Wednesday, November 22, 2006

2 Ways To Increase Strength And Build Muscle

If you're looking to build muscle, I'm going to give you 2 things you can do that will allow you to instantly increase the strength on all of your lifts.

Why would you care to increase your strength on your lifts?

One word: Progress.

You'll only build lean muscle if you progressively lift more weight over time.

It's this progressive overload that forces the muscles to grow to handle the increased overload. The stronger you get, usually, the more lean muscle you'll build, providing you support it with good nutrition.

So here are 2 things you can do right now to instantly increase the weights on all of your lifts.

1. Warm up correctly.

By attempting to lift heavy without warming up first, you will not be able to use your heaviest weights possible. And if you do not lift heavier weight over time, your body has no reason to build more muscle mass.

Much like a pro baseball pitcher needs to toss lightly before throwing real hard, you want to warm up with light reps and sets before attempting to lift your heaviest weights.

But don't warm up too much, to the point you're fatiguing the muscles before you get to the heavy sets. Only warm up to the point where you feel ready to handle your heaviest weight for your sets.

This could vary from 2 sets of 6 to 8 reps on smaller muscle groups like bis and tris.

Or it could be as many as 4 sets of staggered reps (10, 8, 6, 3) for larger muscle groups and more demanding exercises like squats or bench press.

Again, the key to warming up is to do just enough reps with a light enough weight so that you get the muscles ready without making them tired. Tired muscles do not lift much weight. And if you do not lift much weight, you will not build much muscle.

Warming up correctly is one of the best ways to increase your strength on your last heavy sets.

2. Rest enough in between sets.

On average, you want to rest a minute or two in between your warm up sets and 2 to 3 minutes or more between your heavy sets. If you do not rest enough in between your heavy sets, your muscles will still be tired from your last set and will not be able to handle the most weight possible.

Again, less weight means less overload, which in turn will mean less muscle growth as a result.

So before starting your next heavy set, make sure you feel as strong as you did for your first set. Again, this could be anywhere from 2 to 3 minutes of rest between your heavy sets.

This rest in between heavy sets is a great time to walk around and think about how great your next set is going to be.

Or you can use the time to grab a drink of water or stretch out a little bit. The key is to make sure you've rested enough so you feel ready and able to handle the heaviest weights possible.

There you have 2 ways to instantly increase the strength on all lifts.

Warm up correctly before beginning your heavy sets and rest enough in between them.
Increasing the amount of weight you lift, over time, is the only way you're going to be able to build muscle.

In fact, discover how to build muscle and lose fat in the least amount of time. Personal trainer and natural bodybuilder Shawn Lebrun shows you how to get the maximum amount of muscle and definition possible.


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