Bryan Strength and Conditioning Training Guidelines

For the last couple of weeks I have been running some great articles about what I feel is the cornerstone of effective strength training, HARD WORK. Some of you may be wondering how to organize a simple program around these hard work concepts. Although I feel I have talked about this a lot over the last few years, I have decided to provide some simple guidelines that should help you structure some brief, intense, prudent, and productive workouts.

By Jim Bryan

1. Perform one to three sets of any one exercise during a workout. The harder you train the set (intensity) the less sets you’ll need.

2. Think “Full body workouts” first. That is a more time effcient way to train. Split routines are OK for short periods. You’ll need more days in the gym if you do splits.

3. Legs usually need more repetitions than upper body. Vary your rep scheme from time to time. High reps for a while and lower reps for a while.

4. Training to “failure” is a tool. You do not HAVE to train to failure, to have a good workout but regular “to failure” training is beneficial once you learn the exercise movement. Make real sure that you are training with progressive overload.

5. Generally speaking, start your workout with the largest muscles groups first and proceed to smaller muscle groups as you go through the workout. This sequence can be changed to provide selective work for a muscle group. It’s a good idea to rest between exercises as little as possible, when you become accustomed to training.

6. Make sure to concentrate on lowering the weight AS WELL AS RAISING the weight. Do not allow form to become sloppy and lose control. In my opinion it is not necessary to “count seconds” during the repeptitions. Just make sure your not throwing the weight around. When using machines the weight stack should not make a banging noise. If it does YOU lost control!!

7. It is not a good idea to “grip” the equipment tightly. Doing that may raise the blood pressure unnecessarily. Not a good thing.

8. Once you start an exercise do not shift or move around. Use the seat belt (if provided) for the machine.

9. Do not hold your breath during training. This also can raise Blood pressure. Not a good thing.

10. Attempt constantly to increase the number of repetitions or the amount of weight or BOTH. This is called the “Double Progression” system. Do not sacrifice form in an attempt to produce results. Train safe! Your goal is to exceed the last workouts performance, in as many exercises as you can.

11. Keep accurate records. Date, Resistance and Repetitions, of each workout.

12. Don’t be afraid to take time off from training now and then. Sometimes a rest is just what is needed. Avoid over training.

13. Include variety in your workout. Change equipment now and then. Include cardio but don’t neglect strength training for cardio.

14. Three full-body workouts per week, seems to be right for most people. but some will do better on two. Use it or lose it.

15. Be consistent in your training.

16. Learn to recognize gimmicks and fads and stay away from them.

17. Supplements will not make up for a bad diet. Fix your diet first.

18. You do not have to do Olympic lifts if you are not going to compete as an Olympic Lifter. Safer alternatives are available for training.

19. Use any equipment that you have…Machines or free weights…or a combination. Manual resistance is also beneficial. The main point is safety. The muscles don’t have brains that tell them if you are using machines or free weights, they only know resistance. The myth that some how free weights make a better athlete is pure bull. You can’t look at any team in the NFL while they are on the field, and say with any certainty which equipment they use.

20. Use advance intensity with care…Don’t overuse it. Such as: Breakdowns – Pre-exhuastion – Negative – 3X3’s – 30’s days – 50’s -days – Forced reps – Static holds – Failure training (by the way failure training doesn’t teach athletes to fail, it just makes them work harder) This is the point. Hard, productive, safe work is what is required…on a consistent basis.

21. General training in the weight room makes you stronger. Practice your sport to get better at it. Don’t try to do “sport specific” movements in the weight room.

22. All things being equal, a stronger athlete is a better athlete.

(TAKU’s NOTE:) Jim Bryan is a strength and conditioning coach, author, athlete, martial artist… A Renaissance Man. Visit his web-site and stop by for a workout when your in Florida. For a great audio interview with Jim, visit Dave Durell’s High Intensity Nation



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