Concurrent Training: Balancing Strength and Aesthetics in Your Training-Part 5: Review & Example
Let's review some of the benefits of concurrently training for strength as well as aesthetics.
Focusing on true strength training is FUN. Training for a new goal can be a great mental refresher when motivation or confidence is lacking.
Dieting is not required (usually).
Your butt is going to look great. Think about it--powerlifting is heavily posterior chain focused. And we all know shows are won from the back.
Increase in muscular density--in general, those who train at higher intensities (higher %1RM) have greater muscular density than those who do not.
Putting it all together:
A few steps for putting together a program:
For the sake of conciseness, we're just going to focus on one single week, disregarding long term planning. We'll build a quick 3 day program. Because this example is only 3 days a week, we will train the entire body each day and assume at least one day of rest between each workout.
1) Choose your compound exercises: I like to start by listing out the compound exercises I want to include in my training week, ranked by priority. For this example, lets use squats, deadlifts, bench press.
Next, add secondary compound exercises to the list--these are typically movements that have direct carry over to the main compounds : front squats, pause deadlifts, overhead press.
2) Add compound accessories: seal rows, dumbbell bench press, and Romanian deadlifts are good options.
3) List exercises to target specific muscle groups and individual muscles, keeping in mind goals and lagging muscle groups. For this example, let's add one for each part: cable pull throughs, seated row, skull crushers, leg extensions, EZ bar curls, lateral raises, ab wheel.
4) Now that you have your list, start organizing it into training days. There is more than one right way to do this, as the lifter's schedule and other factors must be considered, but for this example we're just going to spread things evenly. It might look something like this:
Dumbell Bench Press
EZ Bar Curls
Cable Pull Throughs
Some other organization options might include doing the big 3 on the same day, dividing into a push day, pull day, and lower body day, etc.
Hopefully this series of posts helped you understand the basic aspects of creating a training program that is right for YOU. Hiring a coach to create an individual training program for you and consistently adjust it based on your progress and needs is always the BEST way to train. If hiring a coach is not an option for you, finding a program that suits your needs or designing your own is another route (see below). If you have any questions or suggestions for future posts on the topic, please email me!
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Resources and further reading:
Powerlifting for Physique Emphasis by Brian Minor
Effects of Low- vs. High-Load Resistance Training on Muscle Strength and Hypertophy in Well-Trained Men.
Is there a minimum intensity threshold for resistance training-induced hypertrophic adaptations?