Muscular Strength & Endurance – Creating a Fun and Effective Program
Building muscle doesn’t have to be tedious or boring. All it takes is a little planning and creativity.
Just about everyone understands the basics of muscular strength and muscular endurance training. Many fitness professionals create a plan working the larger muscles before the medium sized muscles, and then the smaller muscles. That’s fine. It’s recommended with the Outdoor Fitness program to save core work for the end. That’s because working outside, maneuvering over the irregular terrain requires support from the deep stability muscles of the core – at all times. So in general, it’s a good idea to save the core exercises towards the end of the workout.
Design Your Resistance Training Program
Include a variety of functional movements and exercises that challenge your body and how it was built to engage with the world.
Body Weight and Gravity
Select exercises such as squats, lunges, tree sits and triceps dips.
Exercises such as push ups, one-armed chest presses, and the overhead press, use the body’s “pushing muscles.”
Choose exercises such as pull-ups, low rows and biceps curls to challenge the body’s pulling muscles.
Develop exercises for the lower body and an upper body at the same time (with stability coming from the core). For example, combine an overhead reach with a lunge.
Create two exercises out of one repetition such as a row to a triceps kickback.
Achieve Balance – Work Opposing Muscle Groups
Achieve muscular balance by working opposing muscle groups. For example:
• Erector Spinae/Abdominals
Vary the Tempo
Vary the count of an exercise. For example, for a squat, use a 3:1:3 counting sequence: Three counts down into the squat, hold for one count and continue with three counts on the return trip up. For a walking lunge, try a 3:2:1 combination: Three counts down, hold for two, and one count up.