Gain Muscle and Get Stronger
If you have been training hard for awhile then you have most likely realized that there is a pretty strong correlation between getting stronger and getting bigger. Just take a look at weightlifters, ...
This leads us to the obvious conclusion that even if our only goal is to look more muscular we need to get strong to do that. So if you have been following a typical muscle building program for awhile it may be time to switch to a more strength-oriented training plan.
The basic tenets of designing a program to get stronger are as follows:
Low repetitions allow for heavy weights, and heavy weights are what builds strength quick. You want to stay below 6 reps here. 1-3 reps is the pure strength zone, while 4-6 reps will allow you to increase muscle with your strength.
To compensate for the relatively lower volume of your low rep sets, it is necessary to increase the number of sets you do. There is no special number. Anywhere from 5-12 sets of an exercise is the norm. The exact number will depend on the number of reps you're doing, your goals, and your current work capacity.
Long rest periods
In contrast to bodybuilding, we want to avoid fatigue as much as possible when training for pure strength. This means we want close to absolute recovery between sets. The exact amount of time will depend on the exercise, but anywhere from 3-6 minutes is normal. Some powerlifters are known to take up to 15 minutes between heavy squats or deadlifts!
The more often you do something the better you get at it. For pro strength athletes it is common to train 6 days per week, 2-3 times per day! While this isn't practical for most of us, it gives us a hint as to how to gain strength quickly. The more often you can train (without sacrificing recovery) the better.
These are just a few tips to help you to get strong. The key to rapid strength and muscle gains is hard work mixed with scientific training programs and sound diet and supplement advice.
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