10 Insider Tips To Gain Strength – Part II

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how to get strongerA couple of weeks ago I dropped five tips on how to get stronger on you. As promised, I’m back with five more. Without more preamble, here’s five ways you can start crushing more weight, building more muscle, losing more fat, and taking the next step to monster!

6. Perform a heavy overload movement at least once per week, but not too often. Heavy overload movements, usual partial movements such as Anderson Squats, Board Presses, and Rack Deadlifts allow you to handle more weight than you can on “normal” lifts. Used wisely, this helps your nervous system really recruit more muscle fibers and builds overall strength. I recommend some sort of overload movement at least once per week.  This is one of the basic parts of the Grizzly Program and why people get so damn strong on it.

A caveat: People get addicted to these lifts because they let their ego run wild with the big weight. Next thing you know, everything is a heavy partial. Don’t become that guy: You’ll burn out, your real lifts will suck, and before long you’re going to be injured. Overloads are a tool, not a way of training.

7. Practice your weak points until they become strong points. Everybody has weak spots in their lifts. Whether it’s from anatomy, imbalanced training, old injuries, or whatever, there’s something that’s holding you back. Once you’re beyond the basic learning of the lift, then it’s time to make your weak points strong.

Let’s say you’re strong off the bottom of the bench press, but you’ve got weak triceps and can’t lock out big lifts. In that case, some extra tricep work (such as the aforementioned Board Presses) can really help bring up your press.

Or in my case, my delts suck. Early in my training career I busted up both of my shoulders pretty badly, and basically couldn’t directly train my delts for a few years. So while I’ve got strong pecs, lats, and very strong triceps, my delts are small and weak. This not only affects my aesthetics, but it weakens my press and now makes me even MORE likely to hurt them again. So now that they’re (pretty) healthy, I’ve been bombing them with presses and raises to try to bring up up to speed.

8. Perform a big barbell exercise and an odd-object exercise at least three times per week. It’s cool to use all the fun toys such as battling ropes, kegs, kettlebells, sleds, etc. I love them all and use them all.

how to get strongerHowever, they tend to be very focused on conditioning. Never forget that the basis of everything you do in the gym, including conditioning, is strength. And there’s not a much more useful tool for building real, bone-crushing strength, then the old-fashioned barbell. Perform big barbell lifts such as squats, deadlifts, presses, and so on at least three times per week.

On the other side of the coin are the odd-object lifts such as kegs, kettlebells, sandbags, etc. These lifts help you express the strength you build with the barbell in more of a “real world” manner. Both raw strength and expression of that strength are important. Utilize an odd object lift at least three times per week as well to take advantage of what you built with the barbell.

9. Learn to do a damn pull-up and push-up. One thing you’ll always have is your body. If you can perform basic bodyweight exercises well then you can always get a good workout in. And I mean always. Hell, my roommate used to get drunk in college and do pull-ups in the doorway of bathroom stalls.

Also, having the ability to perform these basic calisthenics well will build the body coordination, security, and strength necessary to dominate the barbell lifts.

10. Challenge yourself in some ridiculous way once per month. Training is training. Every day is not a test day. That’s a recipe for getting jacked up and not making progress.

That being said, if you never challenge yourself, then you’re not shit.

So once a month, pick some bad-ass workout and tear it up. If you’re looking for some ideas, then sign up on the right and along with the advertised e-book I’ve included three FREE “Finishers” that I use with my clients. Run a few rounds through those and you’ll be plenty challenged!

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