25 Ways to Get Stronger

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  • 7/28/2019 25 Ways to Get Stronger




    to get stroNger

    Use these tips to pUt Up bigger nUmbers todayFllw w u z, u u fcl w wk. But damn it, sometimes thats

    just not soon enoughlk w u u u u, u w k u u k c . Behold, our best tips to get immediately stronger.by Sean HySon, C.S.C.S., and Joe StankowSki, C.P.t.

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    ap ri l 20 10 | mensfitness.com | 87

    1Work uptoyour heaviestweight instead

    of using a pyramid. Doseveral warm-up setswith low reps that prepareyou to lift your heavieston your last few sets. Thatway, youll have energyfor those setsthe mostcrucial ones for strengthgains. Say youre planningto squat with 300 poundsfor five reps. You could

    do 135 pounds for six reps,185 for five, 225 for three,275 for two, and then 300for five. By the time youget to the 300 set, youllbe thoroughly warmed upbut not fatigued.

    2Visualize every rep beore you dothe set. Imagine how it will eel,

    where your eyes will be ocused, andhow youll breathe. Doing so will make

    you more amiliar with how the setwill be done, and it will seem easier.

    Long-term resultslike this begin withsmall changes inyour routine.

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    Load thebar withsmall platesi k lkl. Your brainwont register it asheavy. t lv cl u l v .

    3Rest three to ve minutes betweensets. To lit your hardest, your

    body needs to regenerate as muchATPthe uel source or musclecontractionsas possible. Take thetime to eel ully recovered beore youattempt any personal record on a lit.

    4Work on your weak pointsI youcant lock out your elbows on

    the bench press, try setting the saetyrails in a power rack at about yoursticking point on the lit. Put roughly100 pounds more than your one-repmaximum weight on the bar and thentry to press itnaturally, you wontbe able to move the bar but try hardanyway or six to 10 seconds. Do ourto six reps, resting a ew seconds inbetween, and then lighten the loadto the weight you usually have troublelocking out. Your central nervoussystem should now be sucientlyred up or you to lit it.

    6Go barefootor wear ConverseChuck Taylors. The less materialthere is between your eet and thefoor when you lit, the more muscle

    your body can activate. Its also betteror leverage on moves like the deadlit(youll shorten the distance the barhas to travel). I you train at home orin a hardcore gym, lose the shoes.

    (I your gym requires ootwear, thin-soled sneakers like Chucks are ideal.)

    7Warm up your rotator cu beoreany pressing exercise. Take a two-to our-pound medicine ball and pushit into a wall with one hand, keeping

    your arm straight. Roll the ball aroundon the wall (push hard so it doesntslip), tracing the alphabet. Do two setson each arm, and then do your press-ing. Firing up the rotator cu increasesthe stability in your shoulders.

    Train with some-one stronger thanyou. Even if you

    have to invite thebiggest animal inthe gym to spotyou, having some-one around whoinspires (or intimi-dates) you willalways make youup your intensity.


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    Tensing yourwhole body

    helps you liheavier.

    Make yourweights looklighter.

    25 strength moves

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    9Do box jumpsin your warm-upor leg days. Do three sets o threereps, resting 60 seconds betweeneach set. Explosive exercises wake upthe central nervous system to recruitmaximum muscle.

    10Try a few glute bridgesbeoredeadliting. Lie on your backon the foor with your knees bent andeet close to your butt. Dig your heelsinto the foor and bridge up with yourhips, ocusing on the contraction in

    your glutes. Do two sets o eight to10 reps. Preactivating the glutestheprime movers in a proper deadlitallows them to re at their ullest.

    12Hold on to an ice pack or oneto two minutes beore liting.Its like a cold shower or your nervoussystem, awakening your senses.

    13Warm up with a heavier weightthan your work set Do your lastwarm-up set with a heavier weightthan what you plan to use in your

    rst work set. Do ewer reps than whatyou will do on the work set, too. Usingthe heavier weight in the warm-upwill help you recruit extra muscle massor the work set.

    14Wear a weight belt A liting beltwill help support your lowerback on deadlits, squats, and presses.You can increase your max by tenso pounds just by strapping one on.

    Squeeze your glutes on every li.Tightness through your hips leads toincreased stability everywhere andwill let you put up more weight imme-diately on any exercise. In other words,you can, in fact, pull a new personalrecord out of your ass.


    16Try a hook grip Grab the baroverhand as usual but wrap yourthumbs around it rst. Then wrap yourngers over your thumbs. Reinorcingthe thumb with the strength o yourother ngers gives you a much bettergrip. Its a great way to lit heavierwithout using straps, which dont let

    your grip muscles work hard.

    15Use lifing chalkMagnesium carbon-ate (not the same stu youused in school to write asentence 100 times on theblackboard) keeps yourhands dry for a superstronggrip. Like the weight belt,

    it can help you instantly upyour max.

    Your ass is thekey to bigger lis!

    Chalk addstraction.

    25strength moves

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    Push your belly out during a squat or deadli Takea deep breath from your diaphragm so that yourstomach swells outward. (If your shoulders rise,you took the breath into your lungs.) If youre wear-ing a weight belt, push your gut into the belt so itfeels very tight. Inating your abdomen increasescore stability.Do this on sets of ve reps or fewer foran immediate strength increase of at least 10%.


    Squeeze the bar hardfor three to ve seconds.Let go and rest for three tove seconds, and thenbegin your set. Squeezingthe bar (it also works ondumbbells) forces that tightfeeling everywhere in yourbody and reminds you tostay tight during the li.


    Use your bellyduring lis tostabilize your core.

    18Go heavy Beore you curl, loadthe bar with 20% more weightthan what you can lit or ve reps.Cheat curl the bar to the top positionand hold or two seconds, tensing ev-ery muscle. Take our seconds to lowerthe bar down. Rest one minute, thendo your normal set o curls. The load

    youre about to lit will eel lighter.

    19When bench-pressing, driveyour heels into the foor. Activelytrying to orce your body backwardon the bench helps turn the lit into aull-body exercise, and itll eel easier.

    20If the bar isnt coming up evenlyduring a lit (as in the bench orshoulder press), or one side begins tosink, squeeze the bar on the laggingside as hard as you can. Youll send amessage to the nervous system, and itwill increase strength on that side.

    21Do two or three sets o the plankas a warm-up (get into pushupposition and then rest your orearmson the foor). Hold it or 20 to 30 sec-onds each. Youll wake up your core,which will better support your lits.

    23Keep your wrists straight duringa pressing lit. The heavier the

    weight gets, the more you may havea tendency to let your wrists roll back,but dont. Keeping them straight is amore natural and stable position thatwill allow you to complete the lit moreeasily. I you cant keep them straight,work on your grip strength.

    24Perform a dynamicwarm-up instead o jogging ona treadmill or pedaling a bike. Do body-weight lunges, throwing exercises, or

    jumpsany movement in which youmove your joints through a ull range

    o motion. It will better prepare you tolit than just breaking a sweat with lightcardio because it warms your musclesand joints while also prepping thecentral nervous system to lit heavy.

    22Take a deep breath ater youlit the bar out o the rack on abench press. Now hold it or your rsttwo reps i you can. By not exhalingtoo soon, you wont lose your tight po-sition early in the set. This takes a littlepractice, so avoid it i youre a beginner.

    Squeeze forstrength.

    25 strength moves

  • 7/28/2019 25 Ways to Get Stronger


  • 7/28/2019 25 Ways to Get Stronger


  • 7/28/2019 25 Ways to Get Stronger


    Gutter Credit

  • 7/28/2019 25 Ways to Get Stronger