Introduction to Strength Training

Rest when strength training is something that is difficult for some people to understand. It feels like you aren’t working hard or because your heart rate isn’t up or you aren’t sweating bullets, you aren’t getting a good workout in. This is not true, in fact, taking rest time really does improve your performance and thus improve your strength gains. For example, after completing a set of overhead press you may not be breathing super heavy, but it’s what’s happening inside your body that matters. When you overhead press, you are using a metabolic pathway as your source of energy to complete the set. That energy that is being used, though it might not make you breathe super hard, still needs to “reset” or catch its breath. The rest/reset allows the body to complete the next set with the same intensity and weight. Just like when you run a 50 yard sprint, you need to catch your breath before going again, your body needs to do the same thing when strength training.

Now, every person is different regarding how much rest time they need. Depending on training level, intensity, and working rep range all rest times will vary. A person who has a higher training level will most likely need a greater rest period, as they are probably training at a higher intensity. Lower intensity work requires less rest time due to the less energy used to complete each exercise. Think of it like this, if you were to run a full marathon you’d need a couple weeks to recover from the major stress and strain put on your body. If you were to go for a 3 mile jog, your body would need less than a day to recover from the stress and strain. Now this is a bit dramatic, but it is comparable to a higher intensity strength training program vs a lower intensity strength training program.

Specific to Panthro, we follow a training schedule that rotates through different rep ranges. A common question we get asked is “what weight should I use?”. The answer to that is it depends…it depends on what the rep range is and what that person’s training level is. Weights can be determined through a simple percentage scale as long as you have an idea of what your one rep max is. Below is the percentage translations based on the rep range you are working. Using this to give yourself an idea of what weight you should be using during classes would only be beneficial to helping progress.
Rep Range Percentage of 1RM
2-4 85-100%
4-6 75-85%
6-8 65-75%
8-10 55-65%

One rep maxes are found in the big compound movements. The compound movements should be the base of all strength training programs. The big compound movements we focus on at Panthro are squat, deadlift, bench, pull-ups/lat pull down, and overhead press. During the corresponding days, your coach should program in either these exercises or some variation of them. The basis of strength training starts with compound movements and accessory work follows. In order to grow and create strength gains, mastering compound moves has been proven to be one of the best ways to do so.

As strength training is becoming more popular across the world and within Panthro, it’s important to understand the why’s and how’s to be successful with your training. Now, we don’t expect you to become a master strength trainer, but there is value in taking time to understand a little more about why we do what we do. As always, if you ever have any questions reach out to one of your coaches and we will be happy to help!

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