You find that you’re not going up in weight efficiently enough? Have you checked your diet? Is it in check? If you said yes to these questions, then if it isn’t your diet, then you need to start incorporating strength training routines into your training sessions.
If it is that your diet isn’t in check, and you’re not getting enough calories, that majority of the time is the reason people aren’t gaining strength, especially if they are bulking. If your whole routine was to strength train, I doubt you’d be having much problems in this area, unless you’ve reached some high numbers and need to break through a plateau. This article isn’t about breaking plateaus at those numbers, but rather just a regular desire to gain strength while gaining muscle mass.
I am sure this peaks your interest, so keep reading!
The best way to gain strength, is to incorporate heavy weights with low reps, for a multiple of sets. Example would be if you’re trying to gain strength in the Tricep pushdown area. You can start your tricep workout with the pushdown machine, and gradually move up. Start with a weight you can do 15 reps with, with ease. Move down in reps in increments like 12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps, 6 reps and finally 5 reps. The last rep would be the lowest one, with the highest weight possible. I tend to push 180 lbs, for about 5 to 6 reps.
Every time you’re entering a set for a particular exercise and muscle group, incorporating this method will help in increasing strength. Also, remember you are not going to go from say, 40 lb dumbbells on your bench press to 45 lbs, and do 10 reps with the latter. You have to start off small and build up. Every week you are attempting to push that 45 lbs dumbbells on the bench press exercise, increase by 1 rep. So the starting week you only push out about 5, if that much. The next week, push out 6. Maybe just do 10 reps of the 40s, and for 1 set, instead of doing 2 sets. Or, just to 8 reps. Remember hypertrophy occurs between 8 to 10 reps. So even if you’re doing 40s for 8 reps instead of the 10 you’re accustom doing, you will still cause growth to occur with your muscles. The reason for this, is to allow some window of strength to be remain, to push the 45s. Over exhausting yourself, you’re not going to be able to push out that 6 reps, unless you have a spotter. Even then, 45s is small weight. It’s not really spotters region but if you need one, don’t be ashamed to ask for one!
Finally, one major routine that works for gaining strength is the 5×5 routine. You do 5 sets, for 5 reps, with some heavy weights. This is to promote strength and is generally the routine used by many bodybuilders and trainers alike, to add weight to their lifts.
One more thing before I end this short post about strength gaining. Try to workout on your forearms and get your grip to be secure when working out. A lot of our discomfort or fear of pushing certain amount of weight, is the inability to support it. If you have strong forearms, you’re able to hold on to your weight tighter and able to pull or push them with much more confidence. But that’s for another topic.
So remember, incorporate low rep and heavy weight training into your current workout, or you can have a week for hypertrophy training and a week for strength training, incorporating the 5×5 routine. Try to focus on compound workouts when doing the 5×5, you don’t have to, but this helps for overall strength gains that can be carried over to the other types of exercises.Read More »