Welcome to this guide to the seven most important rules of strength training that will show you how to get stronger. Anyone wanting to build muscle or get stronger should be following these strength training tips. If you follow this seven tips, you will get stronger and achieve more from your gym workouts.
- Focus On Compound Exercises
Compound exercises are those that work lots of the muscles in your body at the same time. The most important compound exercises are the deadlift, squat and bench press. As an example, the deadlift is often thought of as a back exercise but it also works your hamstrings, abdominals and pretty much every other muscle in the body. Compound exercises will do far more for your body than isolation exercises and will probably account for up to ninety percent of your results in the gym.
- Use Good Form
Good form is vitally important when you start lifting heavy weights as it will prevent injury in the long term. As the weights you lift increase, form becomes more and more important. Work on building good form with light weights before you try and achieve a personal best. An injury caused by bad form can keep you out of the gym for weeks or even months and you should never underestimate the importance of good form.
- Increase Your Weights
Obviously in order to get stronger, you need to challenge your body by lifting progressively heavy weights each time you are in the gym. You must always keep in mind that if you want to get stronger, the weights you lift must increase. You will not always be able to lift more weight each week, because other factors such as tiredness or lack of focus may prevent you from doing so. You should aim to increase the weights you lift by a small increment each time you go to the gym. If you fail one week, try again the next.
- Set Targets
In order to make progress and succeed at anything, you need to have a solid and achievable set of goals to work towards. If you go into the gym not knowing what you are doing then you will end up with an unfocused and unproductive workout. Before you set foot in the gym you should know exactly what exercises you will be doing and exactly what weights you are going to try and lift. I recommend getting a notebook to take with you so that you can write down the sets and exercises you will be doing along with the weights you are want to lift. If you have a clear set of goals, you will find you achieve much more during your workout.
- Don’t Over Train
Over training is your worst enemy when it comes to strength training and athletic performance. If you workout too often, your body will not be able to recover properly and you will eventually find that you stop making progress and eventually become weaker. Your body grows stronger and repairs itself when you are resting, not at the gym, and so you need to make sure you are getting enough food and sleep for your body to repair itself. Mike Mentzer took this idea to the extreme and suggests that as you get stronger you need to leave longer rest periods between workouts. Mike would often suggest that it could take up to one or two weeks for the body to fully recover from a heavy workout. I would suggest that you leave between two and three days between workouts if strength is your main goal.
- Focus On Nutrition
Nutrition is the most important part of any strength training program. In order to grow strong and build muscle, you will need a diet rich in whole foods, vegetables, protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. Nutrition can account for as much as eighty percent of your overall results in the gym and should never be neglected. If your diet is bad, your strength and physique will suffer. Anyone wanting to get stronger or build muscle should be eating at least six protein rich meals at regular intervals throughout the day.
- Be Persistent
No one achieves success week in week out and there will be many times when it seems like you are making no progress. Building muscle and getting stronger is never a predictable affair and you must keep working hard even when it seems like you are hitting a brick wall. Most people find at some stage no matter how hard they try, they just can’t seem to get any stronger. This is perfectly normal and as long as you keep working hard in the gym you will eventually become stronger and gain muscle. Focus on eating well, getting enough rest and eventually you will see results.
I hope you enjoyed reading these seven rules of strength training. If you follow these seven tips then you will soon find yourself stronger and fitter than ever before.