WHAT IS A PRUDENT STRENGTH TRAINING PROGRAM?
The answer lies in two questions:
1. “Are the training protocols orthopedically-safe?”
2. “Are the training protocols physiologically-sound?”
Obviously, it is the intent of any strength-training program
to ENHANCE the physical potentials of the lifter rather than ENDANGER the lifter.
In other words,use common sense. If an exercise or training technique looks dangerous -- it probably is!
An orthopedically safe program: has at its foundation the execution of properly performed repetitions. The emphasis should always be on HOW the repetition is lifted rather than HOW MUCH is lifted. Every effort should be made to minimize the biomechanical loading (bouncing, recoiling etc.) on muscles, joints and connective tissue, and to maximize muscular tension. Each repetition should be lifted under control in a deliberate fashion. Flex the muscle momentarily in the midrange of the exercise when the muscle is in its “fully contracted position”. Then lower the resistance slowly to the starting position. Obviously, this is the most difficult way to train; however it is also the most productive and prudent way to train.
A physiologically sound program is one that includes in its design the fundamental principles of training right, eating right, resting right and living right. As simple as it is to understand -- it is anything but simple to do. To compromise anyone of these realities would likewise compromise results. There are no “secret”, “short-cut” and/or “simple” means to achieve maximum strength gains. Rather, there is no substitute for progressively highly intense exercise, a nutritious meal plan, ample rest/recovery, and a common sense approach to a consistent training routine.