Lean Mass: Training Goals”
-“Abdominal Exercises – Train for Strength,
-“The STREND Fitness Challenge”
1 – GAINING LEAN MASS: WHAT TO EXPECT…
If your goal is to gain muscle mass over the year, what
goals are realistic and what results can you expect? Researchers
have agreed that it is possible for an initial increase
in body weight of 20% over one year for a novice strength
trainer. Fortunately, this increase in body weight was suggested
to be mostly lean tissue, BUT/ unfortunately, the magnitude
of change depends on the trained state of the individual
as the previous figure applies only to untrained individuals.
For athletes with 1 year or more resistance training experience, an increase
of 5% body weight over a year could be expected when proper
training and sound nutrition are combined. Therefore,
a goal of 10 pounds of muscle growth in one year is an
optimistic amount to expect for advanced trainees.
There is no (legal) substitute for hard work and proper
nutrition. Nothing will make up for poor OR inconsistent
eating habits, a lazy work ethic, or an insufficient training
intensity. Combining creatine with a well-designed training
and nutritional program will be of benefit.
For adding lean mass, increasing total caloric intake by increasing the
consumption of carbohydrate is very important, especially
post-exercise. The basic building blocks that make up
a great training foundation are intense training, proper
nutrition, and adequate recovery.
2 – ABDOMINAL TRAINING: GET STRONG
key to strong and prominent abdominals (a “6-pack”) is
to train this area as you would any muscle group. There
is nothing special about the abdominal muscles suggesting
a greater frequency of training is required. To develop
a well-muscled midsection that can be shown off at the
beach, the area must be reduced of as much body fat as
abs are not achieved through multiple sets of high repetition
abdominal exercises. Time would be better off spent performing
compound resistance exercises (exercise using many of
the body’s large muscle groups; i.e. the squat, bench
press, etc). Compound exercises require greater energy
expenditure and increase the metabolism to a greater extent,
therefore resulting in a negative caloric balance, helping
to maintain muscle mass while shedding body fat.
specific abdominal training, concentrate on abdominal
isolation exercises 2-3 times a week and train at a high-intensity.
This will require moving on from the basic lying abdominal
crunch and into exercises that incorporate a resistance
for the abdominal muscles to work against. Keep the resistance
great enough so that only 10-15 repetitions can be completed
for each set. This will help build optimal abdominal strength
for sport and daily function and will help in attaining
abdominal musculature “definition”.
back complex has a tremendous importance in sport. All
forces transferred from ground up, so if the core is weak,
force is reduced as it is transferred to upper torso.
Hip and trunk rotation, core stabilization and dynamic
balance are key aspects.
are some more advanced abdominal exercises…
in front of a cable stack. Use a rope from the highest pulley
setting and pull until the hands are in front of face (Start).
Curl the torso forward (head to knees).
on the stability ball (with the ball under the small of
the back) and curl the shoulder blades off ball as if performing
a regular abdominal crunch off the floor.
sideways at a cable column. Grasp a handle from the highest
pulley setting with arms extended. Without bending at the
elbows, twist and flex the trunk and bring the shoulder
to the opposite foot in a “wood-chop” motion.
– STREND FITNESS CHALLENGE
put to test your overall levels of fitness, give this challenge
a try. It combines tests of both strength and endurance
using 3 strength events (bench press, chin-ups, and dips)
and a 3-mile run to test endurance capacity.
– the test was designed as a fitness test for police officers
and military persons. Do NOT attempt the test if you have
no training base and do not perform the strength tests
without a partner present for all events.
#1 --- Bench press
– Bench your body weight for as many repetitions as possible.
– Bench 75% of body weight for as many repetitions as
#2 --- Chin-ups
shoulder width apart and palms facing toward the body.
– As many repetitions as possible using body weight as
– Need to use an assisted chin machine (i.e. Gravitron)
and perform as many repetitions as possible with 75% bodyweight.
#3 --- Dips
on the parallel dipping bars.
– As many repetitions as possible with body weight as
– Use the assisted dip machine and perform as many repetitions
as possible with 75% body weight.
#4 --- 3-mile run
yourself in the performance of a 3-mile run (12 laps of
a quarter-mile/400m track).
to score your performance: Add all repetitions performed
in the 3 strength events and divide this by the time of
example, 60 repetitions and a 20-minute run time, the
score would be 3. In my opinion, any score above 2 is
above average and a run time of 21 minutes or less is
impressive. The best score ever recorded by CB ATHLETIC
is a 5.
you try it, let me know how things turn out. The idea
for this event is not mine and I adapted the event from
an article in the Strength and Conditioning Journal published
by the NSCA.