To become big, you must first become strong. Top trainers share you the most effective strategies to rapidly develop power. Dos Remedios (his name means “remedy” in Portuguese) organizes your programs on the basis of the following 5 training principles.
Focus on the strength, not on the size
Like most men, you probably want a strong chest, massive arms and a well-defined abdomen. Instead of training like a body-builder, relying on exercises that only involve an articulation, designed for the isolation of certain muscular groups, start training like an athlete. You will develop your body the way you want to and you will also improve your performances, reducing the risk of injuries, you will burn a larger amount of fat and you will feel more motivated.
“Look at the body of this man”, says Dos Remedios, pointing to a guy without a shirt who was just finishing his evening training. “Do you se how well-defined he is? And he doesn’t do a lot of exercises for the abdomen, flexions or apex standings. His body is a product of athletic training”. Instead of focusing on the development of the muscular mass Dos Remedios advices you to focus on getting more strength. In this way, you will define your muscles and you will also have a valuable bonus: functional fitness.
Give up for something better
If you find in your program any of the mono-articular exercises under, try replacing them with the compound exercise we propose. For example, if you thrust with 12 kg dumbbells, you will probably be able to frame on one arm with 25 kg. You will develop your strength and you will burn more calories, and the extra weight will solicit your muscles more and it will stimulate the secretion of testosterone. The result: the biceps will grow faster than it would if you would only do simple flexions.
- Dumbbells flexions
- Apex abduction
- Legs extension
- Frame on one arm
- Thrusts or stepping over the threshold
- “the wood cutter” at pulley
Act through the method of “progressive charging”
“Progressive charging” means spending more time outside the comfort area. “It is the basic principle of strength training”, says Dos Remedios, “but it is the least understood by people. The human body is amazing. The harder you train, the longer you will stay in shape”.
Speak about the manipulation of the work weight and about the volume of training in the force trainings as well as in the cardio ones, to get continual progress. The longer you stay outside the comfort area, the less time you will spend in the gym. That is why Dos Remedios usually trains 35-45 minutes daily, and his sportsmen spend 30-40 minutes for 2/3 times a week in the gym.
Cycle your training
You won’t make much progress if you perform three series of ten repetitions for the rest of your life. To develop strength, it is smarter to alternate three weeks cycles with 12 weeks cycles, an approach called cycling. Let’s say for example that you are used to make chest pushing with 75 kg in 3 series of 10 repetitions for each training.
Your periodization plan may look like this:
Three series of 10 repetitions with 75 kg for a total volume of 2.250kg (3x10x75)
Four series of 5 repetitions with 88 kg, for a total of 1.760 kg
Three series of 8 repetitions with 95 kg, for a total of 2.280 kg
Five series of 4 repetitions with 100 kg, for a total of 2.000 kg
Notice how the weight you lift and the total volume are cycled, assuring the progress and your muscles will have enough time to adjust. In this way you will have more strength and your muscles will continually develop.
Equilibrate your moves
Strength requires equilibrium. During my visit to the SoCal center, coach Dos Remedios counted three times more force machines that required pushing weights than those based on pulling weights. “If you do chest push 3 series of 10 repetitions, you need to do other exercises like horizontal framing or vertical framing on the pulleys, three series of 10 repetitions”, says he. “If you don’t do that, you may develop some structural problems”.
In our everyday life, we usually grab something with one hand and we step with one foot at a time. Then we go to the gym and we are immediately force to lean on both foot and to grab with both arms.
Robert Dos Remedios says that in this situation, the dominating member has the tendency to take more weight than the other one. In this way, one gets to physical lacks of balance, the reducing of the performance and finally to accidents. “Let’s say that you can perform chest pushing with 200 kg”, says Dos Remedios, which was a half back at the Berkeley California University.
“You probably imagine that you are a strong person. I guarantee you that you will not be able to perform the same exercise with two dumbbells of 100 kg each. That is because each arm will have to work independently”. Training one arm or one leg at a time produces instability. The muscles, especially those of your trunk, will contract compensatory. So, you will not only lift weights, but you will get used to keeping a balance.
Perform more unilateral exercises
When Dos Remedios creates programs for his sportsmen, he resorts to a large variety of exercises. For example, he puts them do months of chest pushing, but they perform then various exercises that assume pushing in horizontal plan (let’s say pushing with a dumbbell on an inclined plan or push-ups), at the next 2 sessions of training. “When we get back to chest pushing, they are all a little more powerful, due to alternative exercises”, he explains.
Make explosive movements
For Dos Remedios lifting weights is not enough. He wants you to lift them in an explosive manner – as fast as you can but without giving up the right fulfillment. It is a method known as “conditioning strength-speed” and it has a powerful influence on strength, resistance and metabolism. We warn you: this type of training will get you more tired than you were used to.
Light the wick
The Olympic bars and the power lifting exercises, like genuflexions, wrested and throwing, are the best explosive movements. Here are other options:
Genuflexions with a bounce with the weight of the body
Stand and put your hands on your nape, make a genuflexion until the thighs become parallel to the floor and jump as high as you can. Rest for 3-5 seconds and repeat 10-12 times.
Genuflexions and pushing above the head with dumbbells
Stand with your soles spread to the width of your shoulders, holding the dumbbells next to them. With a continual movement, make a genuflexion until your thighs become parallel to the floor. Stand and bring the dumbbells above your head. Get back to the genuflexion position and repeat in 2-3 series of 8-10 repetitions.