New trends in strength training are all about data-driven training, which means that we use technology to keep track of our progress in real time.
People are increasingly interested in data-driven training.
The strength training and conditioning coach at High Performance Sport New Zealand says that one example of this is tracking the speed of our squat, which can help us improve our performance. “Technology can help us track the exact speed at which we’re moving, which means we can target certain speed ranges to get the adaptations we want.”
Logan says, “For example, if we want to build strength, we might want to do five sets of three squats at a speed of 0.7 meters per second.” That would put us in the “strong” range. Instead of doing five sets of five squats at 1.2 meters per second, we might be doing five sets of five at the same speed. In the next step, we set the weights. So instead of just focusing on lifting 120 kg (265 lb), you’re looking for the weight that fits the range that will make the specific change you want to make.
People can see the live numbers they’re working with thanks to new machines that show them. The Nordic Hamstring Machine lets us see how much force we’re putting into both of our legs. It encourages athletes to work harder and makes sure we’re working on both sides of the body at the same time, because they can see if they’re exerting more force with their right leg.
In the long term, the core movements will endure.
Trainers may have talked about the “seven fundamental movement patterns,” which they say are important. These movement patterns instead focus on strength training the whole body as a whole, which means we use a lot of different muscles to build strength, power, and stamina for the whole body.
All of the moves we make are based on these seven basic patterns, or a combination of these seven basic patterns, says Logan. “They have really held up over time.”
David Behm, who teaches at Memorial University in Canada, says that closed-kinetic chain exercises with free weights will always be around. “Exercises like squats, deadlifts, cleans, and so on can combine high-intensity stress, motor coordination, balance, and specificity for the sport.” Those things will never go out of style.
Progressive Overload Brings Out the Best in You.
Progression overload, which means increasing the weight on the bar or the number of reps you do, has been around for a long time because it works when it’s done right. It has been used for a long time because that’s how the body naturally adapts. The best example of this is when a woman is having a child. Over nine months, the body is put under more and more stress as the fetus grows and the body learns to deal with the extra weight. This is overload in its purest form: “applying small changes over a long time to build strength and fitness.”
In the ancient Olympics, Milo of Croton is said to have carried a baby cow every day since he was a young boy. This is when the concept of progressive overload was first used. In time, the cow got stronger and stronger. Because the change was always so small, he was always able to adapt. When he was a grown man, Milo was said to be able to carry around a full-sized bull.
None of this works unless you use weights. Logan says that body-weight training can help you get better. It doesn’t matter if you add an extra push-up to your push-ups or if you put both of your feet on the couch.
You do not need a “leg day.”
For most people, the bodybuilder-style training of leg day and chest/back day is a waste of time. They may need to train this way, but they’re only doing it for size and because they’ve been doing it for a long time. There is no need to do 25 sets of chest and back if you go to the gym three times a week to get stronger. The way athletes train isn’t like that, and it’s not the best way to spend your time, either.
By focusing on three or four movement patterns in one session, Logan thinks you can get more out of your strength training. He thinks that you should do at least four to eight sets of each movement pattern, and then do that several times a week. This then gives you more time to do other types of exercise, like playing a game or doing cardiovascular workouts. There might be a horizontal push and pull day, then a vertical push day for your upper body, and then a glute and hamstring hinge day for you. That’s how athletes train, and it will help you get the most out of the session.
Biceps curls on a stability ball are pointless.
It’s been a while since you thought about how to get your arms to pump more. Leave the Swiss ball out. Behm asks, “What would I like to see go away?” In order to do open-kinetic-chain exercises like curling your biceps, you should do them on stationary, unstable surfaces. People who are doing biceps curls on a Swiss ball or BOSU ball don’t get very much out of doing them.
Functional training is used in BODYPUMP.
Functional training, which is one of the trends that will change the fitness industry in 2021, has been growing in popularity over the last few years and is a big part of LES MILLSTM programs like LES MILLS CORETM.
Exercises like this are important to Glen Ostergaard, the Program Director for BODYPUMPTM. He has been adding them to the workout for the past year. At this point in Glen’s life, functional training is where he wants to be. Functional exercises like push-ups and mountain climbers have been mixed in with BODYPUMP. So when you get back on the bench for a more isolated exercise, it’s a lot more difficult and you get a lot more out of it. A lot of thought went into how I introduced the functional moves. That’s where BODYPUMP is right now. I think we’ll stay in this phase for a while.
Technology will be employed more in the future.
What’s going to happen in the future? Both Behm and Logan think that people will become more dependent on technology.
There will be more live data used to help people work out, says Logan. Programming could be changed because of our heart rate variability from the day before, for example. If we were to look at strength training, we could see how fast we were moving on a screen in front of us. If we weren’t hitting our target velocity, we’d adjust our weights to make up for it. A lot of things are going to keep getting better at making our strength training more and more efficient. A lot more people will be able to use the technology that is now only available to professional athletes. This will make it easier for everyone to train better.