A Christian Guide to Body Stewardship, Diet and Exercise

Chapter 6: Training for Strength 143 al. (2015) recommends that no more than 15 total sets be performed for high-fatiguing exercises (e.g., compound lifts) and no more than 25 total sets be performed for low-fatiguing exercises (e.g., assistance lifts) per training session. Additionally, Israetel et al. (2015) suggests that performing less than 9 total sets per training session may result in a training stimulus that is too low to facilitate maximal gains in muscle size and/or strength. Zatsiorsky & Kraemer (2006) suggest that as much as 20-25 sets can be performed for each muscle group per training session. Remember, these are just recommendations. The prescribed number of sets should be tailored to the individual based on their ability to recover, current level of fitness, time availability, fitness goals and training / injury status. Training Considerations for Advanced Lifters Some additional methods of strength training for advanced lifters to consider include eccentric training, also referred to as negative training, partials, chains, bands and Olympic lifts. Partials, chains and bands are commonly employed by competitive powerlifters, especially for lifts like the bench press, squat and deadlift. Research indicates that up to 20%more weight can be lifted eccentrically, where the muscle contracts while being lengthened, than can be concentrically, where the muscle contracts and is shortened (Kelly et al., 2015). The recommended tempo for eccentric training is between 3-5 seconds. Due to the heavy loads and slow tempos used, there is generally more muscle damage and soreness associated with this type of training. Similar to eccentric training, partials allow for the use of heavier loads due to a reduced or limited range of motion. Although this type of training can be used for a variety of lifts, it is most often used for the bench press and deadlift. For safety reasons, partials are best performed in a power rack with adjustable pin holes. Another popular training option is the use of chains. When using chains, it is recommended that one to two links of the chain be in contact with the floor when in the starting and/or lockout position. As the bar is lowered, the links of the chain begin to pile on the floor thereby reducing the load on the bar. Conversely, as the bar is raised, more links of the chain become suspended thereby increasing the load on the bar. If used properly, the use of chains can help to improve the lockout phase of the lift being trained. Similar to chains, bands apply increasing tension to the bar as the individual approaches the lockout position. It is recommended that bands substitute no more than 20-35% of the total load used (Haff &