Strength is the foundation for any common physical activity – like running around the football game with friends. And also for some unusual ones – like a hop on a 1.5m box.
And by “force,” we are not just talking about the capacity and size of muscles. When you get really strong, losing weight is much easier, running faster, training heavier, etc.
So no matter what your goal in the gym: you need to train strength. And that does not mean doing a workout like CrossFit – quite the contrary, although it is an option.
Here are 10 tips for working your strength and getting much faster on your goals at the gym – whatever they are.
7 KEY STRATEGIES FOR SIGNIFICANT STRENGTH GAINS IN TRAINING
1 – Master the “G4”
Squats, ground lifting, bench press and development are the best exercises to build strength. Score.
Fixed bar and rowing are also good, and recommended, but should not be the focus of your workout – they can be great after workouts, to complement the “G4” and work pull movements to balance those of pushing.
2- Bars first
Leave the news aside. The bar is the protagonist, the dumbbells the coadjuvants and all the rest is just figuration – they have their place, but they are not essential.
Begin your workout always with barbell exercises, like those of the “G4” mentioned above. The bar is great because it allows for high loads, and this is an important step in strength training.
After doing the heavier exercises, then yes you can go for dumbbells, kettlebells, body weight, etc.
3- Make five
The ideal is to vary the number of repetitions, but the series of 5 reps tend to offer the best combination of muscle gain and strength.
So try to use this number in most series.
Also because when you do very heavy exercises, like those of the “G4”, your form tends to get worse after the 5 repetition, which compromises the results and your health – this of course, considering that in strength training the loads are high .
READ MORE: 50 Cent rapper’s strength and endurance training
READ MORE: 5 reasons to put the front squat in your workout
READ MORE: Study answers the relationship between music and athletic performance
4- Quiet with the load
Possibly the number 1 cause of stagnation is to lift loads very elavated for a long time.
Leave the ego aside and train with a little less than you could handle for that series – 10% “discount”, for example, but not more than 5 kilos.
So you will hardly reach the plateau and stop making gains.
5- Think HIIT
Cardio is essential to keep your body fat index low, and also good health. But running or cycling long distances is not the best option because it compromises muscle gain.
To get strong, big muscles while getting rid of fat, opt for short sessions of high-intensity cardio – HIITs are great for that.
And even in HIITs, do not abuse it. You do not have to end your workout completely exhausted. Start slowly and continue to extend your HIIT with each session.
6- Balance the workout – and the body
You need to sit down with a physical education professional and set up a well-balanced workout with exercises that complement each other and prevent the sides or parts of your body from becoming unequal.
For example, if you do a squat, which focuses a lot on the quadriceps, also do the Stiff, or any other work that works posterior thigh, to avoid an unbalanced leg.
If you train too much pectoral, pay attention also to the back. And so on.
This “compensation” job does not have to be done in the same session, but it needs to exist, preferably in the same week.
The balance of training – and the body – is one more reason for you to just mount your workouts with support from a specialist.
7- Technique is the key word
The good execution of the movements is essential in any training, of any modality, whatever its objective. But in training focusing on strength gain, it’s even more important.
This is because you will do complex exercises and, more than that, will use high loads.
And it has an important point: as the main exercises of this type of training are some of the most popular ones – the exercises of the “G4” – everybody thinks that it dominates the technique.
But in reality it is not quite like this, especially with high loads.
So even if you already have experience and are an advanced athlete, always ask for the supervision of a specialist to improve the technique and the execution of the movements, to do the exercises to perfection.
This is key and can make all the difference between having the expected results or not.
Of course, in addition to these tips, there are other things you need to do to have significant strength gains and that positively influence your goal in the gym.
An obvious example is self-control: if you exaggerate the dose, it will compromise everything. As the workout is heavy, it needs to be short – 3 or 4 exercises a day is a good number.
Other important tips include keeping a “diary” of the workout, to keep track of your progress, and also simplicity, without creating elaborate workouts with repetitive speed variation, for example.