20(13) Tips to Get Stronger This Year
Being strong sets the table for all other training parameters to improve. You can’t “tone” a muscle if it doesn’t exist and doing reps of 10-15 chasing the pump on your biceps is useless if you can’t perform a chin up. It’s called strength training remember! With that being said the year is young and there is plenty of time to get stronger and healthier in the next year.
Stronger (and seexay muscles)
1.) De-load every couple of weeks. If training heavy (and in most cases you should be) make sure to cycle your training intensity. I love the 5/3/1 method of taking 90-95% of your 1-RM and perform the following.
Week 1: 65%,75%,85% 3×5
Week 2:70%, 80%,90% 3×3
Week 3:75%,85%,95% 3×5,3,1
Week 4: 50-65% 3×5 (deload week)
This will ensure progress without overtraining and providing time for supercompensation in week 4. You don’t need to deload every 4 weeks, but I find most athletes over train anyways.
2.)Drink a post-workout drink during your workout. Why not get a jump start on recovery? Drinking your shake during your workout can provide additional fuel for the workout while beginning the recovery process earlier. I use a protein-carb blend and sip throughout my workouts.
3.) If you’re performing deadlifts, squats, good mornings, or other stressful exercises on the low back ditch barbell bent over rows. Barbell rows are a great builder no doubt, but they are extremely stressful on the lower back. Instead opt for chest supported rows, dumbbell rows, inverted rows (preferably with a suspension trainer such as TRX or gymnastics rings). These exercises will allow for better recovery of the lower back, reduce injury risk, and still provide optimal stimulation for growth.
4.) Don’t grind out your deadlifts, instead focus on perfect form and pull with speed. Consistently grinding deadlifts can fry the nervous system for weeks, leave you weaker, and leave you more susceptible to injury. Instead, try using powerlifting bands with 55-70% of your max to be quick off the floor and strengthen your lockout.
5.) If it hurts, get it fixed. If you can’t train then you won’t get stronger. I am guilty on multiple occasions of this but I am finally learning. Don’t defer treatment and trying to fix an injury alone, go find out it isn’t something more serious and utilize rehab professionals. Find the issue, correct it, and heal to get back into the game faster.
6.) Along the same lines as the previous post do your prehab! Foam roll, static stretch, do your planks, glute activation, dynamic warm ups, massage therapy etc. Doing these things even though they can be painstakingly boring are vital to training consistently. Consistency is the key to success, you can’t make plays standing on the sideline!
7.)Train with someone stronger, bigger, and/or smarter than you. Everyone needs a coach and even the most experienced athletes develop flaws in techniques and exercise. Also, training partners can provide an awesome motivational and competitive atmosphere, booyah!
Okay so it’s not 13, or 2013 for that matter but I will be back to finish this post. Besides, I need to keep you coming back for more :).