickly through a small range of movement.
- Slow motion: Taking a heavy weight and lowering it slowly (10 to 40 seconds)
- Metabolic Workouts. Take four exercises that work four different systems or muscles and do them for ten to twenty seconds with little rest between. Try to do four to six sets.
I’ve been working on mixing these up in my workouts. Specically, I’m trying to do at least three different types for each body part. Because it takes so long, I usually only do three body parts (legs, chest, back).
The metabolic workouts are tough. I was doing them at the end of everything but found I was skipping them because I was too tired. So now, I’m doing them at the beginning. They are great for fat loss and general conditioning. I’m also trying to do them to help with my basketball game.
Part Two of the Article will focus on how you can take these seven types of strength exercises and put them to use with your team. I think you’ll like it.
Coach Ron Usher