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How to Get Stronger

How to get stronger? This section contains strength training advice to help you gain functional strength. Let me start off by saying that you will definitely limit your progress if you attempt to train for size and strength at the same time. Contrary to popular belief, the two don't go hand-in-hand... at least not for natural trainees they don't. If you have already attained your desired size and are now more concerned with gaining strength, proceed with these free guides.

When at the gym, you must be 100% focused on your workout. Your only thought when performing a set should be about pushing that weight. There will be days, every so often, that you are a little down, overly tired or have a lot on your mind. In those times, you'll be doing yourself a favor by not training. You don't want to risk permanently injuring yourself because you "couldn't" miss one workout. This is by far the most valuable advice on how to get stronger.

Give yourself a goal for each training session as well as a long-term goal. Every short-term goal must be accomplished for you to move a step closer to your long-term goal. Always remember, failing is not 'trying without succeeding'; Rather, failing can be seen as 'giving up' or 'never trying at all'. As long as you do your best, and persist, you will eventually reach your objective.

For each exercise, slightly increase the weights and decrease the number of repetitions with every consecutive set. This is commonly referred to as 'pyramid training'. It's the most commonly used type of strength training, because it consistently brings results to most people with the goal of getting stronger. I believe it is the best way to warm up to your heaviest set and to ultimately get much stronger (without actually getting bigger).

If you've been training for strength, possibly for years now, and are still wondering how to get stronger (because you haven't achieved desired results)... it's probably because you've been overdoing it on your first set of each exercise. A better approach would be to start with a moderately-heavy weight, gradually increasing the weight with every set.

Don't be influenced by others. A person's physical strength has a lot to do with individual genetics, as well as many other factors. Only push weights you're comfortable with pushing. It's normal to feel 'excited' before doing a heavy set, but if you feel 'scared', then that's a clear sign that you should decrease the weight a little. You don't want to have to take 3 months off from the gym, simply because of an injury caused by peer pressure.

Once again, how much weight you will push for each set depends on many factors. I can't tell you how much you "should" be pushing. Instead, I'll give you a few simple tips:

  • Always do your best
  • Perform every set with as strict form as possible
  • Don't rush through a set
  • Have someone there to spot you but don't rely too heavily on that person
  • Take as long as you need in between sets

Eating for Strength

This strength training advice must be complemented with a proper nutritional program. You burn an incredible number of calories when pushing heavy weights so get used to eating as though you want to build more muscle. That means plenty of protein in your diet, some good fats (derived from egg yolks, nuts, avocados, and so on), and starchy carbs (like oatmeal, potatoes, rice, whole-grain pasta, pumpernickel bread with flax seeds, etc). Don't avoid your fruits and vegetables either, as vitamins play a vital role in optimizing your energy levels & performance.

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