The Many Faces of Resistance Training Part II: Systems Continued

Last week, I introduced you to the basics of resistance training. This week, we’ll dig deeper into the Multi-Poundage System (local muscular endurance), the Super-Pump System (increasing size), the Triangle System (increasing/decreasing weights), and the Breakdown Training (muscular endurance for beginners).

Unless you’re using a machine, you may need one or two spotters for the Multi-Poundage System. You want to use a weight that you can perform 4-5 reps with; you’ll follow this with 4-5 more reps of decreased weight. Repeat the process for several sets – depending on your original weight and your expected workout adjustments. Performed with little rest (45 seconds to approximately 1 minute) – this system is a great way to gain hypertrophy.

Breakdown training is similar to the Multi-Poundage System, because it involves decreasing the weight. Instead of reducing the rep amount, you’ll reduce the weight – start off with a comfortable weight to complete 10-12 reps, remove approximately 10 pounds and complete 2 to 4 more reps. Breakdown training works well for beginners looking to gain strength.

Super-Pump Systems are productive if you’re looking to gain upper body size (arms, chest, shoulders), and may be to fatiguing for back and leg workouts. This workout system involves: 5-6 reps with good form, 15-18 sets, and 15 seconds of rest in between. You can target up to 3 muscle groups per training session, and train each muscle group up to 3 times per week.

If you’re looking to increase your 1RM, the Triangle System will give you the results you’re looking for. Perform 10-12 reps with a lighter weight, and slowly add more weight. Start at 10RM and work your way through 8RM, 6RM, 4RM, 2RM. Once you reach 1RM, work your way back to your 10RM.

The Triangle System can be varied around the ascent or descent.

  • Light to Heavy (ascending):  Perform the first portion of the triangle, going 10RM to 1RM.  Try starting with a lighter weight for 3-5 reps; continue the exercise while adding 5 pounds, until you can only push through one rep.
  • Light to Heavy Delorme System: Perform 3 sets starting with a resistance of 5o%. Progress and increase the resistance until you reach 100% of your 10RM. This method has been shown to improve strength over shorter time periods with beginners.
  • Heavy to Light (descending): Start with a few warm-up sets, and then progress from 1RM to 10RM.
  • Heavy to Light Oxford System: Perform one set of each weight, starting at 100% 10RM. Continue the exercise, working your way to 50% of your 10M. This method works the same, effective way as the Delorme style.

Use this information to set up your workouts. Keep your eye out for next week’s post – where I’ll discuss alternate and stacked muscle orders to use in the different systems!

Steven Moore About Steven Moore

Passionate Personal Fitness Trainer, and NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist at Blitz Conditioning. Prone to spurts of random nonsense. [Read my full bio]

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