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Basic Weight Training. Recommendations.


To begin with it is necessary to emphasize that the training program is generally suited individually, as there are no equally trained people. AS for the muscles of the back and the neck, it is widely known that these muscles are the most subjected to traumas during training, as they are claimed to defend the most crucial organs for the life of the whole organism. Originally, there are four distinct approaches which are claimed to train these muscles. All the pros and cons, as well as special recommendations will be describes in this paper.

Super Sets

Super sets are often regarded by the professionals as the training shock. In order to move from the dead point in training muscles, body builders often use such shocks for giving the power pull for the muscle growth, nevertheless, this approach should not be often resorted to, as muscles may got used even to shocks. Performing an exercise set immediately after a different exercise set. Nearly no rest is taken between exercises (sets), only that which is taken to get in position for the second exercise. Super sets are useful for their opportunity to train the “antagonistic” muscles with the same and rather high intensiveness.

Some professionals claim, that such training is not useful, as it is more suitable to train prelum abdominal first, and then the wide back muscles, while it is fresh, however, such approach is mistaken, as after several sets the general energetic potential of the organism falls, and the following exercises will not be equally intensive. It is called “the systematic fatigue”: on the background of the fatigue of the working groups of the muscles, the organism gets exhausted in the whole. Consequently, it is argued that it is impossible to train back fruitfully and intensively after intensive training of the muscles of the back. Supersets solve this problem. (Downing, Lander 2002)

Forced repetitions

Forced repetitions are regarded as the set of movements with an insuring partner (spotter). Moen (1996) describes this technique the following: “Sportsmen working in pairs typically perform with heavy weight or near the end of a set after failure. Forced repetitions may lead to overtraining if used for an extended period of time. Forced repetitions may bring about short-term progress, but more sustained progress can be achieved with small, systematic increases of repetitions and resistance (i.e. increase weight 5-10% when 12 reps have been achieved). Our body adapts to small progressive increases of intensity and duration.” Originally, the intensity which is applied during the forced reps is hard to regulate. The Long-term progress is generally regarded as the coaxed progress rather than forced one.

In the 80’s, Dr. Franco Columbo (in Shea, 2001) wrote an article condemning the use of forced reps. He theorized that overuse of forced repetitions with very heavy weight may essentially teach the muscles to prematurely fail. Strength training involves a neurological adaptation (motor development, contraction efficiency), as well as a morphological adaptation. Repeated use of forced repetitions with very heavy weight has been thought to prematurely activate the Golgi tendon organ. He offered that activation of the Golgi tendon organ restrains muscular reduction in order to protect the muscle from supposed injury. Moreover it is emphasized by Downing and Lander (2002), “this Golgi tendon organ reflex is thought to be activated during PNF stretches. See Tony Shield’s rebuttal”.

It is also said that the absence, or rare use of this technique may increase the potential for the trainee to complete the most difficult is any set the last repetition. If forced reps have to be performed during training, it is offered to reserve their use to only once a month before changing exercises, or at the end of a meso-cycle. (Moen, 1996)

Pyramid System

The pyramid principle is based not on the weight which is used for the set, but on the amount of the repetitions, which a trainee is able to perform in every following set. This principle requires adding of the sufficient weight for reaching the fault in a range of repetitions, which is defined for a set. For instance a trainee has defined that it is necessary to make 15 repetitions in a set. Thus, the fault should be achieved on the 14th repetition. If it is possible to make 16 repetitions, the weight is light. It may seem to difficult, nevertheless, it is just a simple method for progressive muscle loading.

The advantage of this method is its simplicity to plan, and the absence of the necessity to get the muscle prepared for this method for a week or two. Thus, any trainee may apply this technique without increased risk for injury. Nevertheless, there should be supervision in order to correct mistakes in making repetitions, as it is difficult to perform the exercise correctly, being on the edge of the fatigue. This is the essential drawback of this method, especially for a beginner. Shea (2001) states that this technique is the outdated one, as working on the edge can not be applied frequently, as it will cause the allover decrease of productivity, and organism will require essential rest, which would lead to the loss of the gained results, ot part of the results.


The essence of periodization sounds paradoxical, as it claims the following: “if you wish to train arms – do squatting”. It is emphasized that separate groups of muscles can not be trained separately. If only arms are trained, the organism allocates few resources for the arms; however, if the legs or some other huge groups of muscles are trained, the body is tricked, and assigns sufficient resources for all trained muscles, which are taken by the arms. This principle is used in the periodization method, which claims, that the same muscles should not be trained constantly, as it is necessary to make cycles for training different groups of muscles, for they were able to restore the resources.

Shea (2001) emphasizes the fact that Traditional periodization programs varied intensity and volumes between mesocycles. More modern periodization programs implement variations between microcycles (daily undulating periodized programs) as well, and appear to be more effective. The pros of this approach are the following:

  • Cycled exercises which emphasize the desired muscle group are closer to the beginning of the workout
  • Greater intensity can be expended
  • This method helps to Implement other advanced techniques to the exercises that involve the specific muscle group


Originally, the methods of muscle training differ with the order of repetitions and adding weights. Nevertheless, some of them are regarded as progressive, the others are outdated. Initially, everything depends on a sportsmen and his / her physiological parameters, which define the effectiveness of the approach.


Downing, J. H., & Lander, J. E. (2002). Performance Errors in Weight Training and Their Correction. JOPERD–The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 73(9), 44.

Martin, R. & Miller, T. (Eds.). (1999). Sportcult. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Moen, S. M. (1996). Circuit Training through the Muscular System. JOPERD–The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 67(2), 18.

Shea, B. C. (2001). The Paradox of Pumping Iron: Female Bodybuilding as Resistance and Compliance. Women and Language, 24(2), 42.

Weak Muscles Lead to Bad Backs. (1995). USA Today (Society for the Advancement of Education), 124, 12.


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