Resistance training for strength

Resistance training involves the contraction of the muscles against force, with the aim of increasing strength and endurance.

We tend to think of lifting heavy weights and big muscles when it comes to resistance training, but injury rehabilitation and yoga/pilates are also forms of resistance training.

My approach to resistance training with clients is to focus on gaining strength in compound movements such as the push-ups, squats, deadlifts and upper body pulling exercise variations.

The best time to build strength is early in the session when the client is fresh and this training is supported by longer rest periods between sets.

However, this can be a challenge when training clients in the gym, or training on your own and need to be quick, because there isn’t always the luxury of having three-minute rest intervals between each set.

If we did that, an hour-long training session wouldn’t be too productive.

To circumvent that, I am a fan of super-setting exercises that use another muscle group to those being used in the primary strength exercise.

So the push-ups might be paired with a rear-shoulder exercise, core work, or something else that won’t directly fatigue the muscles used in the push-up itself.

This allows us the chest/shoulders to recover for the next set, while keeping the training session volume high and using other muscle groups.

So there might be three minutes between the sets of push-ups, but it’s not three minutes of complete rest.

This might not be the absolute optimal way to train for strength, but it does allow for strength to be gained while still completing a high-volume of work in the training session.

Therefore we can gain strength in the gym and keep energy expenditure high, which assists in the creation of the energy deficit required for body composition goals.

Tom Fitzgerald