Have you often wondered how sets and reps are structured to gain strength? When you think back to the days that you played ball and the coach had often had a different set count and rep count for the bench press every week did you ever wonder why? You probably noticed that it was like that on every lift from week to week, especially if you had a descent strength coach.
Lets start answering these questions by first defining strength. The definition of strength is the bodys’ ability to produce muscular tension when a force is applied to it. Now that we know this how does it apply to building this phenomenon we know as strength? There is a relatively simple explanation for this. Whenever force is constantly applied to a muscle the muscle adapts by being tricked or practiced into the role of having to handle the stress of that load. By doing this the muscle becomes fitter and can more forcefully contract to move a weight or object more effectively. A good strength coach or trainer also knows that strength can be built by applying the maximal amount of force to the muscle consistently over time without training the muscle to failure. For example: Lets say that a man can bench press 200lbs for 3 sets of 4 reps. This is a total of 12 repetitions. Now lets say we want to get him stronger so we add 10 lbs bringing his bench to 210 lbs. Now with the added load he can only do 3 sets of 3 reps. This is only a total of 9 repetitions. To get him stronger doing the same total number of reps with more weight all we need to do is add an additional set. Now the man is doing 4 sets of 3 reps totaling 12 reps, but with more weight!
This is the key to structuring sets and reps to build ultimate strength. I used the bench press in this particular example, but this principle applies to the entire body. Now you know the secret behind the Formula For Strength!
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I’m Brandon Richey the Strength and Conditioning Pro!