Increased strength is the pinnacle of strength sports. Ideally, what we want is a higher snatch, clean and jerk and as well a bigger squat, bigger pulls, and bigger presses. Why? Greater strength usually translates to greater competition totals. There’s no question that greater strength feels good period. That is the bottom line why we do this. Below are 3 proven methods to increase your resolve to realizing your greatest strength potential.
#1 Increase your Volume of Training
- Take for example you do 3 x 3 of squats with about 80% of your 1RM. For this example we’ll say the load is set at 100lbs. 3 x 3 = 9 total reps of squats @ 100lbs 9 x 100 = 900lbs total tonnage lifted.
- Now you increase the reps to 3 x 4 = 12 reps. 12 x 100 (weight on the bar) = 1,200lbs of load lifts just by increasing the reps to 4.
- Let’s increase the sets and reps to 4 x 4 = 16. 16 x 100 = 1,600lbs of load lifted.
In essence this is called linear progression model and should be carried out over a specific amount of time. The goal is to increase volume over time to increase strength gains for the future. A linear progression model should look something like the following:
The weights for selected exercises would continue to go up as the weeks go by. However, understand that this model of strength training has its limitations and does not continue indefinitely. You will run into limited returns on this model. Which brings up number 2.
#2 Cycle Your Training with a Speed Cycle
We saw the advantages of higher volume training has for greater strength gains but now we know that there are limited returns. Once you have gotten into a plateau or maybe you are in one it’s time to run a different training cycle one that provides a different stimulus than the first cycle. What we are talking about here is General Adaptation Syndrome or the GAS principle. Basically, when providing the same training stimulus the body will create an adaptation. When the adaptation has taken place a new stimulus needs to be provided to create strength gains. This is where the art of cycling your training comes in.
For example, your last cycle was run at 80% for several weeks say 6 weeks for this example. The next training cycle is 4 weeks just for this example.
- 4 weeks cycle cycle
- 2 days during the weekly cycle run loads of 60% to 70% for greater speed
- Introduce faster Rate of Force Production
- Lighter weights but at higher velocities
Now you are running lighter loads but at higher velocities to illicit the high speed fibers known to create greater speeds. This new stimulus will help you out of your plateau since it’s a different stimulus that is introduced.
#3 Introduce Recovery Period
Sometimes it isn’t what we are doing that is causing plateau’s but what we are not doing. After running a strength cycle for say 8 weeks you might want to consider running a recovery period of several days to create recovery in the needed muscular systems. A recovery period doesn’t have to be complete cessation of activity. It can mean doing other forms of physical activity and it doesn’t have to be related to strength training. Swimming for example is a great recovery activity that many Olympic Weightlifters from Russia or Kazakhstan do to give their bodies some needed recovery before starting another training cycle.
The longer we train the more complex it will get in order to achieve new results. The longer we train the lower the strength gains will come. Therefore, training requires introducing new stimuli to create new strength gains. That’s what training cycles such as speed cycles are so effective as well as recovery periods.
Josue Cano aka Captain
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