I have yet to have anyone complain to me that they were too strong and honestly who wouldn’t want to be strong enough to do just about anything that life throws at them.
Now the question comes up… how do you get ‘strong’?
Well the solution sounds easy doesn’t’ it; just lift more weight every time and you’ll get strong, but really how many people are doing that on a consistent basis?
Are you breaking records every week?
Are you where you want to be in strength or at least are you well on your way?
Why be ‘strong’?
Before I go any further I typically get an answer from a few people that I speak with that say they don’t care whether they are strong just as long as they look good and honestly I can understand that.
After talking with these people what I get from them is that their opinion of strong is either the fat strong guy in the gym, the power lifter or a strongman. Other words they see and define strong as not shapely or aesthetically pleasing.
True, there are some people that are ONLY concerned with strength and that is their one goal, this is perfectly fine, but there are those that want to look good while lifting some heavy weight (I’m raising my hand right now lol).
You may be one of those individuals that have magazine pictures on the fridge of their physique idols and I can tell you after talking and meeting some of my physique ideals they are NOT weak; these people (most impressively the female athletes) are STRONG and can put most into the ground with their work ethic.
In addition look at some of your physique idols key body parts; I’m pretty sure there is a strong correlation with strength and their muscular development.
As the former Mr. Olympia Ronnie Coleman was quoted saying, “Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder but nobody wants to lift no heavy ass weight!” <=== Always a great tweet
From my experience you can’t grow or develop a muscle, or let alone your body, without first getting strong and most importantly getting that muscle strong(er).
How to get strong(er)
The crazy thing is that there is no secret on how to get stronger and in fact it was just stated earlier in the blog… every time you just need to lift more than you did last time.
Easier to say than it is to do, I know.
So here are some tips that I personally use to help my clients start breaking records on a weekly basis which in turn leads to some impressive physique developments.
1. Keep a log of your workout
I can’t tell you how many times I see people not keep track of what they did in their last workout, how do you expect to get better if you don’t record and remember your previous workouts.
You don’t get faster by just guessing at your time you did in the mile, you remember your time and you strive to beat it next time.
This is one thing that I do give Crossfit credit for is that they are sticklers for keeping track of your your training so you can beat that time in the next go around.
So get a log book or even use your phone but log your numbers (sets, reps, weight, etc…)
2. Beat your numbers from last week
Well duh Travis!
Now before we go further decide HOW you want to beat your numbers. Do you want to by your numbers by 1 more rep, 5 more lbs or even 1 more set?
THAT is the key!
Lets say that you did squats for 3 sets of 135lbs for 12 reps last week so this week you need see HOW you can beat that. Did you want to do 3 sets of 145lbs for 12 reps, or 135lbs for 13 reps, do 4 sets instead of 3, or hell how about all three.
If you accomplish that you got stronger. Then the key is the beat it again next week, then the following week, then again…
Uh oh… $hit just got real now 😉
3. Fix your weak points
Sometimes no matter how hard you try you just end up getting stuck with a lift, we have all been through this. There is a limit on how strong we can get in a particular lift at one given time period before the nervous system says that is has had enough, or injuries begin to ensue.
So in this case you want to assess your lift, whatever it may be, and figure out what your sticking point it and fix it.
Some example could be:
- Are you weak off the chest in bench press? Do more flat dumbbell work.
- Lose your balance in lunges with heavy weight? Work your stability and balancing patterns.
- Hands give out in deadlifting? Work your grip.
Yes you may feel like you taking a step back and working on something that you may not even be concerned with but what will end up happening is that when you address your weak point then go back to the exercise that you were working on you will notice that you should just blow it out of the water. Then you’re able to lift more, overload the muscle you want and get the results you were looking for… along with some significant soreness. You’re welcome 😉
So if you want to bring up a body part here is in order what I want you to do:
- Start keeping track of your workouts
- Assess your weak points and address them in your next workout
- Beat your numbers in your following workout by either sets, reps or weight.
I can PROMISE you that if you starting beating your numbers, especially with the body part that you want to get better, you WILL see a noticeable difference in the way your physique looks.
In Health and Awesomeness,
Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, CES, RBT is the owner of Fitness Revolution in Rowlett, TX.
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