So in the current health and wellness space, a new type of workout / programming is launched every couple months. While it may work for some, one thing we like to do is keep thing simple, and that rarely causes us to deviate from the basics.

Now don’t get me wrong, a lot of programs out there are beneficial. Block periodization, Conjugate, Triphasic, Linear Progression, 5/3/1, and the list goes on. One thing I want to show you is how you can dial back to rudimentary movements, and make your workouts a little more effective, and potentially avoid staleness and burn out.

3 Methods of Approach

Changing the way you approach your workouts can be a great thing. By changing your approach in these ways, you’ll increase strength, coordination, and potentially increase athleticism.

We’ve broken these down for your approach for a barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell, etc.

Speed days

Instead of “Light Day,” try saying “Speed Day.”

There are 2 main reasons to incorporate a “speed” day :

  • help with force development
  • the ability to lift more volume without feeling like you’re unalive the next day.

These typically supplement one another, too

Force development is a simple theoretical equation –

Force = Mass x acceleration

With a lighter mass (~30-60% of your 1-3 rep max, respectively), you’re able to move the weight faster. You typically structure these moves with several sets of 2-3 reps with :30-:60 rest in between. Less time but same integrity of movement will help improve your General Physical Preparedness (more on this later).

Because of the lighter weight, higher set count, and lower rep count, you’re able to perform more volume at a higher intensity with less fatigue.

Example : Say squats for a 12 x 2 with 185. Do the math and you’ve moved 4,440 pounds in roughly 5-10 minutes. Add in bands or chains for accommodating resistance and you get even more workload.

Maximum Effort Days

Instead of a “heavy” day, think about it as “Maximum Effort” days. This is designed to do one thing and one thing only, challenge you and have you struggle under the weight.

DISCLAIMER : This is not to be confused with 1RM. While you could aim for a 1RM one day for training, maximum effort means more than that. Modify movements based on your needs, working around injuries, and even veering toward sport specific can have great benefits.

Because effort is relative, you could aim for heavy doubles, slower tempo (negatives), modified grips / stances, single arm / leg, and so on. Heck, I know people who add a 5 second pause at the weak point of a lift just to be able to keep the bar lighter but the effort still insane.

Being able to struggle under the bar is what this is all about. This is going to help you coordinate both nervous system and muscle groups in order to move the weight where it needs to go. That’s why it’s better for most to stay away from 1RM until they’re more experienced.

General Physical Preparedness

The key word here is “general.” This is the product of increasing your general level of cardiovascular preparedness in an array of situations. Moving more efficiently with mobility work, increasing force production, developing the strength in compound movements, and getting your heart rate up all have their place in GPP work.

If you’re an athlete or coach athletes, this can be done during the off season, when the training volume / workload can be higher.

PSA / Small Soapbox

Constant running IS NOT conditioning. Especially when :

  • It’s the only form of conditioning
  • It’s always on the same surface
  • there is no variation in it (sprinting, shuttles, etc)
  • Your sport / position never requires it

Even while in the off season, applying endurance efforts to your workout can still be similar to your sport. For example, if you’re a technical skills position in football, use this time to focus on drills for your specific position. Since football is typically a 10 second fight and a 40 second rest, perform your workouts accordingly.

Final Thoughts

Taking a different approach to the bar can help break the staleness and monotony. Using this method can give you more of training plan as well as increase the likelihood of increased force production, coordination, and athleticism. Practice how you play, and prepare for the role you’re going to take or hopeful for.

Just remember, no one ever complained about getting stronger, in any sport. If you’re not sure how to go about programming, reach out to us or a local Personal Trainer to help.