Fact – Getting strong is better than getting weaker.
In this article I am going to break down a few way’s you can build up your strength and progress in all of your major lifts. Including proper deloading and recovery.
MORE SETS LESS REPS
When it comes to building strength you should be hitting a higher number of intensity and a low number of volume. Do less reps with a heavier weight. Typically for me when I strictly focus on building strength I do no more than 4-6 reps of what ever weight I’m doing for 7-9 set’s. On days I want to hit a new personal best I will do no more than two when it gets to the heavier sets. The only time I would use high volume when strength building is on pull-ups , dips , and good morning raises. When it comes to deadlifting , benching , squaring, or any over head pressing I use very low volume. This method has worked extremely well for me and many other I help coach. The higher the volume may also work for many. If you’re looking to build a better deadlift or bench press allow your self to hit the weight and give at least 5 minutes to recover before adding weight and going up. Doing this for about three weeks followed by a de-load week. After your de-load week try to up your numbers if 4 weeks ago you could only deadlift 135lbs and at the end of the 4 weeks your now deadlifting 165 lbs you built strength and have become stronger. Getting stronger takes time. You most likely will not jump from 135 to 500 lbs deadlift in 4 weeks. persistance in building strength will lead to ultimately becoming stronger.
I can not stress enough how important it is to recover. It is the absolute most important part of building strength. The second your done with your workout the recover process beings. If you’re not eating or sleeping enough your recovery will suck and when your recovery sucks so does your performance. When it comes to getting stronger it is a must to make sure you are well recovered before throwing a lot of stress at your body again. Factors that go into recover other than sleep and eating enough food to replenish your body is also making sure that you remain positive and keep a positive mindset. Bad relationships with friends , family and coworkers can also have a huge impact on your performance and if your extremely stressed out you should most likely take more time off and allow your body to recover. When it comes to building strength the more stress you have the less strength you will build.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU LIFT
Let’s say you have an amazing recovery. When it comes to building strength taking 1 to 2 days off after a workout is best. If your lifting heavy every time you’re in the gym allowing 1-2 days off from the gym will give you enough time to replenish and go after it again. A typical strength building program is 2 days on 1 day off and 1 day on 2 days off. Mixing and matching throughout the week. On off days things like going for walks and doing yoga are a great way to remain active on your off days and also giving your muscle and joints more time to heal. If you think you need to be in the gym 24/7 your strength may or may not increase very well and you can seriously injury yourself. 85% of injuries in the gym occurs because not having enough rest and bad recovery. 3 – 4 days a week should be your max when it comes to building strength. Take a rest go to Niagra falls or something.
Of course you can not continue to go in the gym and hammer down each and every day even while taking your much-needed rest days. So typically after one month of hard training it’s time to take a de-load week. On de-load weeks you typically want to go a lot lighter typically around 50% or less on all of your lifts. Getting back to making sure your form is solid and allow all your muscles to open up. De-loading for some people is no more than 20-30 minutes in the gym going very light. Taking longer rest periods. Some people also like to go 80% of their overall max and only go for 1 -2 reps with about 5 -8 minutes of rest time. That will typically require you to take the following day off so when you restart your training you are ready to go and do your best. If you are a distance runner a deload week for you may involve going on shorter runs and maybe a lighter jog.
As always I hope this information helps. Fill free to email me with any questions at