How to Get Stronger
Although strength does not necessarily mean that we are going to have a ripped look, it is definitely of great importance when it comes to our training because it signifies whether we are improving or not.
Strength also means that not only are our muscles stronger but the joints and supporting connective tissues so that we are less prone to injuries especially when playing sports or participating in other activities.
Let’s look at the most important fundamentals when it comes to training to increase strength so we get better results form our workouts and make sure we don’t get into a frustrating plateau.
How to Get Stronger
The first and most important thing to keep in mind in order to get stronger is that you will need to push your muscles in one of two different ways.
The first way is to go super heavy and aim for about 6-8 repetitions of any exercise. Since this will put an excess amount of weight on your muscle fibers, it will force them to have microtears and build more muscle so you can adapt to doing that exercise again.
Without a doubt this is the most effective way to increase strength, but it definitely can take a toll on you. Therefore it is imperative that you are supplementing with a high quality protein (my newest favorite is Optimum Platinum Hydrowhey because it tastes great and is easy to absorb) and making sure that your body is getting enough amino acids to repair the tissues.
Including a BCAA like Muscle Pharm Recon is also extremely powerful after your workouts because it has the right formula to refuel, replenish and rebuild immediately after your workouts. In other words, together the protein and the BCAA will give you WOW results especially when it comes to getting stronger.
Now the other method to strength gains is simply doing more reps or sets each exercise. For instance, you can start with doing 2 sets of 12, then work your way up week by week to get to 4 sets of 15. The key here is that you notice that if you are lifting 10lbs in the first week that means you are in total going 2 x 12 x 10 = 240 lbs. In the end you are doing 4 x 15 x 10 = 600 lbs in total. Do you see now the added stress which is being placed on your muscles?
How to Get Stronger: Advanced Strategy
In terms of an advanced strategy with respect to getting stronger there is one question I get a lot from both men and women saying that they simply get stuck at a level and can’t push through it.
My question to them is quickly, how have you varied the exercise for that muscle group? If you’re like them you most likely have done the same type of exercises over and over again and you need to think a little outside the box to jumpstart the strength wagon.
For instance, say you have been stuck with the strength in your shoulders. It’s time for some new variations in your movement. If you’ve been doing shoulder presses with dummbells, try switching to a barbell, or try the Arnold press ( refer to photo here ).
How to Get Stronger: Watching Your Form
Let’s take this even further. If you are stuck with building strength in your legs how consistent have you been with doing squats and making sure that you are coming down low enough so that your butt would be almost sitting on a bench if there was a bench behind you?
Watching that you have proper form is especially important when it comes to building strength as many times other supporting muscles come into play to take the weight off the area we are really trying to focus on.
Make sure you watch your form in the mirror and especially with your joints. For almost all exercises your movement should be happening around the joint, and not the joint itself moving.
Let me exemplify by talking about bicep curls. In this case, your elbow is the focal point or the joint and you should be doing your best not to move it or bring in your shoulders to cause a swinging motion. Keep your elbows tucked in right next to your body and move the dumbbells up.
How to Get Stronger: Variation in Supplementation
We all know by now that we can leverage supplements to help us with our weight training goals and one thing that often gets overlooked is cycling supplements so your body doesn’t get used to it. A general rule of thumb is taking a supp for 12 weeks and then taking 2 weeks off.
This simple tip will allow your body to reset itself and when you come back into the routine you will see a pretty awesome difference and particularly with strength.
You can also switch from one supplement to another to take this rule even further. For example if you are taking a creatine supplement like Gaspari Nutrition SuperPump MAX then try switching to a more nitric oxide focused supplement to keep the pump and strength gains like USPLabs Jack3d.
Similarly, if you’re trying to keep your metabolism high you can switch from an intense burner like USPlabs OxyELITE Pro to a simple green tea extract like NOW Green Tea Extract. Easy enough and allows you to keep the momentum going.
Have any questions or feedback about Strength Gains? Please leave me a comment below…