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Feb 17, 2017

Sled pulling, or in this case, car pulling is an excellent way to develop lower body strength.

When most people hear the term, 'strength training' they get an image of oversized bodybuilders lifting free weights to increase the size of their muscles. Muscular strength is the ability of muscles to generate a force against an external resistance. Did you realize that there are different types of strength training that can produce different effects on the body? On episode 29 of All About Fitness it's another Quick Fit Tip discussing the different types of strength training.

The text below outlines what I explain in the podcast, providing a little more detail with links to relevant blogs and articles I've written in the past. 

A motor unit is the connection between the nervous system and the muscles it controls; it is the motor neuron and the muscle fibers attached to it. When a motor unit is activated it will cause it's attached fibers to shorten and generate a force. To learn more about muscle motor units, read my blog here.

Hypertrophy is the technical term for increasing muscle size. Training for hypertrophy requires lifting a weight for a set of ten-to-fifteen reps until the muscle fatigues and is not able to perform another rep. Performing a higher rep range to fatigue will cause metabolic overload, the result of a muscle using all of its available glycogen to fuel the contractions. A muscle adapts by storing more glycogen which holds on to water resulting in an increase in muscle volume. To read more about metabolic overload, read this blog, and to learn seven techniques for promoting muscle growth click this link.

Strength training, lifting a moderate-to-heavy weight for up to eight reps, will increase the number of motor units recruited but not necessarily the size of the involved muscles. Have you ever felt your muscles shaking when moving a heavy weight? That is because heavier weights will activate more muscle motor units (and their attached fibers) increasing the electrical activity within that muscle creating the shaking sensation. To read about the different types of strength; check out this blog.

Power training should be done with lighter loads to allow you to move at the fastest speed possible. Power training increases the speed at which motor units are recruited and muscle fibers shortened, the result is the ability to generate a high amount of force in a short period of time. To read more about power training, follow this link.


Towing a heavy weight can improve strength; towing a light weight (less than 10% of bodyweight) can help improve speed and acceleration - there is a difference.

Powerlifting is the sport where participants compete to see who can lift the most amount of weight in three lifts: bench press, squat and deadlift. 

Weightlifting, commonly called Olympic weightlifting, is the sport where athletes compete to see who can lift the most weight in the snatch and clean-and-jerk. 

Here's the paradox: Powerlifting is test of maximum strength - the ability to lift the highest weight possible regardless of velocity while weightlifting is a test of explosive power - the ability to accelerate a weight at a high rate of speed.

To learn more about the the different types of strength training and how they affect your body, listen to episode 29 of All About Fitness.

To see myself and other guests teach live workshops on fitness techniques visit us at a SCW Fitness conference; use the code McCall17 to save money on registration.

Sponsors of All About Fitness:

SKLZ Performing products. Be ready! Use code PM30 to save 30% on your order.

ActivMotion Bar - let the resistance move you.

Terra Core by Vicore Fitness - Better products for better results! Use code AAF to save on the order of a Terra Core.

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