10 Insider Tips To Gain Strength – Part I

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Gain muscle and strength fastEveryone wants to get stronger. Everyone loves quick tips. So here’s 10 of them. I’m going to expand on some of these in further posts, but until then take some initiative and implement them into your program where they fit!

1. Do NOT get psyched for every lift. Um, what? Aren’t you supposed to go hard as balls, listen to death metal, and get crazed for every lift of every session in the gym? Sure, if you want to burn out and stagnate. While there’s certainly a time and a place for that, it’s not every lift. Think about it for a second: If a football team practiced with the same intensity that they played every week it wouldn’t be long before the whole team was injured and they wouldn’t learn much of anything.

gain muscle and strength fast

Intense, but not strong.

View training sessions like a sports practice: You’re there to get better, not to “win” at training. If you’re going balls to the wall every set then you’re simply going to burn out and your technique is going to suck. Psyche up when you’re trying to hit a new PR at the end of your training cycle, or in competition if you compete.

2. Master your midsection. When you’re squatting, pressing, or deadlifting everyone talks about “keeping your abs tight!”. What the hell does that mean? Some people advocate sucking in your gut and pulling the belly button toward your spine. In my experience, that method sucks. Most people fold in half.

Instead get a big belly full of air and push your abs out, so that if you were wearing a belt it would get tight. This is bracing the abs, which means you won’t lose any power out of your midsection.

3. Practice Tightness. As I mentioned in this post, moving weight is more than just muscle strength. It’s having a firm launch pad for your activating muscles to push off of. Learn how to keep your body tight and watch your numbers go up.

4. Learn how to drive your elbows and hips instead of your hands and knees. When people first learn to press, pull, and squat all they think about is the bar in their hands or on their back. When you try to move that bar it’s like you’re pushing on the long end of a flexible plank. Sure, the other end is going to end up where you want it, but it’s going to wiggle a lot to get there and be a lot harder than you need.

Instead, don’t worry about where your hands or the bar is and just push the elbows forward (pressing), backward (pulling), or the hips back and forth (squatting). Assuming you’re staying tight (Tip #3) you’ll activate more of the primary movers and have much more power to put into the lift. Which translates to bigger numbers and thus bigger gains.

Ok, not this sketchy.

5. If possible, eat and then take a nap after training. I’ve talked about this before, but most people don’t recover enough and sleep is the best recovery method you can start using today. I never made such great gains in my life as when I was in my second year of serious lifting in college. I’d wake up, have a snack in my dorm, go train like hell, then hit the dining commons like a fiend before collapsing into bed for a half an hour nap before going to class.

I had it all going for me, youth testosterone, overfeeding, a young training age, and lots of recovery. I replicated it again later in life (when I had a job and stuff) by crashing in my truck for 20-30 minutes after a training session before heading home. Ideal? No, super sketchy in some of the gym parking lots I’ve trained in, but it worked.

All right, work with those five and I’ll be back in a couple of days with five more!

Oh, and if you’re looking for more of the inside-track tricks I use to turn my clients from average Joes to superstars make sure you sign up on the right and get your free gifts!

Pings on 10 Insider Tips To Gain Strength – Part I

June 21, 2012

Comments on 10 Insider Tips To Gain Strength – Part I Leave a Comment

June 6, 2012

Joy @ 1:19 pm #

Wonderful-especially #5. I have taken many naps in my car after multiple technical sessions-even holding mitts/pads for someone is NOT recovery.

Isaac @ 2:16 pm #

Joy,

I hear you there! A nap can be a NECESSARY thing for a busy trainer!

Kathryn King @ 3:40 pm #

I caught myself falling asleep on the way home after last week’s Underground! If that weren’t enough of an argument for a post-workout nap, I don’t know what is! Where school is about to end, I’ll have some time to fold in the snack and nap into my routine and see what happens. I’m excited to try it!

Isaac @ 5:04 pm #

I predict greater recovery and improvement! EVEN greater in your case!

June 28, 2012

Proper Recovery is so key! I have found that after a super intense workout My body requires closer to 9 hours of sleep as opposed to my usual 7. Make sure to eat a complex carbohydrate laden meal after strength training as well. Brown rice or Quinoa are perfect!

Isaac @ 8:07 pm #

Definitely, Troy! Good stuff.

October 9, 2012

Douglas @ 7:06 pm #

“Learn how to drive your elbows and hips instead of your hands and knees”

I say some version of this at least a thousand times a day with clients

October 12, 2012

Isaac @ 12:54 pm #

Absolutely!

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