Last month we began to review basic strength training principles. We are going to continue, and complete, that review this month.

Exercise Speed

  • Weight training is always performed in a slow and controlled manner, so as to mitigate chance for injury and to increase effectiveness.
  • Proper speed is “2-1-4”. That translates into counting to “2” during the lift phase, holding at the top of the range of motion for a count of “1”, and lowering the weight over a count of “4”.

Exercise Breathing

  • Breathing properly is important as it prevents significant increases in blood pressure and prevents the vasovagal response, which leads to fainting.
  • Proper breathing sequence is to exhale with exertion and to inhale with relaxation. For example, when performing a biceps curl, exhale when lifting the weight towards the shoulder and inhale when lowering the weight.

Exercise Range

  • Move through the entire range of motion for the joint, or joints, in use for a specific exercise. Moving through only half the range of motion is not beneficial, as it teaches the musculature poor biomechanics and once again, increases risk for injury.

Exercise Load Progression

  • Proper progression with load is to increase the weight lifted by no more than 10% per week. Increasing at this rate decreases risk for injury.

How does your weight training program measure up? Are you following the basic principles?