Strength Gains

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How to Gain Strength

By Fig

Here is the secret to making good strength gains. COMMON SENSE is what you need. First of all you got to be honest with yourself. When you create a pyramid, you got to start off with a reasonable weight. Like I said before, too many people, want to do what everyone else is doing in the gym and not what they themselves can do. Once you have found a honest pyramid, here is what you do week after week. You should try adding 2 Ĺ to 5 pounds a week to your last 3 all out sets. It doesnít sound like much, but if you are lifting naturally thatís what you got to expect. Once you get to a point to where you cannot add any weight, you then start to drop 2 reps from the last 3 all out sets. This will help you from getting worn out, so you can lift heavier (i.e. from 10,8,8,6,4 to 10,8,6,4,2 to 10,8,4,2,2). Once you cannot gain anything from that, you then go back to the original 10,8,8,6,4 pyramid. When going back to the old pyramid style you might have to drop some weight from your sets. But if done correctly, you will still be ahead. You got to pay somewhere. Donít worry about your max, it will still be the same. Remember you are in the gym to get bigger and stronger. Just because you lift a little lighter, does not mean that you have lost any strength. Donít confuse your workout, with how strong you are. I usually use 75#ís on the preacher curl bar, while others use more. But I usually have bigger arms than them (so what gives with that? Iím bigger and use less weight and they are smaller and use more weight. Hmmm I wonder whoís training method works?). I lift to get big and not to impress my ego. The purpose of lifting is to stimulate the muscles and not to see how strong you are. I save my strength for competitions. If someone wants to challenge me in a strength contest, Iíll give them a contest. But, I will not sacrifice my workout, to satisfy someoneís expectations.

Lifting slow is superior to lifting fast! I take 2 seconds on the positive and 2 seconds on the negative. I used to swing the weight up fast, until I started incorporating the 2 second rule. I have found that I make better gains utilizing a slower movement. The goal to getting big, is to exercise the muscles, and not to impress yourself. I try and try to tell people this, but they never listen. Stupid, stupid people. Too many people waste their time by, saving their strength for the duration of their workout. I donít. I try to beat the hell out of my muscles starting with the first set. Too many people think that they do negatives properly (Yeah Fig, I lower the weight). Only a small percentage of people do negatives at all. (usually the big guys in the gym are the only ones who lower the bar!) They like to drop the weight. They feel that if they do negatives, they will be weaker on the following sets. Isnít that what weightlifting is all about? How can anyone expect to keep the same level of strength, while they are working out? Some people call negatives "burn out sets". That is a bunch of crap! Negatives are a fully functional part of any workout. They must be accomplished. If you do not lower the weight during every set, you will not receive the gains that you anticipated. Remember a workout is just a workout. A workout is not a means of justifying strength. A workout is a tool to gain strength. Think of it this way. If you can bench 315, real strict, then you should be able to bench 350 with momentum. Not that using momentum is correct, it is just supposed to show you that you can move that much weight. I usually bench up to 345. But I can bench 485. I am working out when I bench up to 345 (2 second positives and negatives 10x 135, 10x 225, 8x 295, 8x 325, 6x 335, 4-6x 345. If you can do this the normal way of lifting, try to do it with the 2 second rule). I max out to show my strength when I bench 485. Maxing out, is way different from working out. This is the main problem with lifters. They just wonít listen.

I once worked out with this guy. He never lifted weights before. The first and last day we worked out was a disaster! We were doing curls. I was curling 95#ís and he decided that he was going to do what I do. He would swing the weight up and down. Even after I told him to lift lighter. He wouldnít listen to me. He was under the impression that if you can move the weight, it is the proper weight. I did not want to workout with this idiot ever again and didnít. I just donít know how I can stress this point any further. You got to use the proper amount of weight. If you do not you will not get any stronger! You will not get any bigger. Hereís another story for ya! I was talking to these two guys in my gym. I said to them how is it going. They said that they were having trouble gaining weight. I said to them, are you doing your squats? No, we donít workout on our legs. IDIOTS, THATíS ALL I CAN SAY !!! Stupid people, STUPID!!! Even after I told them , that they wonít get anywhere, by not working out their legs , they told me that they run, and that is their leg workout. Running makes your legs smaller!!! So, I gave up on them. I donít like calling people stupid, but damn! It is only common sense, your legs are the largest muscle group on your body, they also help to release testosterone.

When you workout, you should try to make it as short as you can. My workouts, get shorter and shorter. I am now realizing, that if I concentrate on making the exercise work better, I donít have to do as many sets. This is simple HIT criteria. The more and more I incorporate, HIT training the more I agree. About 3 years ago I bought a Dr. Darden book, "Bigger Muscles in 10 weeks". In that book he had a super slow section. I tried the super slow style of lifting (4 seconds up and 4 seconds down). I did not gain much strength. I was basing results on my workout strength and not my size and max strength. I felt that I wasnít gaining any strength. So, I felt that the workout did not work. But that is what I am doing now. After years of trying to gain workout strength, I find that the workout is just the means to gaining max strength. I donít try to lift heavy. I just try to stimulate muscle growth. I know I keep throwing this at you, but this is the most important point on this page. Workout strength, should not be confused with max strength. What is workout strength? Thatís the amount of weight you lift on a daily basis and not to be confused with your max lifts. Too many people pyramid up to 90% of their max strength, with crappy form every workout. I only bench up to 60 - 70%, in good form SLOW. Too many people look at their workout as a weekly max out session. I have seen people workout their biceps for 1 and half hours. I only spend 25 minutes or less. In fact my last biceps workout lasted 20 minutes. If you are truly working out with 100% intensity, it should only take that long. If you are just trying to measure your strength, it will take longer. The purpose of lifting is to inflict damage on the muscle, so that it heals and gets stronger.

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