Whether you are a strongman, powerlifter, or simply a regular gym goer, we all have a common goal of getting stronger. Strong can have a number of different meanings to it. It could mean a stronger mind, a stronger health or a stronger body. In this article we will be breaking down different ways to get stronger in terms of moving weights. Remember to add weight slowly and gradually. Ask your personal trainer in Richmond which method is best to increase strength levels. 

Lift heavier weight

This method is the simplest and most direct. Just “add more weight”. If you have been training with a X amount of weight for some time your body and nervous system should have more or less adapted to it due to the SAID principle – specific adaptation to imposed demands. If you stress the body enough, it will adapt. At this point, it is necessary to increase the weight by a little bit to further stress the system. Be cautious of adding too much weight due to the risk of injuries. 

Do more reps with the same weight

In this method, you are challenging the body to perform an increased number of repetitions with the same weight. It is stressing the muscular endurance side of the body. In other words, using the same weight you are increasing the time under tension. Using an increased time under tension it allows the body to adapt to greater strength responses from the training. I would personally recommend this method for further strength gain before using the above method. 

Less rest with the same weight

This method will assess your recovery abilities between sets. You will be using the same amount of weight; whether it is a straight set, a superset or a circuit. Let’s take a straight set for an example, a barbell squat for 5 sets at 10 repetitions. If it normally takes you 2 minutes to rest in between sets in order to perform at 100%, challenge yourself to take a 1.5 minute rest. It will be difficult and it will be uncomfortable. You may not perform at 100% but it will push your body to adapt to the new rest period while pushing the same amount of weight. In order words, after the adaptations you gave yourself the full 2 minutes of rest, theoretically, you should be able to move an increased amount of weight. Ask your personal trainer in Richmond if this method is good for increasing strength. 

Increased training frequency of that particular lift 

There are a certain number of exercises that build raw strength. Most would say it would be the bench press, squat and deadlift. In addition others would add on shoulder press, rows or pull-ups. Regardless, you are looking to get strong at one or a few of these exercises. This method simply says to do continue to do everything you are doing but to increase the training frequency. Let’s take our squat example from above. If we are squatting 3 times a week, increase the frequency to 4 or even 5 times. Again, the SAID principle is to increase stress on the body in order for specific adaptations to occur. 

Focus on the eccentric phase with the same weight

The eccentric phase of any lift has a greater effect on strength gains and hypertrophy compared to the concentric phase. Focusing on the eccentric phase is our sixth method of increase strength levels. Using our squat example again, focusing on the lowering of the weight is the key in increasing strength. If you regularly lower the weight with 2 seconds, try to lower the weight with 3 – 4 seconds. By stressing the body with a longer eccentric phase, the weight and exercise will allow the body to further adapt. Remember, eccentric allows greater adaptation than the concentric phase so focus on that. Ask your personal trainer in Richmond if eccentric training is a good way to increase strength levels. 

Any of the above methods are ways you can increase strength levels. Each one has a specific usage and a specific situation to use it. It is always a good idea to increase weight slowly and gradually. 

Until next time, 

Coach Marco 

Leave a Reply