First published on August 15, 2015
I like strength training because it’s simple, very anaerobic, and helps me function in life as a loner, provider, and man. If I want to get stronger in an exercise, I normally use the following workout schemes (Sets X Reps with Rest) to improve my sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (strength):
Rest-Pause – 5-10 x 1-3 @80-90% 1RM w/ 30 seconds-1 minute Rest. To further increase intensity, sometimes I’ll rest 2-5 minutes and do it again.
I’ve used this technique for many compound lifts, especially the big three- squat, deadlift, and bench press. However, since I don’t measure 1RMs, I simply start with a weight I know I can only do for 2-5 reps based on notes from past workout programs.
Classic 5 x 5@~80% 1RM w/ 3 minutes Rest
I don’t do this simply because it’s often used, boring, and time-consuming.
My go-to 2-3 x 5-8 w/ 1-2 minutes Rest
I aim for the last rep of that last set to be very near to if not at failure. I use this set/rep scheme sometimes too often when looking to gain strength in an exercise. I also use this for power lifts such as the push press. Sometimes I’ll do a final set to failure.
Static Holds – 3-5 x Failure – 30 seconds w/ 1-3 minutes Rest
Isometric / static holds are great shockers and plateau busters, in my opinion, especially for pulling exercises – pull ups, rows, etc. I use static holds a lot for back and delt exercises.
Partial reps are good for pushing through a plateau, also. I do plenty of Top half ROM bench pressing. I prefer to use my “go-to” scheme mentioned above for these.
Building strength is simple in my eyes. Every workout, add weights, add reps, or decrease rest = strength increases.