Building Strength

What is Strength?

Let’s start with the definition: Strength - is the ability to exert force in order to overcome the resistance.

Basic Types of Strength

  1. Absolute Strength – the maximum force your musculature can exert in a single effort.
  2. Relative Strength – strength relative to bodyweight.
  3. Metabolic Strength – this is what bodybuilders build the most. Rep ranges are usually 6-12.
  4. Neural Strength – intensities less than 8 rep. These intensities require higher demand on the nervous system.
  5. Strength Endurance – the ability to perform at a low-mid level of strength repeatedly over a period of time. Typically 15-20 reps.

In a nutshell

Strength is arguably the most important component in fitness. In the athletic world it has been termed, the king of sports. Strength is dependent on muscle mass, neuromuscular connection, and sheer will.

Both strength and technical ability are qualities attained through well-designed programs. Both strength and technical ability are complementary facets involved in improving strength. One does not exist without the other.

Building strength involves muscle, bone, connective tissue, and the endocrine and neuromuscular systems. In order to develop strength physiological change is required, meaning the remodeling of these tissues and systems, which takes time….I’m talking years!

Why We Employ The Strength Training?

Strength, in my opinion, is the Jesus nut of physical performance. The crossover benefits towards improvements in other components of fitness are too profound to ignore.

In a nutshell

Strength training brings to the table a host of benefit outside of strength development (and associated neural improvements) alone – as you’ll see below. These, alongside the physical performance gains associated with strength training is why WA employs a relatively in depth approach to our strength training programming.

Strength or resistance training should be included, at some level, regardless of age, gender, profession and lifestyle.

How We Employ Strength Training

Rule #1. Foundation – the principles.

  1. Sets and reps
  2. Intensity
  3. Volume
  4. Rest / recovery
  5. Frequency of training
  6. Exercise variation

Rule #2. Periodization – formulate a plan.

Our programs are predominately linear based, with a sprinkling of conjugate methodology thrown in the mix. Linear periodization plans are great for building a strong foundation to work towards a peaking point. They’re also easy to understand.

Our Tier Program Strength Training Protocols consist of three, four week mesocycles, with a deload period on the last week of each block. Adaptation periods differ depending on program level.

Rule #3. Method

Prescriptions involve 2-3 sessions per week. These sessions are planned off a 60min time cap. The use of supersets helps the session flow, making better use of time.

Here’s an example of our ‘method to the madness.’

Session breakdown:

‘A1 – A2’ – main movements / primary focus for the session. Intensity, strain and stress all come into play under a linear periodization plan. Generally two exercises performed as a superset.

Aim: Improve absolute strength

‘B1 – B2’ – supplementary exercises generally focused on complementing ‘A.’ Conjugate inspired. Generally two exercises performed as a superset.

Aim: Improve neural strength

‘C1 – C2’ – supplementary exercise. Conjugate inspired. This could be one or two exercises.

Aim: Improve metabolic strength.

‘D1 – E1’ – conditioning or accessory work. This could be one or two exercises.

Aim: Improve strength endurance or core specific.

For movement variation we implement a mix of strongman, power-lifting, and Olympic lifting variants, other free weight movements as well as basic gymnastics. These include:

- Barbell Clean & Jerk and Snatch variations (excludes Squat Clean and Squat Snatch).

- Strongman carry variations.

- Squat / Deadlift / Press variations

- Inversion (handstand variants), the use of rings, pull up and press up variants

- Dumbbell and kettlebell, both freestanding and bench.

Here are a few examples from our Tier 2 STP (Strength Training Protocol):

STP-4C

Sets / Reps

Exercise

Rest

Tempo

A1

20min TBT 2-3RM

BB Shoulder Press

as needed

X-1-2-1

A2

20min TBT 2-3RM

Hang Snatch High Pull

Explosive

B1

3 x 10-12

BB Push Press

1min 30sec

X-1-2-1

C1

2 x Max Reps

BB Bench Press at 95% BW

1min 30sec

1-0-1-0

D1

3 x 12

KB or DB Turkish Get Up

30sec

Controlled


STP-6A

Sets / Reps

%1RM

Exercise

Rest

Tempo

A1

3 x 5

82.5%

BB Flat Bench Press

4min

2-1-X-1

A2

3 x 5

BB Deadlift To Knee

1-2-1-2

B1

3 x 6-7 e/s

Single Arm DB Incline Press

4min

1-0-1-0

B2

3 x 6-7

BB Roman Deadlift

2-1-1-1

*work to failure on last working set or until loss of form

C1

10min EMOM

Odds

10-12 Dips

Evens

20sec Hanging L-Sit or Knee Raise

STP-10B

Sets / Reps

%1RM

Exercise

Rest

Tempo

A1

4 x 3

90%

BB Back Squat

4min

2-0-X-2

A2

4 x 3

Chin Up – close grip

X-0-2-1

*work to failure on last working set or until loss of form

B1

1 x 20

50-60%

BB Back Squat

as needed

1-0-1-0

B2

1 x Max Reps

20%

Chin Up – any grip

as needed

1-0-1-1

The aim here is to achieve a 20RM. If you can identify early in the set that the weight is too light stop, adjust, rest and repeat when ready. If failure is reached early, rest 10sec, carry on until 20 reps is reached

C1

4 x 10-12

Supine BB Row – legs elevated

2min

1-0-1-1

D1

3 x 20m

KB / DB Front Rack Lunge Walk

2min

Controlled

E1

2 x Max Effort Eccentric Pull Up Lowers

1min 30sec

Slow

STP-5A - Deload

Sets / Reps

%1RM

Exercise

Rest

Tempo

A1

3 x 6

Set 1 @40% Set 2 @50% Set3 @60%

BB Flat Bench Press

3min

2-2-1-1

A2

3 x 6

BB Deadlift

2-1-2-1

B1

3 x 10

Ring or Bar Dip

3min

2-0-1-1

B2

3 x 10

Banded Good Morning

2-1-2-1

C1

3 x 45sec

Front Leaning Rest

1min

Hold

The Fruits of Your Labour

There a number of key benefits associated with strength training:

  • Improved muscle strength! This can protect your joints from injury.
  • Improved body composition.
  • Gain and/or maintain lean muscle mass.
  • Improved body mechanics; balance, coordination, posture.
  • May help reduce or prevent cognitive decline, particularly with aging.
  • Improved stamina and power.
  • Boosts testosterone.
  • Prevention or control of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, back pain, depression and obesity.
  • Increased bone density and strength and lower risk of osteoporosis.
  • Improved energy levels and wellbeing caused through increased endorphin release
  • Enhanced performance of everyday tasks.

“Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and more useful in general.”

- Mark Rippetoe


2 comments


  • EDward MObbs

    Awesome content!! Much appreciated! You guys are proving great information!!
    Respect!


  • EDward MObbs

    Awesome content!! Much appreciated! You guys are proving great information!!
    Respect!


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published