Factors to consider in designing a high intensity strength training routine that is productive, safe, and efficient:
· Number of repetitions of an exercise for a particular muscle group
· Number of sets of each exercise for each muscle group
· Selection of specific exercises
· Sequence of exercises
· Pre-exhaustion sets
· Compound movements versus rotary movements
· How heavy the weights should be
· Amount of rest between each set
· Amount of rest after completing exercises on one muscle group before starting exercise on another muscle group.
· Amount of rest between each repetition
· Frequency of workouts
· Variable versus fixed intervals of time between workouts
· Alternating aerobic exercise and anaerobic exercise in one workout
· Speed during concentric movement
· Speed during eccentric movement
· How often should the exercise routine be varied
· Time under tension
· Unilateral versus bilateral movements
· Negative accentuated sets
· Active recovery between workouts
· Length of time of the workouts
· Achieving momentary muscular failure
· Concentric only exercise
· Negative only sets
· Negative only workouts
· Static holds
· Rate of increase of resistance between sessions
· Full repetitions
· Partial repetitions
· Range of motion
· Type of equipment
· Level of fatigue
The list above is not exhaustive. You can manipulate these variables and come up with large number of workouts that are productive, safe, and efficient. There is not one perfect workout; there will be trade-offs. You might opt for a less range of motion for less risk of injury but also result in less enhanced flexibility. Increasing speed increases force associated with injury, but it also increases the buildup of byproducts of metabolism (metabolites) that stimulate strength increases. Variety exposes the body to changing stimulus that it must adapt to, but at some point too much variety makes it difficult to track improvement.
If you manipulate too many of the variables you cannot tell what is working or not working. It is best to keep it simple. As long as it is working there is little need to make wholesale changes in the workouts, but it is good to throw in a workout that is out of the norm and a shock to the system. The body is challenged in a new way. It is a welcome change to the weekly routine.
A personal trainer with experience in high intensity strength training can develop an effective routine and will know how and when to manipulate the variables and when to change the routine. An experienced personal trainer will adapt the workout to address the specific concerns of the client. An experienced personal trainer can help you eliminate the trial and error, research, and possible injury involved in developing a high intensity train program on your own.
The advantage of high intensity strength training is that it does not require hours each week engaged in monotonous exercise. Significant strength increases occur exercising as little as once or twice a week IF it's the right exercise program with the right trainer. At Kelly's Austin Personal Training and at New Orleans Ultimate Fitness Trainers our personal trainers can guide you through a personal training program that will safely produce ongoing results, so you can avoid wasting time with trial and error and avoid possible injury.