How to get stronger in the gym

As a new gym member, if you follow a decent routine and start lifting weights you will see a big increase in strength, called “beginner gains”.  But over time your progress will come to a halt, the body is smart, it will adapt.  Most people in the gym aren’t ambitious.  For example, let’s say that you are a guy that’s been working out at a gym for 30 yrs and you’re the strongest one in the gym and your deadlift and squat are both 400lbs, in your mind you think this is strong, but you have nothing to compare it too.  Just like the visitor to a tiny town, and everyone stares at the new Mercedes driven by the out of town stranger, it’s impressive.  However, in another gym down the street, a trainer has trained a 17 year old kid to squat and deadlift 400lbs as well.  So knowing other people that have higher standards than you push your limits if you really want them pushed.  And with strength, the quickest way to push your limits and your body into growing is with programming, a set calculated route and plan.  For example one way that most of the gym works out:  go in the gym for decades and never write anything down and pick up some weights, no intensity, lift it up and down til you are tired.  You will look at be the same for decades with this approach.  The body only does the bare minimum and will tell you to stop as soon as it can.  It hates struggle and change.  The ambitious mind and a goal can change that.  Here is an example.  Let’s say your squat is 200 lbs max.  You want to get stronger and squat once per week.  Week one you go in and warmup and we are doing a 5×5 beginner program.  First week you do 135 5 sets of 5.   Give it everything you have and try to aim for more than five on the 5th set.  Week 2 you do 140 5×5.    Week 3 you do 145 5×5.  Week 4 you do 150 5×5. Week 5 you do 155 5×5.  Week 6 you do 160 5×5.  Week 7 you do 165 5×5. And week 8 you do 170 5×5.  Week 9 I would have off and do nothing.  Now your max should be 220 possibly and I would jump in another program such as a 16 week program going from 3 sets of 8,  all the way down to 2 sets of 1.  With an off week every 8th week.  The secret is to always be doing programming and work on assistance workouts one day a week as well.

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