Is Your Training Technique Right?
A proper training technique is crucial in achieving optimal results regarding hypertrophic strength training. Training technique refers to the position of the torso and limbs during an exercise and affects the ability to apply a mechanical load to the desired target muscle. In addition, a proper training technique is essential for monitoring and implementing progressive overload, which is necessary for muscle growth (Schoenfeld 2010).
To facilitate monitoring progressive overload, exercises that are easy to standardize, such as exercises on cable or machine, can be selected. However, stabilizing training techniques and range of motion can be more challenging for squats, bends, lunges, and similar exercises (Beardsley, 2019).
Attention orientation is also crucial in performance techniques. It refers to where an individual focuses their attention during an exercise, either internally or externally. Using an external focus of attention has often led to better motor learning and performance results. On the other hand, the mind-muscle connection, a strategy of internal focus of attention, has been found to lead to greater activation of the target muscle than external attention. However, the effectiveness of using the internal focus of attention decreases when using heavy loads (Schoenfeld & Contreras, 2016).
Muscle work can be divided into dynamic and isometric, with dynamic being further divided into concentric and eccentric muscle work. You should include concentric and eccentric muscle work in training for muscle growth since they complement each other. For example, eccentric exercise may cause a more significant growth in muscle cell length and the distal part of the muscle. In contrast, concentric exercise may cause greater growth in muscle cell thickness and the proximal and medial parts of the muscle (Beardsley, 2019).
The effectiveness of isometric work in providing additional benefits to muscle growth when combined with dynamic muscle work is still unclear. However, stopping repetitions while the muscle is in a prolonged state may be a better exchange condition for muscle growth than repetitions performed without stopping (Wolf, 2023).
The proper training technique and coach can also impact activating the target muscle more efficiently. For example, Snyder and Leech (2009) found that touching the target muscle with the hand of an outsider during a movement and being instructed on the correct execution of the movement resulted in greater muscle activity in the latissimus dorsi muscle in beginners.
In conclusion, good performance technique is essential for achieving optimal results in hypertrophic strength training. Stabilizing training techniques is necessary for monitoring and implementing progressive overload, while attention orientation plays a crucial role in the effectiveness of the mind-muscle connection. Including concentric and eccentric muscle work in training is essential for muscle growth, while the significance of isometric work is still unclear. By understanding the role of training techniques in hypertrophic strength training, individuals can optimize their training programs and achieve their muscle growth goals.
Beardsley, C. (2019). Hypertrophy: Muscle fiber growth caused by mechanical tension. Strength and Conditioning Research Limited.
Schoenfeld, B. 2010. The mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy and their application to resistance training. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 24(10), 2857-2872.
Schoenfeld, B. J., & Contreras, B. (2016). Attentional focus for maximizing muscle development: The mind-muscle connection. Strength & Conditioning Journal, 38(1), 27-29.
Snyder, B. & Leech, J. 2009. Voluntary increase in latissimus dorsi muscle activity during the lat pull-down following expert instruction. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 23(8), 2204-2209.
Wolf, M., Androulakis-Korakakis, P., Fisher, J., Schoenfeld, B., & Steele, J. (2023). Partial vs full range of motion resistance training: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Strength and Conditioning, 3(1).