If you are giving some serious thought to your strength training and conditioning and would like to be as effective as possible, then this is article is essential for you. We’re going to take you through some of the theories behind effective strength training and conditioning exercises for Australians so that you can achieve the best possible results.
Unfortunately, getting fit and in shape isn’t as simple as picking up some weights and having yourself a workout. There is so much more that goes into it, particularly for those who value their time and would like to make every single fitness session count.
With the said, let’s get stuck in!
1 – Moving optimally
Before you get stuck into a new training program, we always recommend that you have an assessment with a qualified trainer or physical therapist. To the untrained eye, following an exercise that you’ve found online can be, in some cases, detrimental. If your form is off, you could end up injuring yourself.
Sure, it might sound silly, but it happens all of the time. Moving optimally is one of the essentials for truly effective strength training and conditioning exercises. By working with a professional in the beginning, they can screen you for any issues that may otherwise limit your progress.
2 – Training the core
Your core is arguably one of the most important parts of your body when it comes to exercise. As such, you should aim to spend a few minutes before every workout, warming up and developing your core stability and strength.
A stronger core will help to prevent back pain, whilst acting as a foundation on which you can push more weight and increase your exercises.
3 – Warm-up thoroughly
In the same breath, you should always warm up thoroughly. Work on your core, but also address some key mobility and activation exercises before you jump straight into your big movement patterns and exercises.
As a general rule of thumb, focus on a few drills that can effectively prepare your body for the precise type of exercises that you plan on performing during that workout (i.e., squats and burpees before a Cross-Fit session helps)!
4 – Focus on big muscle exercises
When you work on your big muscles with each lift and flex, you will be burning more calories with greater effectiveness. This will also increase your metabolism for hours afterwards due to the subsequent recovery process that follows.
These exercises can include variations of deadlift and squats, lunges, and some vertical & horizontal pulling and pressing exercises for your upper body.
5 – Don’t neglect that backside of your body
We’ve all heard the saying “you should never skip leg day,” and there is so much truth to it. Many people make the mistake of neglecting the backside of their body and as such, end up with dysfunctions and injuries. In fact, the most common injuries in this area are due to people having too narrow a workout routine.
In order to help minimise injury, whilst also looking great and performing optimally, you want to incorporate a healthy amount of hip-dominant patterns into your training program.
It might not surprise you to learn that this is predominantly a male issue. Most women, when exercising pay close attention to their glutes and legs, whereas men are more focused on “sculpting the guns,” as it were.
Just remember chaps, strengthening the posterior is just as important as curling those biceps!
6 – Focus on strength
When you add strength on top of efficient movement, you will minimise the risk of injury and maintain optimal mobility.
You can increase your strength with deadlifts, pressing, squats, and rowing—which will also enable you to perform sets with higher reps and additional weight when aiming to gain increased muscle mass.
7 – Always be pushing forward
The “progressive overload” concept of strength conditioning and exercise is simple: putting the body through stress in order to force it into adapting in a certain way.
There are three key ways we progress with our exercises:
- Mass: being the amount of weight on the bar
- Repetition: relating to the total amount of work that you perform
- Rest period: as in, shortening the rest periods in between sets
By utilising these progression models, you will achieve greater success. If you go to the gym several times a week and never push yourself beyond your limits, your physical progression (both aesthetically and performance-wise), will be limited.
8 – Consistency is key
It’s no secret that if two people carry out the exact same exercises with the exact same diet (only one person trains once a week and the other trains three times a week), in most cases the person training more often will experience far better results.
Of course, everyone is different. However, the fact remains that consistency is key to progression. Keep pushing yourself and stick to it. Over the course of a year, you won’t recognise yourself, and this is true for most other aspects of your life as well.
9 – Be flexible and try a variety of exercises, rep sets, and rest periods
It’s all too easy to focus on the lifts that we are good as it. If your ultimate goal is to perform better, feel better, and of course, look better, then you want to draw from all aspects of training.
Step outside your comfort zone! And where better to do so than in the gym? By doing so, it’s a great way to develop new skills and give your body the push it needs to make new gains in your strength and conditioning.
10 – Tidy up your diet
Just because you are exercising, it doesn’t mean that you can continue eating nothing but crap. Then again, the same can be said about only eating healthy food. You can cheat and enjoy the occasional binge. But, only as a treat.
If you are serious about this, you’ve got to give your body what it needs, and what it needs is plenty of nutrition.
Get this stuck in your head: 80% of your results come from the kitchen.
If you follow these 10 essentials closely, you will make effective progress in your strength training and conditioning exercises. It’s not a pick and mix; every single one of these points is important.
So, research it well and implement them into your new regime. Remain flexible, stick at it, eat well, and the rest will fall into place!
If you are keen to get stuck in and would like to try some Cross-Fit for optimal strength and conditioning training, then we would love to invite you down to CrossFit Norsemen for a free trial!
Top-class facilities, a supportive community, and a team of dedicated professionals who will give you the boost you need to get off to a strong start and build you up to your peak condition.