Today begins a five-part blog series in which we will examine a basic human performance paradigm for physical training. So, let’s begin with part one: strength.

The paradigm below shows the progression of the development of three training components in relation to other performance elements that continue throughout the program (coordination, flexibility, recovery, etc.):

1) Strength

2) Power

3) Complex movements

Finally, the upward arrow on the left denotes the mindset of progressing from simple exercises to the more complex exercises as improvement is made.

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Success of a strength exercise.

While strength is the foundation of this paradigm, the sub-surface that lies beneath the foundation of this paradigm is wellness.

Strength exercises may or may not be performed with movement. If the exercise does involve movement, the movement is slower and controlled. The success of a strength exercise is simple to determine. If you properly complete the movement through the desired range of motion, then it is a successful repetition!

Start out with simple strength exercises and work your way up to those that are more complex throughout your months of training.   Tweet This! In addition, follow the principle of progressive overload. In other words, plan to systematically increase your resistance in a reasonable fashion over time.

To further understand the “simple to complex” thought process, let’s take a look at some leg exercises.

  • Leg Press. This would be considered a relatively simple exercise for the legs because it only requires the legs to push. The machine is in control of the movement pattern.
  • Free Weight Bar Squat. The squat would be considered more complex than the leg press. You must stabilize the resistance through the movement pattern as you stand on your feet. Because of this, more muscle groups must be incorporated. Note: An exercise performed on your feet is more complex, will work more muscles in different parts of the body, and burn more calories.
  • Free Weight Bar Overhead Lunge. This exercise is even more complex than the squat. The lunge is a step more complex in being a transitional exercise from the simple “double leg” resistance to “single leg” resistance training. In addition, having the weight above your head greatly increases the complexity.

We hope this basic information is beneficial for your thought processes as you continue your journey to become stronger and more physically fit this year!

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