Have you ever done any research into strength training programmes? If you have, you’ll see they’re littered with percentages and optimal ranges. You may feel like you need to be a mathematician when looking at how complicated some strength coaches make their programmes.
Why is this? What’s with all the numbers? Where did it all begin?
Strength Training: Cracking The Code
Strength training has been around forever. Since the dawn of time and the beginning of human intelligence we’ve been trying to improve ourselves. Being stronger was just one of the many ways of doing this. But it wasn’t till the last century that a strength training was approached from a Scientific perspective. Enter Russian weightlifting coach, A.S. Prilepin. Determined to crack the code, he analysed the programmes of thousands of athletes and reversed engineered them to create his table. It was only then that a real formula was applied to Strength Training.
Before this, there was a hard work ethic and brutal determination to get the job done. It’s almost as if those training for Strength before any formula was applied to it, almost got there by accident. Now, you can’t find a strength program that isn’t filled with equations, percentages and ratios. The simple reason for this – it works.
The best strength coaches in the world are getting their clients and athletes stronger and fast by applying the theory you’ll find in this article. Modern strength training, no matter what camp it comes from, all has it’s foundation in Prilepin’s findings. So what exactly were Prilepin’s findings?
Prilepin’s Chart: The Base of All Modern Strength Training
After putting in the ground work, all the research and dissecting, Prilepin devised a table. This table was broken down into a few simple categories: What is your goal, what is the optimal number of reps per to perform each workout for that goal, the optimal number of reps in each set and finally what weight you should use. However, even though the chart was that simple, there were still a lot of questions left unanswered.
Prilepin’s findings were based from looking at the programming of elite athletes. People who could not only train multiple times a day, but people who could also train everyday and had ample time to recover and minimal stressors in their lives. For the average gym goer who wants to get stronger, going to the gym 2-3 times a day, 5-6 times a week is just out of the question.
Due to this, modern strength training developed to accommodate this. Most training programmes will incorporate a blend of strength, hypertrophy, power and endurance. By doing this, you don’t overload any one energy system or cause too much fatigue, to either the body or the central nervous system, but can still train at a relatively high level of volume.
What Should You Focus On?
Focus on whatever your goal is! When you’ve identified your primary goal, find out what rep ranges, number of sets and how much weight you should be using and stick to it. If you have more than one goal, make sure you prioritise what you want to work on most.
Exercise common sense when it comes to how much work you do in each workout. Only work within your capacity to recover from your workouts. It’s no good working out so hard that you can’t recover well enough to feel energetic for your next workout.
Below I’ve included a handy 1 page guide, that you can download and keep with you. It goes over all of the details from the chard about with a little more info too. Click below to get your copy and it will be emailed to you as soon as possible.