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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.

By
Ben Greenfield,
July 30, 2013
Episode #147

Page 2 of 2

Periodize

If you use the same strength training volume and intensity, and the same sets, weight, and the number of repetitions all the time, you’ll experience burnout and you won’t get lean and strong as quickly. So you should modify your strength training routine with the seasons.

This is achieved through “periodization,” a concept I introduced in the episode How to Get Better Results From Weightlifting. Periodization is the scientific term for splitting a training year into periods and focusing on a specific fitness goal for each period. By following the simple rules below, you’ll be able to effectively periodize your strength training:

·       Winter: If your goal is to develop muscle mass, tone muscle in a specific body area or part, or build significantly greater strength, the winter is a good time to do it, since you may be eating more anyways. So you might as well turn those extra calories into lean muscle! Do winter strength training workouts with a set and repetition range designed for muscular growth. I recommend 3-4 times per week strength training, with 3-5 sets for each exercise, with 10-15 reps, 65-75% intensity, 30-60 seconds rest between sets, or circuits with minimal rest. 

·       Spring: Because you may be wanting to play sports or stay active in the summer (while showing off your lean, strong body, of course), spring is a good time to develop more joint and ligament strength and muscular coordination. I recommend including 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps, with a heaver weight than used in the winter, and the goal of completing 2-3 weight training sessions each week. For ideal strength, use 3-5 sets of 8-10 reps at 75-85% intensity with 60-90 seconds rest between sets.

·       Summer: Summer can get busy. But fortunately, you can maintain your results with 1-2 strength training sessions each week that are hard and heavy, with 2-4 sets of 6-8 reps at 85-95% intensity, and 90 seconds to 2 minutes rest. If you’re playing summer sports, you can begin to include plyometrics – either performed separately or at the same time as the weight training session.

·       Fall: Fall comes just before a return to winter muscle building, and so a good goal for fall is to develop lots of power so that you can get good results and be even stronger when you step into the gym to restart your winter muscle building. When these types of power training sessions are performed properly, there will be little to no soreness or muscle failure, but a high amount of muscle fiber stimulation. All lifts should be performed explosively, in most cases with a lighter weight than used in previous periods. I recommend just 1-3 sets of 4-6 reps at relatively light weight of 40-60% intensity lifted quickly, and a strength training frequency of 1-2 sessions each week. 

Use Proper Timing

There are 3 basic timing rules to follow as you get stronger:

·       Timing Rule #1:  Research has shown a higher calorie-burning response when strength training is preceded by cardio, rather than vice versa. So do your cardio first, and your weights after.

·       Timing Rule #2: Space strength training workouts that target the same muscle groups by at least 48 hours. Muscles will take at least 48 hours to recover between strength training sessions, so if, for example, a session includes barbell squats, and a subsequent weight training session includes dumbbell lunges, then space these sessions by at least 48 hours since they train similar muscle groups.

·       Timing Rule #3: If you have limited time at the gym or limited ability to visit the gym frequently, perform either short and frequent or long and infrequent strength training workouts. In an a frequent scenario, 2-3 weight training workouts of 20-45 minutes each can be performed on a weekly basis. In an ideal scenario, I recommend you incorporate 3-4 strength training sessions per week if you’re just getting started, and then 1-2 sessions per week for continued maintenance.

If you have more questions about ways to get strong fast, post them in Comments below or on http://www.Facebook.com/GetFitGuy!

 

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