Many gym-goers are interested in learning how to effectively increase muscle strength. If getting stronger is one of your goals, then it’s important for you to train properly as well as eat the right foods in the right quantities. Not only that, but you will also need to adequately recover from your workouts.
Let’s take a closer look at how to increase muscle strength.
- You must apply the progressive overload principle.
In order to increase muscle strength, you should be doing strength training sessions anywhere between three and five times per week. Additionally, you must also gradually increase the amount of weight you lift. This is called “progressive overloading.” As you get stronger, you will need to keep increasing the intensity of your training sessions in order to avoid hitting plateaus.
Over time, you will notice that you will be able to do more repetitions with heavier weights than you originally started with.
- Your workouts must be consistent.
If you workout five times a week for two or three weeks and then do nothing at all for the next three or four weeks, then you will not see any significant gains in strength. In general, it takes a few months of consistent workouts that get progressively more challenging to see real results. The reason why some people never get stronger is because they are inconsistent with their strength training routines.
- Keep track of your workouts and your progress.
Keeping track of your workouts allows you to focus on the workout as opposed to trying to remember what you were lifting. Therefore, you should record the number of sets and repetitions of each exercise you do. You should also keep track of how heavy you are lifting. As you get stronger and lift heavier, you will be inspired to keep challenging yourself if you see progress in your lifts.
- Set realistic goals and expectations.
If you are at the beginning of your fitness journey, you must understand that you will not be bench pressing 250 lbs within the first few weeks of starting.
This does not mean, however, that you will never be able to bench press 250 lbs. When it comes to reaching big strength and fitness goals, everything happens in due time. You must give your body enough time to adapt to the training. If you set unrealistic expectations for your strength gains, you will be setting yourself up for disappointment. Not only that, but you may also be more likely to quit your training program if you set your expectations too high at the start.
- Execute each move with proper form.
In order to increase muscle strength, proper form is important for a couple of reasons. First, when you lift using proper form, you are less likely to get injured. As we all know, one of the biggest barriers to strength and fitness gains is injury. Injuries often stop people in their tracks and require time away from the gym.
Second, when you use proper form, you are activating the right muscle groups when you do each exercise. In order for you to see any gains in muscle strength, you have to be sure that you are activating that muscle through the entire range of motion. If you don’t use proper form, you are cheating yourself out of strength gains.
- Focus on your macronutrient consumption.
If you want to increase your muscle strength, you should focus on your daily macronutrient intake. It’s important to consume the right combination of macronutrients, which are protein, carbohydrate and fat.
To maximize your muscle and strength gains from your resistance training program, you should consume approximately 1.6g of protein per kg of bodyweight per day.
You must consume lean proteins, some examples of which include skinless chicken, lean ground beef, skinless turkey, beans and tofu.
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Carbohydrates fuel your strength-building workouts and therefore you should consume about 1.5 to 2.5g of carbohydrates per pound of bodyweight. It’s important to focus on consuming complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains and vegetables.
Lastly, you must not be afraid of consuming fats during your strength-building journey. Increased energy, increased satiety and increased absorption of fat-soluble vitamins are just a few of the benefits of consuming healthy fats. Some examples of healthy fats are nuts, avocados, dark chocolate, chia seeds and peanut butter.
- Never underestimate the power of adequate recovery.
Some people underestimate their recovery requirements for a couple of reasons. First, they don’t believe that they need to rest because they do not feel tired nor sore. Second, they fear that resting will slow down their muscle strength building process. However, incorporating rest days into your routine and ensuring that you get plenty of sleep will help you build strong muscles.
You should strive to get anywhere between 7 to 9 hours of high quality sleep every night. Additionally, depending on how hard your workout was, you may need up to 48 hours to fully recover from it.
Not only will adequate recovery enable you to workout harder and lift heavier the next day, but it will also help you avoid injuries. It’s important to maintain a balance between working hard in the gym and recovering when trying to build muscle strength.
- Don’t neglect stretching.
A lot of people skip stretching after their strength training workouts because they either don’t know how to stretch properly or they fail to recognize the benefits of stretching.
The reason people neglect stretching is because they do not see the immediate correlation between stretching and building muscle strength.
However, studies have shown that regular stretching can help you increase your muscle strength. When you increase your range of motion, your muscles will increase in length as well as mass. This will allow you to generate more force during your lifts, so you will be able to use heavier weights during your training sessions. Using heavier weights will help you gain more muscle strength.
Furthermore, proper stretching also helps prevent injuries.
As we can see, gaining muscle strength requires a combination of proper nutrition, training, stretching, recovery and consistency.
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Source: Author: Sam Andreas – Content Manager at https://thefitwizard.com/
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