Basic Barbell Training is Effective Strength Training

Exercise includes strength training.
Exercise includes strength training.

I have come to like exercise. In particular getting to exercise classes helps me to forget my worries and responsibilities -for a period of time. When I am in class , begin to replace the world’s demands on my shoulders with a barbell if it’s body pump or my knees if it is crow position at yoga!  But is my exercise regime enough?

In this last week’s NYT Sunday May 25, Daniel Duane wrote about the Fitness Craze and he went on a quest to find out what exercise regimes work best.

From wobble boards, inflatable balls for core and balance to P90X  for muscle adaptation. He ended up trying a pretty simple routine, sans gym, sans fancy equipment- just himself  and some weights.

The author tried 3 workouts a week just to strength train based on a book called Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training.” This included the following 5 old fashioned lifts into 2 workouts  a week: A and B.

WORKOUT A: Squat 3 sets of 5 reps, Dead lift 1 set of 5 reps, Military  press 3 sets of 5 reps.

WORKOUT B: Squat 3 sets of 5 reps, Power clean 5 sets of 3 reps, Bench press 3 sets of 5 reps.

For a year Duane added on little more weight but kept the routines consistent.

This advice is backed up by the owner of my gym  Roger Schwab at ‘Mainline health & Fitness”,

Goals in your strength workouts should be to be progressive and use perfect form. In practice this means increase resistance whenever your repetition goal is reached. If 10 reps is your goal, and you achieve it, always increase resistance moderately the next workout. In practice, take approximately 4 seconds to lift the resistance, a 1-2 second hold in the contracted position and 4 seconds lowering the resistance. I strongly recommend one set of approximately 10 repetitions to muscular failure, which is the inability to perform another repetition in perfect form. If you are using 2-3 sets per exercise and are still increasing strength, continue.

 Both Schwab and Duane agree that exercise results progress over time and with consistency. The human body is an ADAPTATION Machine. It will respond to a little harder work each time. Known as the PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD PRINCIPLE. Small steady increases in weight for weight training really speaks to the quality of the work –not the quantity. Even if we want fun or the latest technology –  some-times its just back to basics which works best!