In this article, we will explore the 5/3/1 training program.
Strength training is almost an art. Sure, you can pick up heavy weight in any shape or form and move it around – and (because moving any weight requires muscle power and repetitive heavy weight training leads to adaptation that makes any muscle stronger) you will, no doubt, get some results. Those results may be especially impressive if you are just starting out – at that point you may not even care much about how structured your exercise is.
But, remember – we are not after just any gains at any cost. We are after the best possible gains we can get using the least amount of effort and time in the safest way possible. Inevitably, then, after most people settle on which specific exercises to do – they start wondering how exactly to structure their training sessions. The number of sets, reps and weight increments are all very important variables that serve a specific purpose. They are somewhat interdependent, but finding the right equilibrium for your specific goals is key to making sure you keep improving.
This is why you might want to follow tried and true protocols created by people who understand how tweaking each of the variables influences your results. You, on the other hand, do not necessarily need to understand why or how they work – you just need to find an effective protocol and apply it to your training.
Ever heard of a kettlebell swing? You’ve probably seen it done by someone in your gym and thought that this exercise seemed easy and funny and almost ineffective, compared to monstrous heavy-weight lifts.
But things aren’t always what they seem – and sometimes, the smallest changes you can make to your routine may lead to the biggest results.
Did you know that kettlebell – a relatively portable and compact piece of exercise equipment – can profoundly affect your strength and performance in many major exercises that require bulkier and heavier gear, while also giving you a heck of a cardio workout and improving your endurance?
Kettlebell workouts spark more and more interest over recent years, with their popularity fueled by many major publications picking up the trend. Indeed, those who rely on bodyweight exercises because they have no access to a full-blown gym, may find kettlebell workouts to be a great compromise, as kettlebells do not take a lot of space and are relatively affordable, but may improve your athletic results tremendously.
For both men and women, deadlift has been one of the best measures of core strength. But, surprisingly, you don’t see too many women (with the exception of Crossfit enthusiasts) performing deadlifts in the gym. This mostly has to do with twisted misconceptions around women and exercise and how women’s fitness became practically a quest for movement aesthetics that are better suited for marketing, rather than a quest for actual results. Deadlifts just don’t fit very well into “conventional” image of a skinny girl with iPod earplugs in tight gym clothes doing rounds of useless brisk treadmill walks.
Of course, you know that nothing can be further from the truth – properly executed deadlift, whether done by men or women, is a beautiful thing to watch and, along with the other two powerlifting moves – bench press and squat – is an absolute must if you want to increase your overall muscle strength, get lean, chiseled and sexy and is one of very few exercises of choice when you want to achieve maximum results in minimum time.