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Two Ways To Increase Strength And Build Muscle

Mar 15, 2008
I'm going to give you 2 things you can do during your next workout that will allow you to instantly increase the strength on all of your lifts.

But first, why would you care to increase your strength on your lifts? One word: Progress.

You will only gain lean muscle if you progressively lift more (heavier) weight over time.

It's this progressive overload that forces the muscles to adapt and 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.

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 biceps and triceps...

...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 and the bench.

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.

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 about a minute in between your warm up sets and 2 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 you performed. 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.
About the Author
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. Check out Shawn Lebrun Fitness for more.
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