How to make maximum power ammunition
Train maximum strength - How to use IK training correctly
Many fitness athletes neglect the fact that they can and should train their maximum strength in a targeted manner. The targeted use of IK training has many advantages that you should definitely use for the greatest possible success in your strength training.
If you do strength training, then you certainly want to build up more strength. For many, however, this is a subordinate goal and they primarily pursue the goal of maximum muscle development or the best possible muscle definition. They therefore tend to prefer other types of training. Even if this is basically understandable, it can also and especially in these situations make sense to train regularly and specifically for maximum strength.
In today's article I will try to answer the most important questions that I am asked again and again about the topic of maximum strength and IC training. I want to help you understand the importance of your maximum strength and why and how you should train it specifically. Among other things, you will learn in this article:
In the end, all your open questions will hopefully be answered and you will know how you can train your maximum strength with IK training in the future and benefit from it optimally.
What is maximum strength and what does it depend on?
Your maximum strength is the greatest force that you can intentionally apply against a resistance by using your nerve-muscle system. So one rep of an exercise with so much weight that you can't do a second rep.
The following factors influence your maximum strength:
- Muscle cross-section (thickness)
- Neural control
- Intermuscular coordination (interaction between your muscles)
- Intramuscular coordination (interaction of the muscle fibers in a muscle)
- Muscle fiber composition
- Motivation (All of our sports motivation articles)
In fact, there are other reserves of strength beyond your maximum strength that you can muster. In sum, this is called the absolute force. However, your absolute power is only available to you in exceptional situations for a short time. You probably know stories like the one about the mother who lifts a car to free her child from underneath.
How can you measure your maximum strength?
That is certainly a question that you are now asking yourself. I want to show you two ways how you can measure or determine your maximum strength.
1) Try to move as much weight as possible
That is probably the most intuitive, direct route to the goal. For example, do you want your maximum strength in Bench press determine, then you just try to find the weight at which you can just manage a single repetition.
However, I do not recommend this procedure, as the risk of injury is very high with this limit load. If you want to do it, then only if you already have a few years of experience with strength training and a trainer is there to protect you.
2) Calculate the maximum force with a simple formula
A mathematical derivation is also possible. This is also the procedure for determining your maximum strength that I would recommend. The risk of injury is much lower and experience has shown that the result is relatively close to what you would have determined directly (research results also confirm this).
You can use the following table to easily calculate your maximum strength using a rule of three:
|Intensity in%:||Possible repetitions:|
Maximum strength training is also called IK training
The maximum strength training is often referred to as IK training. Even if some may claim otherwise, they are one and the same. At least if you look at the targeted training of maximum strength in the narrower sense.
Sometimes maximum strength training is described as having that too Hypertrophy training includes, which, however, makes little sense. Even if one of the decisive things for your maximum strength is the muscle cross-section, which is specifically trained with this type of training.
The inter-muscular coordination (between your muscles) and especially the intramuscular coordination (between the muscle fibers within your muscle) are important for the targeted increase in maximum strength. In addition, the neural control (so to speak, the communication between the brain and muscles) also improves. This means that the signals for the movement arrive at the muscle faster, where more muscle fibers can be absorbed and correctly implemented.
In particular, the intramuscular coordination can actually only be specifically improved in very low repetition ranges, since the high strength required requires maximum use of the muscle fibers. The IK training owes its name to this influencing factor (intramuscular coordination training).
Why should you train your maximum strength?
There are many reasons to regularly include maximum strength training in your training plan. In this section I would like to briefly explain to you what, in my opinion, are the most important arguments for regular targeted training of your maximum strength.
1) Increase in strength
The first reason is arguably the most obvious. You would like to have more strength, so maximum strength training should be part of your training plan, at least in phases. Only with this training can you specifically increase the use of your muscle fibers.
An untrained person only uses about 60% of his muscle fibers when he does a repetition with the highest possible weight. The maximum strength training leads to an increase in usable muscle fibers. Experienced strength athletes can activate up to 90% of their muscle fibers in the muscle for training.
So after a phase of maximum strength training you can use more percent of your muscles and logically have more strength.
2) building muscle
By increasing your strength, you also influence your muscle building. You should therefore not neglect the training of your maximum strength if you Build muscle mass want. With maximum strength training, your body is able to recruit more muscle fibers at the same time. The associated increase in performance makes it possible to set additional intensive stimuli in the next hypertrophy phase, which have a beneficial effect on your muscle thickness growth.
3) stability and security
By improving inter- and intramuscular coordination, you also give your body additional stability and security. This has a positive effect especially in potentially injurious situations (e.g. in a fall), where your muscles can better play out their protective and stabilizing potential.
Incidentally, your bones, tendons and ligaments also adapt to the high short-term stress and increase in stability and thus decrease in susceptibility to injury.
4) Also helps with weight loss
Got big ears? 😉 In fact, maximum strength training is the best strength training when it comes to burning as much fat as possible.
On the one hand, it has a direct effect, as the heavy load consumes a lot of energy and energy-intensive repair processes are initiated. The so-called "afterburn effect" is particularly great here. On the other hand, the increased usability of the muscle fibers also has a fundamentally increasing effect on the body's energy consumption, because those who use more muscles in everyday life or during sport also consume more calories.
Therefore, maximum strength training is a very effective component in the training mix, especially for women who want to lose weight.
How should you design your IK training?
While quite a few have heard of IK training and have already tried to specifically train their maximum strength with it, very few really know what to look out for when designing and implementing a maximum strength training plan.
The most important thing here is that you choose the level of difficulty for the exercises so that your muscles are exhausted after 2-5 repetitions. This corresponds to an intensity of around 85-95%. Aim for the 5 repetitions to keep your risk of injury low. Then you should give your muscles a worthwhile break of at least 2-3 minutes before starting the next set. If you can move the weight from one set to the next significantly less often, that is a good sign that your break was too short.
A comprehensive warm-up is very important for this type of training. This includes both the basic warming up of the body, as well as the mobilization and preparation of the target muscles for the upcoming load with a set with a lower weight.
I recommend that you always train together with a training partner during IK training (Find tips for your training partner). Especially with these high intensities, it can quickly happen that suddenly the strength is gone and you need help. A training partner then prevents worse things from happening and generally helps you to train more safely.
Especially with maximum strength training, a lot can go wrong here without a training partner.
How often should maximum strength be trained?
The frequency of maximum strength training can be questioned from two perspectives. First of all, the question arises of how often an IK training should be carried out per week. In addition, there is also the question at which intervals such a training plan should determine your strength training.
How often a week should you train your maximum strength?
For the training per training week, the most important thing is whether you Split training do or according to the principle of Full body workouts going ahead. With split training, you can of course train more often per week, as you split the muscle groups involved into different training days. Theoretically, it would also be possible to do an IK training every day of the week.
However, you should note that maximum strength training puts more stress on your muscles and your central nervous system than is the case with other types of training. This can mean that longer regeneration times are required.
You will quickly notice this if you are regularly powerless and exhausted and / or take steps backwards with your training. In this case, you should definitely allow your body a longer regeneration time. Especially if you have not done IK training before and are only now starting to train your maximum strength in a targeted manner, you should rather assume a longer regeneration of 72 to 96 hours in order to be on the safe side.
How often should you include IK training in your training plan?
How you can optimally train your maximum strength as part of your medium and long-term training planning and thus achieve your goals as quickly as possible, depends on many factors. First and foremost, your top training goal is important. But the observation period also plays a role.
As a rule of thumb to supplement your strength training with the goal of building muscle, it can be said that it makes sense to plan a cycle of IK training every 3-6 months.
I will probably deal with the topic of medium and long-term training planning in a few weeks in a separate article. To stay up to date you can register here for our newsletter.
How long should you train your maximum strength?
Again, this question has to be viewed in two parts. On the one hand, the optimal length or duration of a workout plays a role. On the other hand, many also ask themselves how many weeks or even months such a training plan with which one would like to train maximum strength in a targeted manner should be followed.
How long should a maximum strength workout last?
The optimal length of your IK training per training day depends on various factors. Above all, it also plays a role here again whether you do split training or full body training. If you want to train more muscles effectively, a workout will of course also be longer.
Basically, I would like to advise you not to overload your muscles with too many sets during IK training. Experience shows that you should be on the safe side with 8-12 sets for large muscle groups and 6-8 sets for small muscle groups. In addition, it makes sense to do 1-2 warm-up sets for each muscle group in order to prepare the muscles for the load.
If possible, you should also design your maximum strength workout in such a way that you stay under 60 minutes in total. The burden of this type of training is really high. You not only stress your muscles, tendons and joints, but also your central nervous system. This in turn can quickly lead to overtraining and thus to a drop in performance and other undesirable effects such as sleep problems, poor concentration and aching limbs. Therefore, you should not overdo it.
Keep your workout short and crisp when doing maximum strength training.
How many weeks should you train your maximum strength?
The length of a cycle in which you specifically train your maximum strength depends, like the frequency discussed above, heavily on your medium and long-term training plan and your training goals on which it is based.
As a rule of thumb, it can be said that it makes sense to plan your maximum strength cycle in such a way that you train maximum strength for at least 4 and at most 8-12 weeks.
Here, too, I refer to my soon to be published, extensive article on the subject of medium and long-term training planning.
One thing should have become clear: when you are making maximum progress with your strength training and Achieve your goals you should train your maximum strength regularly and in a targeted manner.
I hope with this article I was able to help you clear up some ambiguities around training maximum strength. Now it is up to you to use the information and benefit (even more) from the targeted use of IK training in the future.
And don't forget: your fitness is your health.
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