• Joshua Li

Are Advanced Training Methods for You?


One of the biggest misconceptions in training is to make fast results you must dive into the most advanced methods out there. However placing your body in such extremities can hinder progress and induce premature plateaus, especially in the earlier stage of training.

In the first year of training, majority of trainees will not require any advanced training methods. Prioritising strict form and the ability to contract the intended muscle during an exercise by far outweighs the use of advance techniques. Once you’ve optimised this, implementing progressive overload (increasing volume and frequency) in small increments will generate enough stimulus to make steady progress.

Many trainees fall into the mindset that increasing the volume, frequency and undergoing advanced programs will automatically increase the rate of results. But essentially the main obstacle thats preventing quality progress is not mastering the basic movements in order to make consistent progress. Adding increased sets or incorporating techniques such as Super-sets with poor form will not yield major improvements but can potentially set you back during the long run.

When you first begin training, the body requires little stimulus for it to respond effectively. Once your body adapts, then we can introduce greater stimulus progressively over time. No reason to jump from doing 8 sets per body part to 20 plus, when you can achieve great progress by only upping it to 10 or 12. The crucial part to progress is execution, this aligns with both new and advanced trainees as you should aim to get the most out of your reps before the increase of inflammation and cortisol kicks in. The importance of studying the exercises through videos or practising the contractions is vital, as every rep you carry out will either enforce the mind muscle connection you desire, or a recruitment pattern which you want to avoid.

When do I start incorporating advanced training methods?

Once muscular contraction has been perfected, it is then acceptable to venture onto other methods of training to increase workload. Firstly, you can increase the training volume (sets and reps) to your sessions. Secondly, increasing the overall frequency at which you train since your ability to recover will improve as you adapt. When progression seemingly slows down, it is then time to look into advanced techniques to increase training output.

Examples of increased output methods in progression are:

Drop Sets

Super-Sets

Tri-Sets

Giant Sets

For someone who has been weight lifting for years with a decent training background, they may respond exceedingly fast to advanced training methods and can potentially incorporate them within a matter of weeks. You may have touched upon them in the past, but were you merely just lifting weight alongside ego and not contracting the targeted muscle? as a beginner, you will generally benefit from the standard straight set method for the first 6 - 12 months alone without halting progress, so take your time. The prime goals of training are the results; muscle mass, increased strength and higher performance. Training shouldn’t revolve around who is doing the most gut wrenching workouts. Many people fall victim to this concept and end up making zero progress.

Take steps back

Consistent progress in training is what we aim for but it is not always linear, and as you keep going further you will eventually hit a wall and lose the momentum to grow fast. It is important to take a step back as it comes to a stage where you just can’t increase the stimulus and the only way is taking a step backwards. Best time to do so would be during high stress phases, busy periods or after taking time off. Contrary the body will adapt going back to simple training after a break and you may also find recovery and contractions remain strong or better. There is no definite approach in cycling training but it is important in the overall scheme of things. To conclude fight the urge to try the most advanced training methods and focus on quality, as that is the key to fast and consistent results over time.

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