The Most Impactful Weight Lifting Protocols

The three weight lifting methods most responsible for my strength gains.

If you’ve been following this page for a while, you’ll know that weight lifting has been a major part of my fitness journey. I’ve used many weight lifting protocols but there’s a few that stand out as having the most impact for me when it comes to gaining strength and transforming my body.It’s important to understand the basics but once you have those mastered, you should look into the different training methods to see what will help you achieve your goal. I plan on sharing the lifting methods that have helped me the most with gaining strength. They’ve all helped me in different ways.

Loaded Carries

Loaded carries have been an absolute game changer. They’ve had so much impact that I still find ways to do them while my gym is closed. Loaded carries can help you with a number of goals like muscle gain, fat loss, and increased work capacity. I’ve noticed the benefit mostly in the strength department. Moving heavy weight just feels easier when loaded carries are part of my program. Maybe that’s why strength coaches like Dan John and Charles Thibadeau reccomend loaded carries to lifters.

Two things that make loaded carries special are core engagement and grip strength. Your core has to be braced when walking around with weight. This high level of core engagement transfers well to squats and deadlifts. Your level of core engagement in these lifts can make the difference between a successful lift and a failed lift. Having your core well braced will also help with injury prevention.

The grip strength I’ve gained from loaded carries have also helped me with my overall strength. Grip strength goes beyond just helping the deadlift. Try any lift, regardless of the target muscles and see how much easier it is to move the weight when you can grip the bar tightly. It’s because squeezing something tightly sends a message to your brain that you’re in danger, causing your body to tense up. Tension is one of the biggest keys to lifting heavy weights. You can benefit from the different variations of loaded carries.

Speed Work

Compensatory acceleration training (CAT) helped me tremendously when I felt stuck in my squat and deadlift. It makes perfect sense that the faster you can move a weight, the easier the lift is. The key to CAT is moving the weight as explosively as possible during the concentric/ upward portion of the lift. By doing this, you learn how to apply more force to your lifts. Force is what moves objects. In order to move 400 pounds, you need to apply more than 400 pounds of force. I’ve only applied it to squats and deadlifts but I’ve noticed great gains from CAT .

Cluster sets

Cluster sets are an awesome way to build strength. They’re a great way to get your body comfortable with heavier weight. Cluster sets allow you to do more reps of a certain weight than you normally would by taking mini breaks in between each set. If you can only do three reps of a weight, clusters will allow you to do more. I go into greater detail about cluster sets in the post dedicated to Strength Coach Charles Poliquin.

Photo by Estudio Polaroid from Pexels

Get Fast To Transform Your Body!

Opinion ( Focus on your fast twitch muscles if you want to look your best)

Everyone wants to look good. Whether, you’re training for strength, athleticism, or health. We all want to look good to a certain extent. There are a number of factors to building an impressive body. The most important one is your diet. Training is also a major part of looking your best. When training, place a strong emphasis on fast twitch muscles. Fast twitch muscle fibers are important when it comes to strength training and sports but often overlooked when training for aesthetics.

My training focus isn’t on looks but since I put an emphasis on my fast twitch muscle fibers, I’m often satisfied with what I see in the mirror. When you see the most visually appealing athletes in the world. They all recruit a bunch of fast twitch muscles in their activities. Sprinters, Gymnasts, power lifters in lower weight classes are just some examples.

If you want to maximize the use of your fast twitch muscles, focus on tension, speed, or both. Another way to look at training fast twitch muscles is activating as much muscle fibers as possible. Whether you have a gym or not, you can train these muscles. The ultimate way to train your fast twitch muscles is by sprinting. Coincidentally, you’ve never seen a fat sprinter. Some other ways you can train these muscle fibers using your bodyweight are plyometrics and high tension exercises. In fact, I’ve written a couple of posts recently talking about how I still train my fast twitch muscles at home.

What Are Fast Twitch Muscles?

Fast Twitch muscles are the muscles responsible most for speed, power, strength, and muscle size. Fast twitch muscles are the muscles that get fatigued easily. You can’t sprint at full speed for a full minute just like you can’t lift 90% of your max for several reps. In order to properly train your fast twitch muscles, you have to work out in short intense bouts.

How To Maximize The Use of Fast Twitch Muscles

Weight lifting: This advice should only be used by experienced lifters. If you’re a beginner, master your technique and building a solid base of muscle before using these lifting methods . When comes to weight lifting for fast twitch muscles, think fast heavy or fast. Either do heavy compound lifts with at least 80% of your one rep max or focus on the speed of your lifts . With speed lifts, you’ll be lifting with 50-60% of your one rep max.

Bodyweight: This approach of fast twitch muscle recruitment can be done by beginners since there isn’t external forces involved. The key is using proper technique and knowing what your body can do. With body weight exercises, focus on tension or speed. As I mentioned before, high speed body weight exercises like sprints and plyometrics are great for fast twitch muscle activation. I recently wrote a post about the value of sprints. The other way is the gymnast approach, which is high tension bodyweight exercises. Simply doing regular bodyweight exercises like pushups in a very slow manner will use fast twitch muscles since exercising like this will cause fatigue faster. It’s amazing how you can manipulate your body to recruit more muscle. S

Warning!

Training your fast twitch muscles places stress on your joints and your nervous system. If a lot of your training involves a high recruitment of fast twitch muscles, make sure you’re taking the time for proper recovery. Some activities that help are meditation and yoga.

Closing Thoughts

When you focus on training fast twitch muscles, you can’t help but build an impressive physique. Your body keeps what it needs. When you’re doing intense movements that are recruiting your largest muscle fibers, your body gets the message that it needs to build more muscle to be able to do the movement again. Yes, training your fast twitch muscles could improve your dating life but it’ll also make you stronger and more athletic.

Photo on Best Running

Sprints, Sprints, and more Sprints

Faster than a speeding bullet! Was that Superman? No that’s you in the middle of a sprint workout. Weightlifting is the only form of exercise that can compare to sprints in terms of body transformation. The way it makes me feel is phenomenal. There are many benefits like increase in testosterone, better nutrient partitioning, and an endorphin boost.The freedom you feel when you’re running at full speed in open space is almost unrivaled. Sprinting can transform your body.

Have you ever seen a fat sprinter? Sprinting is arguably the best fat loss exercise on the planet. You’re burning fat while sprinting and hours after you’re done. Sprinting will develop your leg muscles as well.Sprinting is also great for sports performance. Speed kills in sports and there’s various sprinting drills depending on your sport.

Here’s a list of the Sprinting protocols I’ve used:

Hill Repeats for fat-loss: Find a steep hill and do 3 sets of 7 hill sprints with 1 minute rest in between. Depending on your conditioning levels you can start at 5 repetitions or go all the way up to 10 repetitions per set.

35 Yard Sprints for power development:One set of twelve repetitions of a 35 meter sprint. After each repetition you’ll rest for 10 seconds. It’s a good workout when you’re in a time crunch. I’ve noticed an improvement in my deadlift power when I’ve incorporated this protocol in my routine.

100 meter sprint for total body transfromation: Do a 100 meter sprint and walk back to the starting spot. Once you get back, repeat the sprint. Keep repeating til you do ten sprints.

400-300-200-100 : This protocol involves doing a sequence of sprints for different distances. First, you’ll do a 400 meter sprint followed by 4 minutes of rest. Then it’ll be a 300 meter sprint with 3 minutes of rest. Followed by a 200 minute sprint with 2 minutes of rest. You’ll finally finish with a 100 meter sprint. This protocol will have you gasping for air like nothing else.

Like any form of exercise make sure you’re physically ready before doing sprints. If you’re not used to sprinting, I’d reccomend doing hill repeats first as they’re the safest form of sprints because you’re not moving at high speed. This will help you work on your sprinting form and develop sprinting muscles like the hamstrings, glutes, and calves.

Go Sprint and reap the benefits!