For the next four weeks I will be doing the following strength session:
Wall Sit, Squats, Lunges, Decline Push Ups, Standard Push Ups, Modified Push Ups, Incline Push Ups, Double Crunch, Bicycle Crossover Crunch, Standard Crunch, Reverse Crunch, Plank…in this order.
Notice that I haven’t put a rep number beside each movement? That’s because you do each movement until you can’t complete another rep with good form. This week I will do three sets of these movements, three times, so Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
So let me just explain the way this strength training works. It is based around the principle of overload (and mastering your own body weight for strength), which asserts that the body will only change according to the level at which it is stressed. You must take each set to failure! To the point where you just could not possibly do another rep, so in other words don’t just pick a random number and complete the set and stop, it doesn’t do your body any good to stop at 15 when you could push out 20 (for example). What incentive does your body have to transform if it’s not challenged?
Work your way through the entire circuit without a rest (if you need to stop mid push up then that’s your max, move on). Your muscles get the rest while you’re working on the other muscle group. This morning it took me 50 minutes to get through the ‘circuit’ and I finished with a 10 minute Plyo of: Jumping Jacks, Speed Skaters, High Knees, and Box Jumps. After doing this…I couldn’t move my arms and my abs and legs burned for a few hours. It was tough!
What do you do to push past your comfort zone? Have you tried the ‘overloading’ strength training?