The Radical weight training system uses the best types of training, tools and methods from the Iron Game.
This is the type of training is used by top strength coaches in what is called periodization or phase training programs to build muscle, strength, power and speed – to support optimum sports and athletic performance.
The Iron Game family consists of bodybuilding, powerlifting and olympic weightlifting. The last part of this weight training system is plyometrics.
Each one of these methods will give you adaptations in different strength qualities such as increased muscle mass, strength, speed, power and endurance.
By using this weight training system and the different methods it contains in different phases of time you will enhance whichever strength quality you are targeting.
The Radical Weight Training System
The first method in this weight training system is bodybuilding which is the fitness and muscular development method and its main goals are hypertrophy, physique competition and general fitness.
It is generally thought that great size and muscle mass relates to strength in sports such as wrestling, rugby and combat sports.
If that were true how come top olympic weightlifters continually increase their strength from year to year but their body weight stays the same?
The fact is that it is training volume (the higher rep ranges that are used in bodybuilding training) that increases muscle size while intensity (the amount of weight lifted – like the method used in powerlifting) increases strength.
Bodybuilding is usually void of any explosive movements and really heavy loads in its arsenal and instead relies on intensities that are between 60-80% of your one rep maximums 1RM.
But even if you are only interested in the muscle growth that bodybuilding routines bring you should still use explosive and strength exercises in different phases because these movements increase peak strength, soft tissue strength, neural drive and power .
This will make you a bigger animal because more repetitions with heavier loads is known to hypertrophy muscle and connective tissue.
This should be of great interest to you if you are a bodybuilder because more muscle means more size no matter which muscle fibres grow.
And it is strength and explosive exercises that will hypertrophy your type 2b muscle fibres – bodybuilding training won’t.
Conversely, if you have no aspirations to be a bodybuilder you should still use bodybuilding training because it is a very healthy form exercise and is a great tool for adding cross sectional muscle to your frame.
And anyone with a strong will and perseverance anyone can totally reshape and improve their body and health.
When used in phase training it is excellent for a general preparation phase, for creating structural balance and for readying the body for more intensive and heavier resistance.
The second member of the Iron Game family in the Radical Weight Training System is powerlifting.
This method is absent of ballistic and explosive movements simply because the loads used with these lifts are too heavy and prevent the load from moving fast.
The three lifts that are used in powerlifting are the squat, deadlift and bench press.
Training with heavy loads (5 rep maximums and under) increases strength and when training with these higher intensities you can’t perform the higher volume of reps that are performed in bodybuilding training.
As Anthony Dittillo said ‘you do a lot of work or you can do hard work you can’t do both’.
These types of exercises recruit large amounts of muscle (the type 2b variety) and are excellent for increasing strength.
The low rep, heavy weight exercises like those used in power lifting will cause muscle to hypertrophy in spite of the general opinion that low rep heavy training will only increase strength.
Granted power lifting training won’t give you the same swelled muscle gains that bodybuilding will give you but it will hypertrophy your fast twitch muscle fibres and these fibres are the most functional in the sporting arena.
But it is also worth mentioning that performing assistance exercises at higher reps ranges will readily increase muscle mass.
Another fallacy is that heavy lifting will reduce flexibility and speed.
World class Olympic lifters either match or outperform top level sprinters over short sprints of up to 30 metres.
And in studies of gymnasts and olympic lifters who lift with very high loads it was showed that they were the supplest of all athletes.
This has been supported by Russian research which showed that heavy resistance training with full range of motion is the best way of developing functional flexibility.
The last member of the Iron Game family which is excellent for developing strength and power in a functional way is – Olympic weightlifting.
Weightlifting is one of the sports that has been represented from the start in the summer Olympics games since 1896.
Weightlifting used to be compromised of the press, the clean and jerk and the snatch but now consists of only two lifts – the snatch and the clean and jerk. The last time the press was involved was the Munich summer Olympics in 1972.
But again, you don’t need to be a competitive weightlifter to use these excellent exercises and their many assistance exercises.
Weightlifting is used as a big part of sports conditioning for athletes these days after research into physiology of strength and explosive movement has proved how useful it is in enhancing athletic performance however.
In the USA powerlifting was the prevalent method of training for sports conditioning in the earliest times of resistance training for sports. Practically the only sport that used powerlifting to enhance performance was American football.
Then over time translations and relations with Eastern European coaches and methods saw the inclusion of weightlifting for sports performance.
The most beneficial variations of the snatch and the clean and jerk and their assistance exercises should be chosen for each individual and their sport.
Also, there is the right time to use these exercises such as when you want to develop your power and explosiveness.
So this type of training wouldn’t be used in a general preparation phase (that is where you would use bodybuilding type training)where you are trying to build balance and add some cross sectional muscle mass although weightlifting can cause a certain degree of functional hypertrophy.
Sports that benefit enormously from weightlifting and its variations are track and field, tennis, soccer, rugby, baseball, basketball, wrestling, boxing and many more.
But don’t bypass weightlifting because you’re not an athlete – it is an excellent tool for promoting general health and fitness and for keeping you in prime athletic condition.
And because using the extensive variation of exercises used in olympic lifting will enhance power, speed, flexibility, acceleration, velocity, rehabilitation, injury prevention, muscular endurance as well as tendon and ligament strength.
So whether you’re an athlete, weekend warrior or someone who wants to stay strong, healthy and athletic – I strongly advise you to include weight lifting workout routines in your overall periodisation plan.
The last part of the system is plyometrics which comes from the greek word plio (more) and metric (to measure) – so plyometrics literally means to increase measure.
Plyometrics enables a muscle group or muscle to reach its maximum output of force in the shortest possible time.
Modern plyometrics was developed by Russian Professor Yuri Verkhoshansky to improve the speed/strength of the Soviet athletes.
A plyometric activity must include what is known as the stretch shortening cycle which means – the process of eccentrically loading the muscle followed by the concentric action and the initial eccentric loading allows the following concentric action to be more than what it could produce alone.
Strength coaches relate the te
plyometrics to the movements or exercises that are identifiable powerful contractions such as jumping, bounding, skipping, twisting, turning, thrusting, crunching, pushing, tossing and throwing involving muscles of the upper body, lower body and midsection.
These muscle actions intensively stimulate an athletes fast twitch or type 2b muscle fibres.
This type of training can really put the finishing touches to an athlete that has used the Iron Game methods I have described in this article.
So the Radical Weight Training System includes everything you need to transform yourself into a bigger, stronger, faster, and more powerful athlete.
Though if you’re only interested in looking good – these methods will turn you into and Adonis.
All you need to do is decide what and where you want to be and carefully plan your training – then execute your plan.
Concentrate on different strength qualities (muscle growth, strength, speed, power etc) in different mesocycles (usually a 4-6 week period) throughout the year and use the four methods I have outlined above.
I think you’ll be literally amazed at what you can achieve in your physique and sporting performance goals with this weight training system.