notes from Mel Siff’s Supertraining book by Dan Gilliland
There are two basic forms of Strength Training, functional resistance training and structural resistance training. Functional training is used more for sport specific type training. Structural resistance training is more used for general muscle growth. Most bodybuilders follow structural resistance training. There is no 100% functional training. Metabolic change always happen so some structural training is always involved.
During strength training several metabolic changes are happening. Intermuscular coordination, intramuscular coordination, facilitatory and inhibitory reflexes and motor learning.
Intermuscular coordination is the synchronisation or sequence of action between different muscle groups producing a joint movement. Certain muscle can be inhibited or disinhibited to help achieve the movement.
Intramuscular coordination of muscle fibers is caused by either of these 3 methods, number coding, rate encoding or pattern encoding. Number encoding is the control of muscle tension by activating or deactivating a specific amount of muscle fibers. Rate encoding controls the amount of tension by modifying the frequency of muscle fibers firing. Pattern encoding controls the muscular tension by synchronization of the firing of different muscle fiber types.
Facilitatory and inhibitory reflexes regulate intra and inter-muscular coordination by promoting adaptive changes in our reflex systems.
Motor learning is the mind/body connection involving specific movements. Skill increases as intensity increases because conditions change under increasing load.
Strength Training involves an even increasing amount of muscular coordination caused by both the growth of more muscle or greater neural coordination. There are many different aspects of how coordination can be achieved. It is important to understand how coordination is achieved because differing training methods will effect these methods differently. Our bodies adapt very quickly to training stimulus. Understanding how to leverage the different aspects of adaptation will lead to always being ahead of the adaptive curve. Building a foundation using our neural adaptive skills will propel us forward to success in our strength training goals.