Let’s use the barbell squat as an example. Say you decided to use a weight of 80–100 percent and performsets of 1–3 reps for 4–8 sets with rest intervals of 3–4 minutes. In this case, you would be training for maximal strength and explosive strength against a great external opposition. Let’s say that you used 70–80percent for 3–6 sets of 6–12 reps with rest intervals of 1–2 minutes. This same squat would now becontributing to the development of maximal strength and hypertrophy as opposed to explosive strength. Now,let’s say that you use a weight of 30–60 percent and perform 2–4 sets of 30–50 repetitions with rest intervalsof 45–90 seconds. You would now be working muscular endurance against a moderate external opposition.Keeping the bar weight in a similar range of 30–60 percent but performing 4–6 sets of 10–15 reps with restintervals of 3–4 minutes would produce a different effect of high-speed movements against a low externalopposition. As you can see, a barbell squat isn’t simply a barbell squat in terms of training effects. Thedifference in volume, intensity, duration of work, and duration of rest intervals changes the direction of thetraining effect.On page 58 of the aforementioned Verkhoshansky manual, the following quote appears: “The rest pause is themost important element of the training method. The length of rest period determines a specific organism’sfunctional reaction to the entire volume of exercises’ work.” Basically, different work to rest ratios will result indifferent training effects. This must be kept in mind when designing the training program and often can getoverlooked by many other variables. However, it should be a priority to have this in order before worrying aboutwhich bar or box height you’ll be using. While this seems like common place knowledge, many blow this off andget substandard results for the amount of effort put into other areas.
Adjusting muscle work regimes
Another variation that can be made rather simply is the muscle work regime that an exercise is performed with.Bondarchuk states the following in
Transfer of Training Vol. II
(page 39): “A definite effect on separate brainstructures is seen by the use of different muscle work regimes.” This has also been referenced by NataliaVerkhoshansky and Buddy Morris on the elitefts™ Q&A, and Cal Dietz has covered these in-depth in his book
.Some may be asking, what the hell is a muscle work regime? We could define these as the following:Yielding/eccentric: In ‘broscience’ terms, this is the “negative.” This is the lowering phase of the exercise.Overcoming/concentric: To put it simply, this is the way up (the positive) or the side many focus on.Isometric: This is strength effort without muscle shortening. The muscle is under tension but nomovement is visible.