How do we get strong? Remember that strength training is a neural quality (it comes from the brain) so chasing soreness and doing high rep sets may not be the most efficient path to success. Here’s a few guidelines on how to get stronger: • Keep the reps low – anywhere from 1-5reps
• Increase the amount of sets – instead of 3 sets of 10, do 10 sets of 3 with a heavier weight
• Extend your rest periods – anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes is sufficient when the goal is strength (if you’re puffing before the next set, you haven’t rested enough).
• Use compound movements (multi-joint) – such as the deadlift, squat, bench press, chin-up
• Focus on adding load / weight – aim for the small increases each week, I like to focus on adding 2.5kgs to my main lifts each week
• Learn how to breathe and brace properly – breathe deep into your belly, brace through your midline (refer to earlier post on how to brace), grip the bar as tight as you can and lift. This prevents energy leakage and a more efficient, stronger lift.
Here’s what NOT to do: • Do 3 sets of 10 on every exercise
• Rest less than 1 minute between sets
• Perform each set until failure
• Measure the success of each training session on how sore you are the next day
• Chase ‘the pump’
• Perform isolation exercises There’s a time and a place for 3 sets of 10 or doing sets until failure on an isolation exercise in your training. But when the focus is on getting strong, it’s not ideal. Keep your main strength lifts 1-10 sets of 1-5 reps. Accessory movements such as the bicep curl and calf raise can be added at the end of the session for other reasons such as hypertrophy (muscle growth) and prehab work. In the end, getting strong comes down to lifting heavier weights. Use the guidelines in this post to help you on your way and feel free to message us if you have any questions or concerns. #one22