Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Overloading the strength curve

Ok so let me start this post by just defining the strength curve. The strength curve is a graphical representation of how the body generates force through a specific range of motion. Different exercises will train the muscles through different parts of the strength curve (low, mid, upper). Now, to thoroughly hit all fibres and really get the best from an exercise you need to overload the strength curve. By tweaking an exercise that let's say normally trains the muscle through the low range of the strength curve, you can work the same muscle through the mid-upper range. Let me further demonstrate this with an example aimed at working the biceps thoroughly...

1A: ez bar preacher curl holding onto straps
6-8 reps
2121 tempo
Strength curve target: mid-upper range 

1B: ez bar preacher curl
12 reps
2010 tempo
Strength curve target: low range

By holding onto straps and moving the weight of the ez bar outside the centre of gravity you'll work the biceps through a different range of the strength curve. Now that's how you really push 1 exercise to its limit!