3 Most Important Factors in Strength Training
- Form and efficiency.
- Programming and progressive overload.
- Rest and recovery.
There are a lot of factors that come into play when it comes to the pursuit of strength goals. Today we are going to discuss our 3 most important factors in strength training. When it comes to building strength it is important to trust the process and stay on course. It is not something that you build overnight.
Let’s dig in!
Form and Efficiency
The reason this is one of the most important factors in strength training should be a no brainer. Furthermore, if you don’t know how to do the exercises properly you will set yourself up for failure and increase risk of injury. In addition, it’s also important to learn how to utilize your leverages in order to make the exercise as efficient as possible.
For example 90 percent of powerlifters will utilize leg drive in the bench press. When setting up for leg drive it will help to put your body in a good position to maintain tension. Additionally by using leg drive the lifter will generate force from their legs helping them to initiate the press. In turn, they will be able to bench press more weight by using this technique. Leg drive is a great example of making your lift more efficient because it goes past the general notion of just laying on the bench and pushing.
This applies for all your lifts. Let’s talk about powerlifters for a second where in competition you have to squat bench and deadlift.
Most lifters you see will utilize a lower bar squat grip because it helps to incorporate more of your hips. Many lifters are able to lift more this way. When you watch a powerlifting competition you may see 15 lifters with 15 squat variations in there setup and execution all while still squatting correctly. Why is that? Some lifters may find they are stronger in a wider foot stance vs narrow depending on how hip vs quad dominant they are. This is part of the fun in making your lifts more efficient, beyond just lifting correctly!
How can you be a better deadlifter? When it comes to deadlifting a lot of people make the mistake of just trying to rip the weight off the ground. On the other hand, it is important to find the right balance between pushing through your legs while while pulling with your upper body in order to HINGE effectively.
Programming and Progressive Overload
Not having a plan is planning to fail. This applies to everything especially strength training! It is important to have a well setup periodized plan. There are a few common periodization structures when it comes to powerlifting/strength training including:
- Linear periodization
- Block periodization
- Undulating periodization
How does a National Champ Train?
No matter which periodization structure you choose progressive overload is required to continually increase strength. You need to overtime accumulate more volume or raise the intensity or else you will get stagnant.
Rest and Recovery!
Don’t let all your hard work go to waste. Your body needs time to rest and recover after tough training sessions. It is important to enough sleep but also make sure you are getting the right nutritional nutrients to help your recover.
It is also important to properly plan deload and tapers into your programs to avoid burning out and losing momentum. A deload week is a drop in intensity and volume from the previous week. Furthermore, it is a good form of active recovery.