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We all know very well that a strong muscle is a big muscle, which means that if we want to add muscle to our bodies we need to lift heavier weights. We all know that a 150kg squat will build less core strength than doing a 200kg squat for the same reps.
The well-known book called "Beyond Bodybuilding" by Pavel Tsatsouline explains the four basic requirements for increasing strength very quickly. He breaks these down into simple tips on how to gain strength on what he calls the only four proven methods to increase strength quickly.
The first is what he calls High Tension Techniques where he says the objective is to create as much tension as possible throughout your entire body when lifting a weight. He explains it simply by telling the person that when you grip a barbell you need to crush your hands onto the bar and you will immediately feel the energy radiate through your arms and your shoulders.
Or he explains that when doing a movement like a bench-press or a shoulder press that you should try to corkscrew your feet into the ground which will immediately have an effect of firing up your glutes, quads and your adductors as well as your abductors in your legs.
Tsatsouline's second bit of advice is about doing a deadlift without wearing shoes. He explains that the our legs have a natural extensor reflex that causes the muscles of the leg to automatically contract when there is pressure on the sole of the feet.
He explains in great detail in his book that when you deadlift with shoes on you will be re-directing the pressure and reduce the sensitivity of your feet which will result in less contractibility of your quads when doing a deadlift. Tsatsouline recommended to only deadlift bare-feet and not squat.
His third tip for gaining strength quickly is what he calls heavy Lockouts, which is something that should be tried by every person who trains with weights on a regular basis. The technique is again about finding tension but this time it is all about simply holding a weight in a locked position.
For example to take a weight that is 15% or 20% heavier than your 1 RM and un-rack the barbell on bench-press and simply lock your arms out for ten or 15 seconds. Then rest a couple of minutes and try and improve on your 1RM, which he says will work every time.
He explains that the reason why this works so well is because doing heavy lockouts recruit a lot more muscle fibers. He says that when your body starts to realize it can ‘lockout’ a heavier weight the CNS and other reflexes of your body start to believe that anything that is below that lockout that you just did is going to be easy.
The last tip from Tsatsouline is about the hiss, which he explains is an easy technique that can greatly increase your strength as it is yet another high tension technique. It simply requires the person doing the lift and finding a weak point in the movement to tighten glutes and abs and to then hiss through pursed lips, which will create abdominal pressure and make you stronger.
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