3 Ways to Get Strong Fast

Strong is the new sexy. Get-Fit Guy has 3 ways to learn how to lift weights and time your workouts for getting stronger faster.

Ben Greenfield,
July 30, 2013
Episode #147

How to Build Muscle

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Strong is the new sexy.

And when you build muscle the right way, you not only get strong, but you get a lean, tight, toned appearance that gives you a far better look than the type of physique you might develop when you simply pound away miles on the treadmill or just perform yoga or Pilates. It’s not that cardio, flexibility, and core strength aren’t good for you, it’s just that in the absence of strength training and some muscle building, you simply won’t get that body that you want. I discuss this in more detail in my book Get-Fit Guy’s Guide to Achieving Your Ideal Body.

So in this episode, you’ll discover the best 3 ways to get strong fast and how to time your workouts to get stronger..

3 Ways to Get Strong Fast

There are 3 primary strategies you should use for increasing strength: multi-joint exercises, periodization, and proper timing of your workouts.

Multi-Joint Exercises

You’ll often read articles in fitness magazines that highlight the injury-preventing and performance-enhancing importance of tending to small, supportive muscles that are notoriously weak in most people, such as the shoulder’s rotator cuff, the outer butt’s gluteus medius, the small scapula muscles along the shoulder blades, and the abdominal, hip and low back region, or “core.”

While these certainly are weak areas that shouldn’t be neglected, for the average working, time-crunched exerciser, it simply doesn’t make sense to devote several extra hours per week performing isolation exercises for these tiny, supportive muscles.

For example, a common exercise for strengthening your shoulder and rotator cuff involves multiple sets and high repetitions of internal and external rotation with a piece of elastic tubing. If you have 30 minutes at the gym over lunch hour, do you really want to spend 10 minutes of that time standing relatively motionless, as a few small muscles in your arm and shoulder are firing? 

Instead you’ll find your limited time better suited to large, multi-joint movements that incorporate the rotator cuff, but also use many of the other major muscles of your body, thus training coordination, motor-unit recruitment, and muscle strength, while at the same time strengthening the rotator cuff. Talk about bang for your buck!

Two examples in this case would be 1) barbell or dumbbell overhead presses and 2) bodyweight or assisted pull-ups, both of which involve multiple large muscles and full upper body coordination, but also incorporate the smaller, stabilizing muscles of the rotator cuff. Other examples of good full body or multi-joint movements include squatscleansoverhead presses and deadlifts.


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