So, you wanna get big in the New Year? How’s it going so far? If you want massive size, step one is building strength. Building your strength is the foundation of a muscular body and athletic performances such as lifting heavier weight, hitting harder, running faster, getting more reps in, etc. Building strength will make your everyday performance better – inside and outside of the gym. Here’s what you need to do:
- Focus on the big lifts. Hands down, the best exercises for building strength are the squat, deadlift, bench press, and shoulder press. Incorporate big lifts at the beginning of your workout, and then focus on your accessory movements after some heavy volume with the big ones. These exercises will not only help you build mass, but you’ll also be working your core in every single one of these exercises since they use such a large muscle group. Perfecting the “big four” will also give you even more strength and balance during smaller accessory movements to bring out fine cuts in your muscles.
- Use barbells. Forget all the fancy machines for these exercises. Just remember, “barbell is best” – for big and small movements. Every piece of equipment in the gym has its place, but when you’re focused on building strength and mass, the barbell should be the first thing you pick up when you’re in the gym. With a barbell, you can add a lot of weight, and this is important when you wanna get big and strong. Once you demolish your heavy movements with a barbell, you can use the dumbbells, cable machines, resistance bands, and body weight movements to bring out the details and get a massive pump.
- Calculate your percentages from your 1-rep max. And keep track of these in a workout log. It doesn’t need to be anything official – we like using the Notes app on our phone or just a plain old notebook. Keep track of the date, exercises, sets, reps, and how you felt before, during, and after your workout. This may seem tedious, but it will help you in the long run.
- A good rule of thumb is to try to complete 15-20 sets per workout. When building strength and mass, sets of 5-reps is a breakdown that’s easy to follow and easy to remember. To visualize, a typical leg day for building strength might look something like this:
- 5 x 5 back squat
- 5 x 5 Romanian deadlift
- 5 x 5 glute thrusts
- 5 x 5 leg press
- This gives you 20 sets at 5-reps per set. It’s easy to remember and easy to focus on your form when you just need to perfect 5-reps before your resting period.
- Experiment with rep speeds. You can try a 5-second eccentric (a slow rep, counting to 5 on the way down), or a 5-second concentric (a slow rep, counting to 5 on the way up). You can also experiment with a 5-second pause at the bottom of your lift (the bottom of a squat or the bottom of a bench press). Just pause and count to 5 in the middle of the movement. This technique is also called “time under tension” and we recommend this for advanced lifters who may have hit a little bit of a workout plateau. This is great to incorporate if you’ve been consistent with a workout routine for years and need a little something new to change it up.
- Keep it healthy with a little cardio. Just don’t overdo it when you’re focusing on building strength since cardio is an effective way to lose weight. Crank up the incline on a treadmill and do a 20-30 minute walk before or after your lift. Or, do some short, intense sprints on the treadmill or spin bike. Another great way to maintain strength but keep your heart healthy is by putting in work on the stair master. You’ll feel this in your legs, and it’s a great way to build them up or push the lactic acid out after a gruesome leg day.
- Keep it simple. If you’re just getting started on your fitness journey, there’s no need to do anything super-complex or spend hours in the gym every day. Consistency is key, whether that’s with your exercises or your nutrition. As far as building strength goes, it’s important to first perfect the form on each exercise. If you nail that part of it, begin to add weight. But remember, an exercise will be more effective if you do it CORRECTLY with no weight, verses INCORRECTLY with a ton of weight. Drop your ego and lower the weight if you need to.
Those are our top 7 tips for building strength and adding muscle. Remember, what you do outside of the gym counts just as much, if not more, than what you do inside the gym’s four walls. If you wanna get big and strong, you must eat like you wanna get big and strong. Focus on hitting the appropriate protein, fat, and carbohydrate goals for someone with these goals. And don’t forget to drink at least a gallon of water of water every day and shoot for 7-8 hours of sleep.
What are your upcoming strength goals? Do you have a certain number you want to hit on your back squat? Or a certain number on the scale you’re working towards? Stay focused and keep building strength to make your results even better.
Many folks unfamiliar with the business of working out are under the impression that stamina and endurance are synonymous. Those of us that do take to the gym on the regular, however, are often aware that, in practical terms, these are, in fact, two very different things – and, as a result, the approaches one must take to improving them are similarly distinct. We have discussed weight training in the past, and when you combine that with endurance and stamina training, you will have a full workout routine!
In brief, stamina refers to the ability of your muscles to perform at maximum capacity – that is to say, how long you can perform at your peak. For instance, you might be able to spend a lengthy amount of time benching weights; but at a certain point, you may find yourself having to lower the weight from your maximum of 120 pounds down to 100 pounds to keep going. At this point, you have reached the end of your stamina – you can keep going, but not at your absolute best.
Endurance refers, much like stamina, to your ability to keep performing. However, unlike stamina, it is concerned not with your ability to perform at your peak, but merely to keep going until you have to take a rest.
To return to the previous example: at the point where, while benching, you have to shift down from your maximum of 120 pounds, you have reached the peak of your stamina. However, as long as you can keep benching – even if it is not your maximum weight – then your endurance is still ongoing.
Whether you ought to focus on building stamina or endurance very much depends on just what you do in physical terms. If, for instance, you are a long-distance runner, you ought to focus on endurance – after all, you don’t need to be always at top speed to finish a marathon. By contrast, if you are a sprinter, you need to be keeping up absolute top speed beginning to end – in which case, you ought to be more concerned with stamina.
Of course, for the most part, most of us benefit greatly from improving both stamina and endurance – not least because the two of them are intricately connected. Either way, when it comes to working out, prioritizing one over the other is fine, but time ought to be given to both. If you include natural endurance supplements into your daily diet and combine this with a dedicated workout schedule, you will see results fast.
Regardless, training for either is pretty simple: for endurance training, you’ll want to focus on more long-term workouts, even if they might not represent you working at your maximum. Lower the weights on the bench to something you have a slightly easier time with, or go jogging at a more manageable rate than usual. What matters is that you keep the exercise up for longer.
By contrast, getting your stamina up is a matter of grinding at your max for as long as possible. Set the weights to the absolute highest you think you can endure, or run at your maximum speed until you can’t keep going. Stamina training is a matter of grinding yourself at your absolute limit for as long as possible – even if that isn’t all that long.
BUILD A SUPPLEMENT STACK THAT WILL ENSURE RESULTS
So where do supplements play into all of this? Whether you’re trying to build muscle mass, cutting unwanted fat, trying to gain size and strength or gain endurance, we’ve got a workout supplement stack that will provide you with massive gains, stamina, and energy. Check out our combo packages. We pride ourselves offering the very best bodybuilding, all-natural supplements in the world. Try us out and coupled with your workout campaign, you will see results in a matter of weeks.
Another thing to keep in mind is that pre-workout supplement cycling is extremely important. The idea of cycling off of your pre-workout can be terrifying to some, but just like living a healthy lifestyle, you often have to practice mind over matter. If you want to continue pumping iron and making gains, avoid becoming complacent or completely tolerant to your pre-workout, we recommend you do a 4-5 week cycle after you feel your pre-workout is becoming less effective. This will help cleanse the body and ensure your pre-workout remains effective for you in the future.
If you still have questions, check out our awesome cycle guides!
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We are a team of bodybuilding experts and fitness coaches who thrive to educate others on the importance of a healthy lifestyle. CrazyMass helps bodybuilders around the world build muscle mass, increase strength, cut fat, and reach their workout goals. Our all-natural supplements are made in the USA in a FDA registered – cGMP facility using only the best high-quality, certified ingredients.