Advanced strength training programs are for individuals who have been strength training consistently for at least one year. Beginners to strength training experience rapid gains in strength and muscle growth in the first three to six months of training. Over time, your body begins to adapt to the stimulus, making it more difficult to obtain results. Advanced programs help stimulate muscle growth to promote increases in size and strength.
Advanced Training Techniques
Advanced strength training programs typically incorporate a variety of training techniques to increase the intensity and facilitate muscle growth. Supersets and giant sets are common techniques used in advanced programs. A super set is when you complete one exercise and then without rest perform a different exercise of the same or same muscle group. For example, complete 10 reps of bench press and then immediately perform 10 reps of cable crossover, rest for 60 seconds and repeat. Giant sets are similar to supersets but include three or more exercises, instead of just two exercises. A sample leg workout might include two giant sets. Complete each exercise in the giant set for 10 repetitions each, and perform three sets of each giant set, resting for 30 to 60 seconds between giant sets. The first giant set might include barbell squats, split squats, leg presses and leg extensions. The second giant set might include straight leg deadlifts, hack squats, leg curls and lunges.
Prioritization is designing your strength training program around a specific muscle group or movement to overcome a weakness or to reach a goal. Prioritization can be used to help increase your bench press or to help build your triceps muscles if they are lagging. In a prioritization program, train the lagging muscle group or perform the movement at the beginning of your routines, giving priority over the other muscles. Additionally, the lagging muscle group may also be trained twice a week, instead of once a week like your other muscle groups.
5 x 5 Training Program
The 5 x 5 training program is a common method used for increasing power and strength in exercises such as bench presses, squats and deadlifts. It involves strength training three times a week, such as focusing on the bench press on Monday, squats on Wednesday and deadlifts on Friday. After warming up aerobically and with warmup sets, complete five sets of five reps for each exercise, resting two to five minutes between sets. Muscle failure should occur at about five repetitions for each set. Follow that program for four weeks, and then, for one week, decrease the weight and complete three sets of eight to 12 reps. For the next four weeks, increase the weight and complete three sets of three reps for each exercise. Include assistance exercises using a moderate load following each of your primary exercises as needed. For example, after deadlifts, complete three sets of 10 to 12 reps of pullups and barbell rows.
The 666 Method
The 666 training method works to increase the intensity and promote muscle growth by training with heavy weights with extremely short rest periods between sets. Complete six sets of six reps for each exercise in your routine every minute on the minute for six minutes. This allows only about 30 seconds of rest between sets, which will not allow full recovery. Choose a weight about 80 percent of your six-rep max. For example, if you can bench press 100 pounds six times, the weight for the 666 method would be 80 pounds for bench press. Select your weight using this method for all of the exercises in your routine.