What training strategies are you using with clients who want to build maximal strength?

Researchers at Sheffield Hallam University, in England, reviewed 22 studies that focused on improving maximal strength over a period of at least 4 weeks. The studies observed a total of 761 participants, the majority of whom were untrained or detrained. Analysis revealed many differences among training approaches and theories regarding the physiological mechanisms related to maximal strength gains.

Findings indicated that lower-body and multijoint exercises appear to be more appropriate for developing maximal strength than single-joint, isolated, upper-body exercises. Programming training loads based on percentages of a one-repetition maximum seems to be a better way to improve maximal strength than setting repetition maximum targets.

Read the full study in Sports Medicine (2019; 50 [5], 919–30).