All this technology that’s at our finger tips is obviously a good thing. But it has it’s vices. It’s made our society, as a whole, less patient. When we want something….we wanted it done five minutes ago! It’s the same with our fitness. We all seem to be on the search for this magical pill that will just whip us into shape without really doing anything. There is no magic pill or supplement that’s just gonna do everything for you, but you can make it easier on yourself. I want to share some tips with you that will make gaining strength a lot faster. Here are the 10 most effective ways to get stronger right now:
1 – Work Your Way Up To The Heavy Stuff
To make strength gains fast, heavy weights are what you want to be using. Work your way up to the heavier weights without fatiguing yourself too much. That way you can get 3 or 4 explosive sets with a weight that’s close to your max.
For example, if you’re planning on using 315 pounds for 5 reps, start with 135 pounds for 6-8 reps. Then move to 185 for 5 reps, 225 for 4 reps, and then 275 for 3 reps. At this point you’ll be warmed up and ready for your 315 pound working set, without being too fatigued.
2 – Visualize Yourself Doing It
Sports psychologists suggest that before a competition you should visualize yourself making a big play. It gives you confidence, and studies have even shown that visualizing something in a game time situation has the same effect as practicing it in reality.
This same technique works with lifting. A big part of lifting the heavy weight is technique and confidence. Next time you’re about to try a heavy squat, visualize yourself getting out of that deep hole. This is just a big mental game!
3 – Get A Stronger Workout Partner
Don’t just workout with anyone. I understand you want to spend time with your friends, but leave the scrawny ones at home when you’re headed to the gym. You can hang out with them later……I’m sorry if that sounds a little ruthless. But there’s no sugar coating it!
I’ve had the same workout buddy for about 8 years now….why? Because he’s better than me in a lot of aspects of fitness. That challenges me and motivates me to be better.
The most successful people in the world surround themselves with people who have qualities that they want. The same concept applies at the gym.
4 – Use A Solid Base
Why have the Egyptian Pyramids lasted thousands of years in such good shape? They have an incredibly strong base due to their shape. A solid base plays a huge role in being able to move weight around at the gym.
There’s a few ways to have a strong base. First you have to train your base (lower body) with exercises like squats, lunges, and cleans.
You’ll notice that having a strong base will give you more strength on other lifts by default. You also have to learn to use your base. For example, on the bench press, you wouldn’t think that your legs have much of a role. But keeping your feet planted and driving into the floor as you press the weight up will actually make a huge difference.
5 – Warm-Up Your Rotator Cuff On Pressing Days
Increasing your bench press strength is as simple as warming up your rotator cuff muscles. These small muscles make a huge difference because they stabilize your shoulder so your chest and triceps have a solid area to transfer their force.
6 – Wear Stable Lifting Shoes….Or None
Shoes make all the difference in the world when it comes to lifts. You just won’t be able squat as much with a running shoe as opposed to a shoe like Converse Chuck Taylor’s. The reason is because most running sneakers have a soft gummy sole designed to absorb the beating of a long run.
The problem is, that soft shoe takes away from the ability to drive force into the ground on olympic lifts and squats. A lot of people do those lifts barefoot so they can feel the solid ground, or you can purchase shoes with hard platforms.
You can go with a fancy shoe designed for the sport of weightlifting, but in my opinion, Converse shoes work just as good.
7 – Keep Your Core Tight On Every Lift
Your core starts right under your nipples and goes all the way down to your knees. It includes your abs, glutes, back extensors, hip flexors, hamstrings and quads. This is where all your power is generated. If your core is weak, your appendages aren’t gonna be able to move as much weight. It goes back to the idea of having a strong base!
8 – Do A Dynamic Warm-up
Your muscles work most efficiently when they’re warm and blood is pumping through them rapidly. To get to that point you have to do a warm-up. You don’t just wanna do any old warm-up though. You want to do specific movements that are going to activate the muscles you’re about to use.
For example, if you’re about to play a game of soccer or run sprints….a great warm-up is running ladder drills. It warms up ALL of your leg muscles and even activates the neuromuscular connection to your feet.
9 – Use Heavy Weight!
To get strong fast you have to stop playing around with dinky little weights. Rob Orlando is one of the strongest Crossfit competitors and strength coaches in the game. His advice on getting brutally strong is to pick up heavy weight from the floor and put it over your head.
10 – Use Bumper Plates
Bumper plates are special weights that are coated in rubber. You can literally drop them off the top of a tall building and they’ll be just fine. They are designed to throw around and not hurt the floor or the weight.
Using these weights will allow you to try lifting weights that you’ve never done before. The reason is that you can just bail at anytime if your form is failing, or you don’t think you can get it. All you have to do is throw the weight down and get out of the way. The weights will be just fine and it won’t hurt anything.
If you want to get stronger in the least amount of time, try these 10 effective tips. If you enjoyed this article, please share with your friends on facebook. I bet you’ll also like Optimizing Your Workout Through Active Rest.