The source of Strength

It’s no secret that resistance training using weights is an excellent method of making strength gains and increasing your overall fitness… but should it stop there? Is resistance training the only way to get ‘fitter’?

If you have specific goals in mind that you know only a certain type of training can adhere to, then sticking to the recommended training for those goals is certainly recommended. However, adhering to only one type of training is not always best for you, mainly because your body will adapt. This post aims to fix this issue by exposing our readers to some of the most used training methods that strive to turn the average Joe Blogs into a fitter person.

  1. Resistance training.

One of the most widely used methods of improving fitness, or improving your standards as an athlete. Popular types of resistance training include bodybuilding, powerlifting and weightlifting. The EHF workout programme aims to develop strength through powerlifting with elements of bodybuilding in order to help you feel strong and look strong. Gyms provide an easy footing for resistance training by supplying equipment that allows the user to make gains in incremental steps, whatever exercise they do.

2. Calisthenics

Ever watched a Bar Brothers video in awe and wondered how these guys are able to achieve such feats of strength? It’s the endless hours they put into being able to pull their own weight over a bar in endlessly different ways, over and over again. Though the muscle gain here is limited due to the resistance being only that of your bodyweight, the strength you gain from a bar workout can be immense. More importantly, the use of bar workouts gives command of absolute body control in ways you didn’t think possible… your future self will thank you if you start now. Frequent users of calisthenics programmes include military personnel, who as resourceful strongmen, are required to be able to pull their own weight without the worry of fatigue.

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3. Yoga.

Yoga is useful for a number of reasons, flexibility, muscle-toning and weight loss being some of the most prominent. Yoga is also associated with the lowering of stress and blood pressure, making it one of the best exercises after a long, irritating day at the office. A prime benefit of yoga is that it can be practised almost anywhere, no need to locate a gym or massive hall space. Ultimately, Yoga has something to offer to people of all ages, be it a young child or an elderly person.

  1. High Intensity Interval Training (HIT).

An emerging and popular focus in the fitness industry is the evolution of HIT. Methods of HIT such as the Tabata method of training have recently become the cement of a user with very limited amounts of time. In intervals of up to 10 minutes (depending of the type of HIT you attempt), you push yourself at 100% in your chosen exercise and then give yourself a moments reprieve, before restarting the circuit. The aim of HIT is to burn fat in small bursts, pushing your heart rate to the maximum in order to provide both aerobic and anaerobic benefits. A downside to HIT is generally that you have to be fit to do it, and not do it to get fit. This type of training targets those who want to push themselves to the best of their athletic ability.

  1. Strongman Training.

A final training method that has found popularity through the likes of a number of famous Youtubers, is Strongman training. Strongman training is the foundation of functional movement, involving lifting heavy objects over long distances. The use of strongman training builds raw brute strength with direct carryover application into the real world. If you are looking for something to give you the strength you need in whatever daily activity you desire, strongman training is for you. Though it may seem that some of the equipment used for strongman training is not available in all gyms, there is no need to fork out ridiculous amounts of cash to purchase the correct equipment. Many strong lifters start out by lifting tyres and beer kegs, before finding other equipment to lift with.

And that’s it! As mentioned earlier, you do not have to stick with just one type of training to get fitter. Working to become a stronger individual means tackling your training from all angles, and hopefully this post will have given you an insight into how to start doing just that.

Strongman Training Routine

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Will low reps get you strong?

A lot of people who we see on a day to day basis often have the same burning question when it comes to lifting: “Will high weight and low reps make you stronger?” The answer to this question is more complicated than you might think. Here, we’re going to have a look at this in a bit of depth, but take note that this article mainly applies to compound exercises, such as your bench press or squat.

High Weight

Firstly, we have to define what is actually meant by high weight. For most of you reading this, you may think that a 150kg squat is really heavy, in fact its likely too much for you to lift. If we then asked some competitive power lifters what they thought of lifting that weight, then the chances are they’ll laugh and tell us 150kg is “nothing but a peanut”.

What we’re trying to get across here is that the phrase high weight is simply relative to what you can lift: if you have a bench press PR of 100kg, then chances are that a heavy weight for you is 75kg or more. On the other hand, if you can bench 200kg (don’t worry, we’re talking hypothetically) then a heavy weight for you is likely to be 150kg or more.

To sum this up:

  • A heavy weight is relative to your own strength
  • It is typically at least 75% of your PR (or one rep max)

So does this mean you should train at 75% or 100% of your PR? Well you ideally want to be training within that range, sometimes nearer 75% and sometimes very close to your PR. Like with most things, variety is the spice of life, and the key to getting stronger.


Low reps

So you’ve heard from your local gym rat that low reps is the way to go for getting strong: only bodybuilders lift for high reps and they’re all weak. Now we won’t lie to you, there is some truth in this, but again we need to explore it a little bit more. Most people in the gym, which probably includes you, like to train for at least 10 reps. They love to train for that pump and feel the burn: sadly, it’s not really going to get them or you much stronger.

Most scholars out there agree that the rep ranges you choose will benefit you in different ways

  • 1-5 Reps: Strength
  • 6-8 Reps: Strength and Hypertrophy
  • 9-12 Reps: Hypertrophy
  • Higher Reps: Endurance

As you can see, the two areas which are best for promoting strength are the 1-5 and 6-8 rep ranges. Now we imagine that most of you reading this probably weren’t aware that 8 reps could be good for building strength as it doesn’t really seem low, so hopefully this clears things up for you.

Now, like we said with the weight you should be using, you should be mixing up your rep ranges as well. Putting two and two together, we can see that there’s a pretty obvious link that arises: you aren’t going to be lifting 95% of your one rep max for 8 reps. There’s also not much point in trying to lift 80% of your one rep max for 2 reps as it will be far too easy. Which leads us on to our final point

How many reps for a given weight

  • 1 rep = 100%
  • 2 reps = 92-95%
  • 3 reps = 90-93%
  • 4 reps = 87-90%
  • 5 reps = 85-87%
  • 6 reps = 82-85%
  • 7 reps = 80-83%
  • 8 reps = 75-80%

Note: This is estimated and can vary depending on your levels of endurance. It is however a very good indicator for how much weight you should be lifting depending on your recommended number of reps.

We hope that we’ve now cleared up for what exactly is meant by high weight low reps and you can make some educated decisions on how much weight you should be lifting. Like we said, you should eventually use a variety of rep ranges to achieve your goals and become a stronger person. If you are after a programme to help start you out, check out the EHF Beginner Programme, which is full of information and guidance.

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