Guide to Training for Power, Strength and Hypertrophy


Why are you Training?

To train efficiently and effectively you first need to know why you are training.

Knowing your why will help you adhere to training on those tough days.

In order to know how to get there you first need to know where you are going

A great Strength and Conditioning coach will know an athletes reason for training and can provide a simple explanation why they are training the way they are. Athletes train differently based on numerous factors such as, the season of the sport (off-season / preseason etc).., the sport and the position the athlete is training for, time available, training age, strengths, weaknesses, and numerous other training and external factors. Usually a long term program or a macro-cycle is outlined with the end goal in mind. The macro cycle will be broken down into smaller meso-cycles and micro cycles. The length of macro-cycle is typically a year, meso-cycle is usually month/s, and micro will be weekly or even daily. The lengths can vary greatly depending on time allotted, the speed of progression, and other external factors. Its rare to have an ideal training atmosphere when training athletes. 

The best programs will identify key performance indicators that they believe will provide the greatest return or adaptation for the athlete and they must be attainable in the time available. Simply, when time is a factor you must train in a way that provides "the biggest bang for your buck". When issues arise your must also be able to improvise, adapt, and overcome. The gym is closed? You didn't sleep well? You broke up with your girlfriend / boyfriend? What are you going to do? Skip training? If you have a strong enough WHY you will find a way to get it done. Motivation may help get you started but motivation is finite. Your why will be stronger than any motivation. You can condense any decision down to two choices and you will always choose the one that is more important to you. Is your why more important then staying in your warm dry bed when that early, cold, rainy morning training session comes up? Does that cake taste better than the abs you want?  

When most people in the general public are asked why they are training or working out they provide very cliche or vague answers. You will often here "I want to get stronger", "I want to be healthier", "I want to feel better"etc..., But If you dig down and ask why a few more times you can usually find the underlying "real" reason someone is in the gym. 

Examples from real clients: 

A 32 year woman says, shes working out because she just wants to feel better...

Why?...

I would like to lose a little weight and tone up...

Why?... 

I want to feel better about my body and have more energy throughout the day... 

Why?... 

I used to very active when I was in my twenties and I would like to lose about 10 pounds

Why?...

I am going on vacation to the Caribbean in 4 months with friends from college I haven't seen in 5 years, and I want my body to look great and I want to fit into a new bikini I just bought.

A busy professional, 35 year old man says, he is training because he wants to get fit...

Why?...

I want to strength train and gain some muscle...

Why?...

I haven't worked out in awhile and I want to get stronger...

Why?...

I used to be an athlete in college but I have been busy and I have lost some muscle and strength...

Why?...

I recently got my testosterone checked and it was much lower than it should be for my age. I want to increase my testosterone numbers by 200 points. I have another test scheduled in 3 months and I know strength training can help improve my numbers.

Some reasons a personal might be training may be very personal due to past issues in their life, some may be very serious such as a health scare in your family, and some may be superficial or performance based. The point is that you first need to know why you training before you know how you should train.


Training Program Design

Power

Reps: 2-5

Sets: 2-10

LoaD: 45-60% 1RM

TempO: Explosive/Light-FasT

Rest: 45-120 sec.

Strength

Reps: 1-5

Sets: 1-6

Load: 85-110% 1RM

Tempo: Explosive/HEAVY

Rest: 2-5 min.

Hypertrophy

Reps: 3-12

Sets: 4-8

Load: 65-80% 1rm

Tempo: controlled

Rest: 30-90 sec.