Training Tips and Advice
There are many different aspects to training and exercise. Training specifics can be broken down into a variety of subjects, depending on an individual’s goal orientation. The main training subjects are aerobic fitness, anaerobic fitness, weight loss, muscle endurance, muscle gain (hypertrophy), muscle strength, and muscle power.
These main training subjects are generally specific, but there can some adaptations to these training methods. Although there have been developments over the years in exercise and training, the main foundations of training have continued to be unchanged. For example the basis of weightlifting and power-lifting, the deadlift, squat, bench press, clean and press have not been altered much. These training techniques are renowned for building muscle, strength, and power, whilst aiding fat burning.
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Aerobic and Anaerobic Training
Aerobic fitness and training, enables a beginner and intermediate level person to begin to understand the intensity levels needed to achieve a particular level of fitness. There are three main zones of aerobic training; fat burning zone, fitness zone, elite fitness zone. These are sub-divided into four more zones; recovery zone, aerobic threshold (AeT), anaerobic threshold (AnT), anaerobic 1 and anaerobic 2.
Recovery zone training is performed below the aerobic threshold that is used for unconditioned people, or people who are recovering from injuries, or people who want a day from resistance training and want aid with recovery of damaged muscle tissues.
Aerobic threshold (AeT) training zone is the intensities between aerobic and anaerobic thresholds. It involves performing long slow duration intensity, to improve aerobic fitness levels and health benefits.
Anaerobic threshold (AnT) is a specific type of training performed at exactly, or as close as possible to the anaerobic threshold. This training is used to maximise the aerobic fitness levels and health benefits, as well as developing the individual’s lactic acid tolerance and to improve their ability to remove waste products of anaerobic metabolism from their muscles.
Anaerobic zone is the highest intensity level. This training zone will improve the body’s ability to remove waste products of anaerobic metabolism from the muscles. This enables people to improve their aerobic fitness levels and work at higher intensities for longer periods of time.
Muscular Endurance Training
This is the foundation of resistance training. It enables a beginner to develop a base of fitness from which they can develop a foundation level of lifting weights using the correct form and technique.
Muscular endurance training uses the following structure; low intensity (how hard the exercises are performed), the load is <67% 1RM (below the individual’s 1 repetition maximum), 12-25+ repetitions (how many times you lift the weight), 30-60 seconds recovery (rest period between sets), 2-3 sets per exercise (sets of repetitions of an exercise), training frequency 2-3 times per week (how often you can train each muscles group in one week).
Once an individual has developed a suitable resistance training foundation, then progression to the next stage of training can be undertaken, which is hypertrophy training.
This training method helps with the increase of muscle size. This is achieved through sarcomere hypertrophy (increased contractile protein of muscle fibres) or sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (increased levels of both non-contractile and inter-fibre plasma).
To develop a good training stimulus, you need a good balance of training, nutrition, and recovery (sleep).
Hypertrophy training structure involves; moderate intensity, 67-85% 1RM, 6-12 repetitions, 1-2 minutes recovery, 3-6 sets per exercise and training frequency 1-2 times per week.
There are a variety of training systems that can be used to vary training and to encourage development of muscles. There is Multiple-sets or Setting, Pyramid training, Drop sets or Strip sets, Supersets, Pre-exhaust, Post-exhaust, Peripheral Heart Action (PHA), Super slow, Matrix or 21’s, Forced or Negative reps, Contrast training, Higher Volume Training; German Volume Training (GVT) and Escalating Density Training (EDT), to name a few.
These training systems are used to develop and increase the intensity levels of a training session. These enable the muscles to fatigue and work harder during sets.
This type of training is required to develop muscular strength. This is achieved by performing exercises to maximal or near maximal training intensity. It involves high intensity repetitions lifting 85% or more of your 1Repetion Maximum.
Basic strength involves; high intensity, >85% of 1RM, 4-5 Repetitions, Recovery 2-5minutes, 2-6 Sets per exercise.
Maximal strength involves; high intensity, >93% of 1RM, 1-3 Repetitions, Recovery 2-5minutes, 2-6 Sets per exercise.
Power training is made up of the same elements as strength training, but it is performed with more speed and force. This is achieved by performing high to very high intensity repetitions lifting 85% or more of your 1Repetition Maximum.
Power and Plyometrics are performed using high to very high intensity, >85% of 1RM, 1-15 Repetitions (depending on fitness/training level), Recovery 30seconds-5minutes (depending on levels and pairs), 2-6 Sets per exercise.
These variations in training help people to achieve their specific fitness goal whilst providing health benefits. Training can be a complicated process, so the use of variations in the types of training can benefit an individual’s development.
A good training example for an individual wanting to build their strength. Having completed training in the hypertrophy phase and then performed lifts in the strength training phase for two weeks, it is good to perform a whole body resistance circuit. This aids the muscles to recover and to develop, increasing muscle fibre connection and improving the stability of the muscles and their strength.