"Simple Strength Training Routines
for Advanced Results"
"Examining the Suggested Strength
Ratios of Muscle Groups"
- SIMPLE TRAINING & ADVANCED RESULTS
big and strong should be very simple and easy. Train hard,
heavy, and frequent. Make sure your food intake is adequate
to supply the extra energy demands and allow for growth. Finally,
get sufficient rest (sleep) and follow a proper recovery schedule.
follows is a very simple program that I am sure will be effective
in adding lean muscle mass and strength. The exercises are
basic and heavy, BUT/ that is what works. Trust me, you need
to train consistently, 3 to 4 days/week. Follow the program
for 3 weeks then change some exercises, the exercise order,
or the repetition number to keep improving. My clients have
gained an average of 9 lbs. when using this program in combination
with correct supplementation!
a general warm-up and light warm-up sets for the muscles to
with some light stretches for the muscles to prevent injury
3 minutes between all sets
1 - LEGS
press: 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions (the final rep should
be the last rep possible)
curl: 3 sets of 8 - 10
extensions: 3 sets of 8 - 10
calf raise: 3 sets of 8 - 10
and low-back extensions: 3 sets of 15 (rest only 30-60s between
2 - CHEST AND BACK
chest press (barbell, dumbbell, or machine): 3 sets of 8
pulldown or pull-up: 3 sets of 8
chest press: 3 sets of 8
row: 3 sets of 8
fly: 3 sets of 8
seated row: 3 sets of 8
3 - SHOULDERS AND ARMS
press: 3 sets of 8
cable lateral raises: 3 sets of 10
parallel bar dips: 3 sets of 8
barbell curl: 3 sets of 8
pressdown with an angled bar: 3 sets of 8
curl: 3 sets of 8
the program in this daily order, regardless of the number
of workouts per week. If you work out 3 times a week, each
workout will be done once. If you work out 4 times, pick up
the next week where you left off. And finally, make sure you
get enough rest and energy. Don't be afraid to take some time
off after 3-4 weeks to avoid overtraining because getting
sufficient rest is one of the most important principals of
the "simple training" program.
love to hear how the program goes should you choose to meet
- STRENGTH RATIOS
balance refers to the relative strength of 1 muscle group
to another. The muscles can be either ANTAGONISTIC or CONTRALATERAL.
-the quadriceps and hamstrings OR the triceps and biceps
acts in opposition to the other (extension vs. flexion)
the left and right sides
strength coaches and researchers believe there should be certain
strength ratios between muscle groups for optimal performance
and injury prevention. In theory, the greater the strength
of the prime mover (i.e. the biceps in the biceps curl), the
greater the stress on the antagonist muscle (triceps) to provide
stabilization, BUT/ research has not shown any specific strength
ratios corresponding to injury prevention or increased performance.
In fact, a large range of values have been observed in healthy,
injury-free athletes so these ratios may not truly determine
must also consider the athlete's gender, the activity, the
body's position in testing, and the testing movement speed.
As the movement increases in speed, the difference in force
output between antagonistic muscles will decrease (because
all muscles produce less force at higher movement speeds).
We must also remember that a test of muscle strength in the
seated position may not be truly indicative of the muscle's
performance in an action such as sprinting.
use ratios merely as GUIDELINES, not as rigid standards. In
fact absolute strength may be more important. Again, in THEORY,
weak individuals with "normal" strength ratios may
still be more susceptible to injury than strong individuals
with a "poor" strength ratio. This theory would
hold true if absolute strength is necessary for performance
and injury prevention, rather than a relative strength.
Specific strength ratios (a summary of numerous
the studies were performed at slow movement speeds
(slower than the average weight training speed
(calves vs. anterior tibialis) --- 3:1
"normally", the calves are 3x's stronger than the
(extensors [quadriceps] vs. flexors [hamstrings]) --- 3:2
is common for many athletes to have much stronger quadriceps
but the hamstrings are very important for optimal sprint performance
and for maintaining the integrity of the knee joint. Almost
everyone should increase their commitment to hamstring training.
(extension vs. flexion) --- 1:1
extensors are the gluteal and hamstrings. These provide the
drive in sprint push-off. Hip flexors bring the knees to the
chest in sprinting.
(flexion [anterior deltoid] vs. extension [posterior deltoid])
(internal rotation vs. external rotation) --- 3:2
internal rotation is aided by the pectoralis and latissimus
(flexion vs. extension) --- 1:1
and triceps strength should be roughly equal, however the
triceps may be stronger just because it composes more muscle
(flexion [abdominals] vs. extension [low-back]) --- 1:1
core strength training should be focused to develop equal
strength in your abdominal muscles and low back muscles.
respect to training programs and muscle balance, include priority
training and extra work for weak muscles (i.e. train them
first in the workout). As well, incorporate priority training
and extra work if there are contra-lateral strength imbalances.
I believe the areas that would benefit most from an emphasis
on muscle balance training are the upper back and the lower
individuals emphasize training of the anterior upper body,
thus overdeveloping the anterior deltoids and chest. This
may lead to improper posture (upper back rounding forward)
and injury development (due to the strength imbalances in
throwing, etc.). I suggest every trainer should incorporate
additional upper back movements such as "shrugs",
"wide-grip seated rows" (emphasizing the shoulder
blades coming together), and "posterior deltoid lateral
finally, there should also be a distinction made between upper
body strength and lower body strength. For most individuals,
training focuses on the upper body. Compare your squat and
your bench press, if the squat is not roughly 1.5x's greater
than performance in the bench press, your lower body development
and athletic performance may be suffering.
OF STRENGTH TRAINING AND CONDITIONING (NSCA)