Weight Lifting Techniques By Brad Turnbull

Here is the weight training article from Sam’s Fitness Sept 2008 newsletter. Using these weight lifting techniques you can easily add variety into your training without having to incorporate new exercises. This is great if you are training in a home gym situation where you might not have a lot of gym equipment.

In the August 2008 Newsletter article on Building your Chest, I briefly touched on different lifting techniques. This month I am going to expand on the 3 different lifting techniques that you can incorporate into your training.

Your body adapts to exercises after a while. That is why you need to change programs every 6 weeks or so. People often assume that you need to do a new exercise to combat this adaption process. This is true but you can also add variety and shock your system by using different lifting techniques.

This is great for people who are training in a home gym set up. You don’t need a lot of gym equipment. By varying your lifting techniques you increase the number of exercises that you can perform.

Single Rep Method

The first and most commonly used lifting technique is the single rep method. This does not refer to just doing one rep in isolation which is used in strength training. Single Rep lifting is performing one complete rep of a certain exercise, pausing for a moment, and then performing another rep.

Using bench press as an example, you lift the weight off the bench press racks and then lower the weight down towards your chest. When you reach the bottom of the range of motion you then lift the weight up to the starting position where you pause with arms straightened. At this pointed the targeted muscle – chest – is not under load. After a slight pause you repeat the rep again.

So if your set consists of 12 reps – you have effectively done 1 rep 12 times.

The single rep method is great for building strength and muscle mass. Use 8-10 reps for strength or 12 reps for muscle mass.

Continuous Tension Method

As the name suggests, the Continuous Tension Method involves keeping the muscle under constant tension through the entire set. You do not have the pause like I mentioned in the single rep method where the targeted muscle is rested. Since the muscle is under constant tension you will not be able to use the same amount of weight as you will use when performing the single rep method.

Once again using bench press as an example, you start the set at the starting position and lower the weight down to the bottom of the range motion. Push the weight up, but only go up about of the complete range, and without pausing, lower the weight back down and continue with this same pattern until you complete your set.

When using the Continuous Tension Method really open up the rep range. Do at least 12 reps but really concentrate on working the muscle to failure whilst maintaining proper form.

It is critical that you maintain proper form or otherwise you will use secondary muscles rather than the targeted muscle. In the case of the bench press you will start using more triceps. To maintain form, perform the exercise in a slow and controlled fashion and concentrate on feeling the exercise in the targeted muscle group.

The Continuous Tension method is great for building intensity in the muscle. Even though you are not using as much weight you are increasing the time the muscle is under load.

Powerlifting Method

If you are having trouble breaking through your plateaus with the Single Rep Method and Continuous Tension Method, it is time to incorporate the Powerlifting Method. You should only use this method if you have progressed beyond basic training as you will be dropping the reps and using heavier weights.

Once again using the bench press as an example, get in the starting position and take a very deep breath. Since you are using heavier weights you will really need to concentrate on lowering the weight in a controlled fashion. When you reach the bottom of the range of motion it is time to lift the weight. Really concentrate on powering the weight out. Once you near the top of the range exhale.

You don’t exhale at the bottom. By holding onto your breath you give your core greater stability and this will allow you to lift heavier weights.

When you reach the top of the range of motion take a deep breath. Take as many deep breaths as you need and stay in the top of the range until you are ready to complete another rep.

Work in the 6-8 rep range when using the powerlifting method. This will build up your strength and when you return to the single rep method you should be able to better your personal best with your new found strength.

You can use these methods on a variety of home gym setups. The Powertec Multi System, Powertec Power Rack System, Powertec LeverGym or the Ironmaster Quick Lock Dumbbells are all great pieces of gym equipment to use in your home setup.