1. Lower Your Rep Ranges
If hypertrophy is your goal then I recommend keeping your rep ranges around 12 reps. However, if strength is your main priority, then dropping reps will actually benefit you.
Increasing the weight and dropping your rep range from 10-12 down to around 6 reps per set can prove to be an exceptional way to adapt your muscles to a heavier workload and recruit greater performance from your fast twitch muscle fibres.
Obviously, the lower you drop the rep range, the more weight you can load, but I don't recommend going below 4-5 reps per set. Even if strength is a huge priority.
The reason for this is that it is very easy to get injured when using weights that are so heavy, you are only able to do one or two reps.
If strength is your main priority, do your compound movements with sets around 6 reps. You will notice as your strength starts to climb.
2. Keep An Accurate And Detailed Training Log
This should go without saying, but if you go to your local gym, I bet you will only see 1 or 2 people (if that) writing in a workout journal.
The point of keeping a workout journal is to remember exactly what weight you used and how many reps you did of each exercise.
The next time you hit that body part, you can refer to your journal and see exactly what you did last week. You will then have a concrete goal for what you need to accomplish strength/reps wise to break a personal record.
This tip is a no-brainer, as it is very difficult to remember every weight and rep range used on every exercise each time you workout.
3. Always Use A Spotter
When training for strength, you should always have a spotter. If you don't have a training partner, then ask someone in the gym to spot you.
Someone will be glad oblige, I promise.
If you're not able to do your sets to failure or get injured mid-set and don't have someone to pull the weight off you, then you're screwed.
Doing your sets to complete failure or past, are both muscular limits you need to reach to maximize the potential gains of each workout session.
4. Prioritize The Big 3 Lifts
The 3 basic compound movements are bench press, squats, and deadlifts.
By prioritizing these, you will not only gain strength on them quicker, but also translate that strength into other more isolated movements.
These compound movements demand muscular involvement from your entire body, as well as your central nervous system.
By getting stronger on these, you will also get stronger on other lifts as well.
5. Eat A Calorie Surplus
You can't recover and build muscle and strength if you aren't eating enough food.
I don't care how hard you're lifting or how intensely you train, if you don't eat enough calories, your body won't have the nutrients it needs to facilitate muscle growth and you won't get stronger.
Eat a calorie surplus so that when you lift heavy, you will not only have enough food to recover, but also have a surplus of energy to rebuild your muscles bigger and stronger as they adapt to the greater workload each week.
If you aren't eating in a caloric surplus, you might as well forget about building muscle entirely.
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