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Key Pillars of any Fitness Regime

Updated: Jul 11, 2020

Strength | Power | Speed | Agility


Being strong is having the ability to withstand a great amount of pressure or force. Carrying loads of groceries, pushing your car that has stopped in the middle of the road, or just carrying your kids. You need strength for all of these day to day tasks. Strength training is any physical activity that lets you exercise against external resistance, including free-weights, weight machines, or your own body weight. No matter what kind of resistance you use, putting more than the usual amount of load on your muscles makes them stronger. The idea is to load and overload the muscle so it needs to adapt and get stronger.


Strength training should be focused on safely lifting heavier and adhering to progressive overload, tear the muscle fibres and stimulate muscle growth.


Choose a weight or resistance level heavy enough to tire your muscles after about 8 to 10 repetitions. When you can easily do more repetitions of a certain exercise, gradually increase the weight or resistance.

Go progressively heavy, go slow, keep adding resistance, go to failure.


Power training is aimed at increasing power, which is the product of both strength and speed. The element of speed is critical to maximizing the effect of power training. Performing an explosive rep/s allows you to fully express your power by accelerating through the rep/s. If strength can enable you to push the car out of traffic, it is power that lets you go over a hump or the last mile. Think about a sprinter taking off , that is all power!


Activate fast-twitch motor units, which are capable of conducting signals at higher velocities. They are better suited to anaerobic strength and power-based activities because they attach to type II muscle fibres, which have the ability to produce a high amount of force in a short period of time. Type II fibres are also responsible for providing a muscle with its shape and size, which makes power training an effective strategy for improving aesthetic appearance. It also Increases blood flow and pumps the cell size.


Power training should be kept to around 7-8 explosive, crisp reps. This is not a move you want to take to failure.

75% Heavy and Fast. 75% of failure.


As opposed to Hyperplasia, which is the increase in the number of cells, Hypertrophy is the increase in the size of the cell itself. For hypertrophy to work we need to have the right amount of stimulus, adapt to that stimulus and in order to adapt we need to overload the muscle. Increased levels of tension through right kind of stimulus and overload will lead to increase in the cross-sectional diameter of muscle fibres damage (in this context, it’s a good thing). Muscle damage by the eccentric load causing micro tearing will lead to better and thicker muscle fibres (bigger muscles).


Muscle Tension, Muscle Damage and Metabolic Stress leads to bigger muscles.


For hypertrophy the most effective techniques used for achieving muscle growth is eccentric overload. The idea is to train not just to failure but through failure which provides increased intensity that will assist with stimulating growth. Light to medium weights and fast on concentric and very slow on eccentric. Focus on greater eccentric stretch on the muscles, which is a known stimulus for muscle growth and size. Another option is to do drop sets. Our muscles might be fatigued with a certain weight but it still has enough juice left in it to go bit further with lighter weights letting you push yourself through failure.

Start off with 50-60% of your 1 rep max, go hard on your concentric and real nice and slow on the eccentric part for 5-8 Reps and work your way up to 80-90% of your 1 rep max for 2-3 Reps or start off heavy and keep dropping 20% of the weight once you reached failure and keep going until you cannot lift no more.


Metabolic training is doing specific intense workouts in short intervals to increase the efficiency of your body's metabolism (hence "metabolic" training). This trains your body to burn more calories at rest - a phenomenon sometimes referred to as "afterburn" since your body is burning calories even after you've worked out. Metabolic damage created, signals the body to increase levels of the anabolic hormones testosterone, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor, which leads to more fat loss, bigger muscles and better VO2 Max.


The goal for creating overload is to get to the point of muscle burn and find a way to sustain it. Think of trainings like HIIT. The idea is to get the best bang for your buck! Maximise calorie burn both during and after the workout through EPOC (Excess post exercise oxygen consumption). EPOC is the amount of oxygen required to restore your body to its normal, resting level of metabolic function.


Try incorporating all parts of the muscle (ex: Upper/Lower body workouts) which induces lactic acid buildup and muscle fibre destruction (again not a bad thing in this context). Like hypertrophy utilize the concept of training through failure by using the metabolite build up to induce muscular stress. Any drop set reps going from move to move without stopping will create a significant lactic acid build up. Its not about seeking the burn but rather reveling in the burn.

Go hard and keep it short. Incorporate entire body.


Good form helps the body to function effectively and will minimize muscle strain and injury. Most injuries sustained during a workout is due to lack of correct form. Exercises to correct and tackle muscle weaknesses and any form issues are a must in a workout routine. During exercise, bad form leads to improper positioning of the organs. Its not just about straining your back, proper posture helps your body evenly displace weights and pressure so that the areas we are trying to work on get the maximum benefit rather than causing injuries.

Having your knees inwards while doing squats or locking the joints while lifting etc can have a detrimental effect on joints, heart etc. Considering there are a lot of arteries around joints, it could put unnecessary pressure on the heart and thereby impacting not just your heart but your performance as well.


Function effectively and minimize muscle strain and injuries.


Take the time to learn proper body alignment and be mindful about how your body is feeling. Pain could be an indicator of incorrect form or posture. Back straight, neck in line with your spine, shoulders back, relaxed and down, knees are relaxed and unlocked.

Engage and pay attention. Exercises to correct and tackle muscle weaknesses and any form issues.


Last but not least by any means. How you breathe during a workout is super important and makes a ton of a difference. Paying close attention to how you breathe, how often and the quality of each breath can yield better results. After all, the main purpose of breathing is to provide oxygen to your cells, so modulating and controlling the very thing that has a direct impact on your workouts needs to be given its due attention.

Breathing needs a blog on its own so for now lets just say breathing should not be taken lightly and should be one of our main focuses both during exercise and in general.


More activity we do the higher the need for oxygen, so the more efficiently we can deliver this oxygen to the muscles the better the performance and end results. It can help us lift heavier, better endurance and faster recovery between reps, change blood ph and even lactic acid shuttling.


Well this varies depending upon the type of workout. For Aerobic type of workouts like HIIT, quick breaths would be ideal. The idea here is to maintain optimal oxygen levels to support muscle. For endurance related training; even, consistent breaths as opposed to shallow breaths would be better. For low intensity workouts like Yoga, Pilates etc longer, deeper breaths would be ideal. An elongated breathing pattern can release tension and help you better move through a full range of motion.

Slow, Steady and Deep. Fast, Hard and Shallow.

So whatever your end goal is. So be it to lose weight, put on some bulk, get ripped, increase your endurance or simply to get/stay fit. Incorporating some or all of these elements to varying degrees should help in reaching your goal...

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