There have always been two reasons why people weight train. The first of which is vanity as people weight train to improve the physical appearance of their physique. The second and more important reason is to improve overall strength of the body. Interestingly, while many wish to improve their strength, they don’t know the correct strength training workouts to use. This means that they use less effective workouts that don’t give the desired results as quickly as strength training workouts do.
So what are the best strength training workouts?
The best strength training workouts are ones that use maximum weight in the lifts and compound exercises in the training plan. This means that the workout requires you to lift the heaviest weight possible for a certain amount of reps so your muscles build stronger more quickly.
It also means the exercises you are using are not simply isolating and training one muscle group but utilizes compound exercises where two or more joints are used in the lift, effectively ensuring multiple muscle groups are used. An example of one such lift is the deadlift which utilizes the ankles, knees and hips thus means the muscles of the legs, back, core (abs) and forearms are used. There are many strength workouts available on the market but of all the workouts one stands out as the best. This workout is the 5×5 training workout.
The 5×5 training workout uses the idea that you lift the heaviest weight possible for five reps over five sets. Once you have achieved the weight lifted at five reps over five sets you add 2.5 kg on the next session and start attempting to achieve 5×5 again. Many find that once the weight is added they will achieved 5,5,5,4,4 in reps per set and it might take them a few weeks to achieve the full 5×5 before they can add more weight again.
In the workout only the compound exercises are 5×5, all other exercises are 8 to 12 reps and are used as supporting exercises to help the overall strength achievements. One of the interesting things about the 5×5 workout is that rest is just as important as the workout itself. You should always leave around 48 hours between training sessions and after 12 weeks take a one week break for your body to recover.
The one week break is hard for many to do as they feel guilty and want to get back in the gym but truthfully it is much needed. You will find that after the weeks break you will be stronger because of the break as your body recovers.
Alternative strength training workouts
For those that don’t want to attempt the 5×5 workout you can simply alter your current workout to include loading sets. This means that on big exercises such as the bench press, deadlift or squat you can try lifting heavier to test your strength and push your body that bit harder. Some people achieve this by starting with lighter weights and more reps and then adding more on each set but lifting two reps lower until they have the heaviest weight they can lift and they only carry out 6 to 8 reps. This is known as loading or the pyramid workout.
In a short time you should see your strength increase with either the 5×5 workout or the loading workout above.