In the past there have been a bevy of strength training techniques that flooded the market, each lasting for only a brief time before the next wave. In this article, we will examine the time-tested training strategies that produce maximum results in a minimum amount of time.

The majority of these strength training strategies have been a well-known part of weight lifting for many years — however, they have fallen out of favor with today’s systems. Below you’ll find practices that truly work.


1.  Training Frequency

Strength training is composed of two primary factors — the intensity of the activity and the recovery that follows. In order to gain maximum functional muscle and become stronger in the smallest amount of time, complete sessions with infrequent, short, high-intensity weight training and follow it with sufficient recovery time.

Muscles are trained even in failure. Science has consistently reported that muscles become stronger by over-compensating up to a week after your workout.

Keep in mind that when it comes to increasing strength and muscle, intensity and recuperation are far more important than the quantity of training.


2.  Exercises Per Session

Recent studies have shown that a person has a finite supply of energy that is immediately accessible for weight training sessions. Blood tests from individuals in these studies also demonstrated a significant drop in blood sugar levels, indicating less available energy, after 20-30 minutes of training at a high intensity.

Due to the limited amount of time available to train before depleting energy levels, the exercises selected for your routine are of utmost importance. This necessitates the utilization of multi-joint or compound movements in order to provide the most stimuli in the least amount of time. Stated simply, we use energy more efficiently when engaging many muscles simultaneously.

Most people are able to complete three to four high intensity exercises per session. By doing complex compound movements, the main structures of the body are trained hard and many other muscle groups are engaged secondarily. This means that special techniques or isolated movements are not necessary.

In general, the entire body is strenuously worked then allowed to rest before the next session. At the following session, you are able to do a few more reps or use a heavier weight, thus proving that you have gotten stronger.


3. Number of Sets Per Exercise

If performed correctly to total failure, a complete set of compound exercise should be nearly impossible to duplicate in force and intensity.

If you find that you are able to attain the same force and intensity in a subsequent set, then it is imperative that you increase the intensity level. Obviously, your first set did not fully drain your energy, as intended.

However, if you exert maximum effort and push the muscles to total failure, meaning you can’t move the bar after the last rep, then you’ve maximized the muscle stimulation for that particular exercise.

Don’t be fooled — multiple sets or volume training is not more effective than single set training. Research has proven that it is just as beneficial as multiple set training and decreases the possibility of over-training while allowing you to preserve energy for additional exercises.


4. Number of Repetitions Per Set

Functional muscle in the body is directly correlated to strength. Increases in one lead to increases in the other. Therefore, as you build muscle, you become stronger.

You’ll want to avoid temporary periods of stagnation or training plateaus by varying the number of repetitions and the amount of weight used during a ten-week regimen.

The greater the number of repetitions, the slower twitch muscle fibers are activated which leads to increases in stamina. By contrast, the lower the number of repetitions, the faster twitch muscle fibers are activated which leads to gains in strength and muscle size.

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