Keep an eye out for our next issue, which will be titled Jedi Mind Tricks. But for now, on with this issue.
Quite often we embark on a training regime with the broad idea of simply getting fitter, getting toned, losing weight and so on. These are ambiguous terms used to describe physical training goals when you are not quite clear of what it is you really want or even what is possible.
Training principles are the various principles used in a training programme to produce a specific result. As you probably know through reading information on our site, Personal Evolution doesn’t focus on fixing what is broken because all this does is create a continuous cycle of trying to repair a problem. Instead, the training principles, both mental and physical, are focussed on the positive, striving to attain certain goals and increase your abilities in certain areas.
Today we will look at a few simple training principles that have been used by athletes and everyday people to produce almost super-human results.
GERMAN VOLUME TRAINING
German volume training has been used for decades, maybe even longer, by athletes of old to produce enormous amounts of strength and power. The reason for the name of this training principle is not because it was discovered by Germans, they simply made it popular.
As you have likely noticed, as far as strength and power athletes go, those from eastern bloc countries in Europe are way ahead of their time compared to the rest of the world. It has been this way for several centuries. So it makes sense that the training principles and protocols used in these countries are effective. These principles are now available to the rest of the world thanks to the internet and European coaches migrating to western countries to coach athletes.
So what is German volume training?
It is so simple it almost seems like it can’t be all that special or effective. Nothing could be further from the truth.
German volume training is simply 10 sets of 10 repetitions of a compound movement with short rests between sets. The idea is to pick a weight that you can do 20 repetitions with and only do 10 per set. The fatigue and exhaustion by the end is so profound that the body is forced to adapt and produce strength and size gains.
This method can be used to create super-human levels of strength. The same strength seen in some Olympic athletes.
One way of applying it is to choose four compound movements such as squats, bent over row, bench press and overhead press. Then perform your 10 sets of 10 with each exercise.
Ok, the name complex training sounds pretty crappy but that’s just what it’s called. What’s in a name anyway?
This is a training principle aimed at strength and power without having to gain size. The way it works is that there are more motor units (a motor neuron and all the muscle fibres it innervates) activated during the power exercise so as to have more of your potential strength recruited for the production of explosive power.
So how do you do it?
Perform a super heavy compound strength exercise and immediately follow up with a plyometric exercise that recruit’s a similar pattern of movement. If you don’t know what a plyometric exercise, do a Google search, there is massive volumes of information about it.
So a sample workout using this training principle: squats X 5 followed by squat jumps X 5. Repeat this sequence 5 times. A squat jump is simply a deep squat with only your body weight and then a jump straight into the air and as you land, rebound straight into the next rep.
HIGH INTENSITY ENDURANCE TRAINING
This is something that has been practised for centuries but is developing all the time due to research and application in the field with athletes. We have taken it further through our work with athletes and other individuals. This is probably the most commonly used training principle we apply to individuals and team sport athletes.
Basically it’s strength, power, speed and agility all rolled into a long workout. A rugby player for instance needs to jump, sprint, drive scrums etc. They also need to be on their feet for 80 minutes and are constantly moving. Strength and power alone will only take them so far but if they can’t apply that strength and power over the full 80 minutes then it’s essentially worthless.
The same goes for endurance. What’s the point of being able to go for a long time if what you do in that time is not effective? So the athlete needs to be able to apply strength and power over a prolonged period. The only way to achieve this ability is to train for it, simple as that.
The regular non-athlete individual also benefits from this type of training. It has been shown in recent studies that older people benefit more from power and strength then they do from endurance. But having the endurance component along with it has it’s merits. Anyone looking to be physically more efficient will benefit enormously from this sort of training above all others. It’s the most complete single training principle that exists.
So how do you do it?
Pick anywhere from 5 to 10 exercises with a good mix of strength, speed and power. The movements chosen should involve a variety of patterns. Commit to doing a challenging number of repetitions with each exercise one after the other with as few rests as possible. Set a timer for 45, 60 or 90 minutes and complete the circuit as many times as you can in that time with correct form.
Note that this method of training should not be applied every single day as you will surely over train. The idea is to include anywhere from one to three workouts of this kind per week. Never do two consecutive days of high intensity endurance training.
Those are the three principles we most often use, in addition we also recommend performing one purely endurance session per week and a couple of short (20-30 minutes), high intensity workouts.
Our workout section employs workouts using these training principles and others.
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Keep an eye out for our next issue, which will be titled Jedi Mind Tricks.
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