Complex Training, the Way to Achieve Maximum Strength

Published: 19th April 2010
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The general rule when trying to gain strength is to lift heavy with more sets and less reps. It is considered that how much force one can apply against an object determines how strong that person is. There is an key element to building maximum strength that many take for granted. The key is to develop explosive power in order to reach your maximum strength potential. Strength does not have to rely on power, but power is measured by strength(force) times speed. While power is not essential to great strength, the ability to generate great power however only increases ones ability push or pull against resistance. Take power lifters for example when they do the clean and jerk. They are not using just strength to throw the weight above their head. If you watch them do it, they pull the weight up considerably fast. The moment they lift the weight off the ground they do with as much speed as possible, thus creating momentum. They really are not using most of their strength until about the end of the movement to control the weight. These individuals don't rely on strength as much as they do power to lift heavy weight. Hence that is why they call it power lifting and not strength lifting. "A smaller man who can swing a baseball bat faster may hit as hard or as far as the heavier stronger man who swings slower." Bruce Lee

By combining plyometrics with heavy resistance training, you will develop your maximum strength and power potential. This is called Complex Training. This workout is designed to help you achieve speed, maximum strength and explosive power. By developing explosive power, it should increase the maximum weight you can lift. You should not be doing complex training more then once or twice a week since it is strenuous on you joints. Five days rest should be sufficient before working out the same muscle group again.
Power is measured by force(strength) times rate of force(speed). It is assumed that since weight lifting tenses and tightens muscles and creates bulkiness, it makes the muscles slower. This is true if all one does is lifts heavy and does not stretch the muscles properly . Weight lifting alone will increase your power and strength, but by integrating plyometrics and stretching properly with heavy weight training, you add the benefit of improving the rate of force(speed). Rate of force is the speed with which force is achieved in a movement. Increasing your power output will increase how much you can lift. To greatly increase your power output, just lifting weights is not enough. You must increase the rate of force(speed) that it takes to move the weight.Power is exerted through fast twitch muscle fibers, which are developed through anaerobic training(exercise requires muscles to contract at high intensities for short periods.) Heavy weight lifting and plyometircs are considered to be anaerobic.

When performing any kind of weight lifting movement, it involves pulling or pushing against resistance, the more speed and force that is generated against resistance, the more weight that one will be able to move. For example, when performing bench press, you begin by lowering the weight slowly and then at the very moment the bar slightly touches the surface of your chest,(not bounce off your chest) you explode the weight upward with maximum effort. The amount of power applied to that initial explosion can make the difference on whether you finish the rep or you yelling for someone to help lift the weight off you.

The workout will consist of core lifts, such as bench press or squats. For each exercise you will perform five sets of three to five reps. Immediately after each set of a weight lifting movement, you will do ten to twelve reps of a plyometric movement. Your goal is develop strength and power, so for every set you want to be as strong as possible. You don't want your muscles to feel fatigued after each set so you should take three to five minute breaks between each set. Do not try to go to muscle failure on your lifts. The plyometric exercise is relative to what ever lifting exercise you are doing. Example would be, if you're doing bench press, after each set you would do plyometric push-ups. If you are doing squats, after each set you would do jump squats.

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