Strength is the foundation of any workout. It does not matter what sport you practice or only goes to the gym to get more muscle mass. If you do not work strength, you will stagnate, and you will not get the results you are looking for.
To strength train, you should forget the high rep sets and focus on lifting your maximum, although you should not limit yourself to improving your record every day. Because of this, we’ll show you how to do strength training.
As usual, the first thing you need is a solid foundation from which to start. Therefore, we recommend the 5×5 method for the first weeks, one of the easiest strength routines to follow. Its own name reveals how it works: five sets of five reps. It usually consists of three exercises, the bench press, squats, and deadlifts, although you can add others such as the standing military press.
- To do squats, load the bar on your shoulders and lower, bending your legs until you form a 90-degree angle. Control the descent, go up and try to keep your back straight and heels on the ground.
- The deadlift consists of lifting the bar from the ground to the waist by minimally bending the knees. Again, your back should be straight.
- The bench press is one of the most popular gym exercises. Lying on your back on the bench, you should be able to lower the bar to your chest and rise back to the starting position, with your arms fully extended.
- The military press is a similar exercise done standing up. You should be able to raise the bar from your shoulders above your head, with your arms fully extended. It can be done in front of or behind.
A more advanced strength training is the 5/3/1 method invented by Jim Wendler, which, like in the prior instance, is based on the bench press, squat, deadlift, and military press. It is divided into cycles of four weeks, three loadings, and one lowering.
We can work out three or four days a week, concentrating on a different exercise each time, and we can start figuring out how much weight is 90% of our maximum. This method is very effective, although patience is required, and it starts with somewhat lightweights.
We will do three sets of five repetitions at 65, 75, and 85% of our capacity in the first week. In the last set, the idea is to attempt to perform as many repetitions as you can manage to complete. Perform three sets of three reps at 70, 80, and 90%, respectively, in the second week.
Once again, lengthen the last set do as many reps as possible. The third week does a series of five repetitions at 75%, one of three at 85%, and the final one, all the repetitions you can at 95%.
We finish with the fourth week, the one of descent, you must do three series of five repetitions at 40, 50, and 60%, respectively. In this case, you must respect the five repetitions of the last series to arrive at the new cycle rested.
You should add about 5 kg to your maximum squat and deadlift weight and 2.5 kg to your bench press and standing military press. You’ll notice how you get stronger as you cycle.
In addition to carrying out this strength training, it will be important to achieve the expected results in less time; you put into practice how to increase muscle mass quickly as well as what to eat to gain muscle growth.
- Before starting to train, warm-up well, jumping rope will help increase your heart rate.
- Get plenty of rest between sets. Two or three minutes is usually sufficient.
- Respect the weights. Strength training has no immediate effect, and you have to gain weight little by little.
- Don’t strength train for more than two days in a row. You can injure yourself.
- Pay attention to technique. As you gain weight, it is more important to complete sets and avoid injury.
- Do not forget to complete the training with complementary exercises such as dips, pull-ups, press, leg raises, good morning, or abdominals.
- Following a good diet and respecting rest days will help you gain strength.
Adapted and translated by The Cop Cart Staff