A no-BS guide to strength training for beginners to get stronger than you’ve ever dreamed.
If you want to get strong but don’t know how to start, this guide to strength training for beginners will have everything you need.
In this Complete Guide to Strength Training for Beginners, we’ll be digging into the following:
And a whole lot more. This guide to strength training for beginners will have everything you need to start getting strong and don’t know where to begin.
Why Should I Do Strength Training?
Let’s be honest, strength training for beginners is hard, so why bother?
Strength training can make you smarter, more confident and happier. It also helps you sleep better and boosts your testosterone levels – why wouldn’t you want to be a better human?
In this article, we’ll explore why strength training is so important for all of us, why it’s not as hard as some people think it is (just check out our FREE Training Program for beginners below) and why everyone should do strength training if they want to become the best version of themselves.
Here are 4 reasons why you need strength training in your life:
- It makes you smarter
- It makes you happier and more confident
- It helps you sleep better
- It can make you gain strength and improve performance.
1) Strength training makes you smarter
Starting strength training stimulates the production of hormones that promote neurogenesis (the growth of new brain cells) (ref).
A new study out of Georgia Tech is shedding light on the short-term benefits that come with a brief, but intense workout. It’s been shown that after just 20 minutes in an exercise routine your episodic memory can increase by 10% (ref). This means you’ll remember not only events from today but also ones from previous days!
This is why a short and intense strength session leaves you feeling happier. Happy people are more efficient at everything they do because happy people have great episodic memory. This means happy people accomplish more in less time!
The result? You’ll learn faster, remember more from what you’re learning and remember more of the information.
2) Strength training makes you happier and more confident
Exercise is not only shown to be an effective antidepressant, but it also provides you with better energy levels and more satisfying social relationships (ref). The benefits of being able to do things that were previously impossible such as lift heavier weights or run faster are numerous, so why wouldn’t you want those?
More importantly, though, exercise has been proven time and again to improve self-esteem by improving body image through strength training – in fact, some studies have found resistance training can increase your sense of well-being (and who doesn’t need a little extra happiness?) (ref, ref).
Our client Andrew Paterson is a perfect example of this. He found a new-found confidence both in and outside the gym after he started The Strength Lab, a program perfectly suited to strength training for beginners and elite athletes. Click here to learn more about his program.
Just imagine yourself walking out of the gym after a tough strength training session and feeling like you’ve achieved something. You’ll feel more confident about yourself, your body, and what you can do as a person.
You might think that muscle growth is an instantaneous response to strength training, but there’s a lot going on behind the scenes. Testosterone promotes this process and encourages your body to build more muscles in order for you to lift even heavier weight next time around.
This is key because testosterone is a hormone that helps improve libido and fertility in males. It boosts sperm production, gives men more energy for sex drive, and so resistance training keeps testosterone levels at an optimal level to help with infertility issues.
If you’re a woman, then it’s important to care about your testosterone levels too. It’s no secret that testosterone is often associated with male characteristics, but did you know it may also offer females some more subtle effects? For instance, like impacting mood and sexual desire!
3) Strength training helps you sleep better
Do you feel like your sleep is always interrupted? And then when this happens, the next day becomes a complete disaster with you feeling really tired and sluggish. Have no fear!
Resistance exercises have been shown to improve aspects of quality by increasing rapid eye movement (REM) latency and total time spent sleeping, but it also helps us wake up in the morning refreshed because we slept better at night.
It’s thought that resistance exercises improve sleep by improving symptoms of depression and anxiety which has been shown in countless studies (ref).
This leads to fewer disruptions throughout the night, a better quality sleep and ultimately feeling more refreshed the following morning.
4) Strength training can make you gain muscle
Strength training is a great way to get leaner while building strength. In fact, strength training burns a lot of calories during a training session which is essential for creating a calorie deficit.
In addition to increasing strength, strength training also builds muscle mass. Our muscles are composed of different types of fibers that contract in a certain way depending on what type of strength is needed during a movement. When we perform a strength training session, these fibers break down and rebuild to adapt and become stronger.
Do you want to live longer and be happier? Well, why not start strength training? The evidence is clear…
The more strength you build, the better your quality of life. Whether it’s building strength to be able to run faster or lifting heavier weights at the gym for increased muscle mass and testosterone levels, strength training is an important part of any fitness routine.
With this in mind, Health by Science is on hand to support you in your endeavours to improve your life through strength training for beginners.
Our strength coaches will guide you through a progressive and systemised programme that guarantees you will get stronger, leaving out the fluff and maximising your time in the gym.
Which benefits have been most relevant for you? What would make strength training for beginners worth doing on a regular basis? We love hearing from our readers so please reach out anytime if there’s anything else we can do for you.
How Do I Start Strength Training?
We all know what it feels like to want a better body, but we don’t always know how to get there. Fear not!
This section will give you the confidence and plan needed for strength training success.
Whether you’re new or experienced in this realm of fitness, these strategies are tried and tested when working with our Online Coaching Clients-and I’m excited to share them with YOU too.
What is strength training?
Strength training for beginners or elite athletes is really about two things:
#1 Moving any weight against resistance, including your body – doing ANY exercise that pushes muscles outside of their comfort zone and forces them to rebuild stronger for the next challenge.
#2 Progressively increasing difficulty by lifting heavier weights or adding one more rep in each set consistently. Your muscles will have constantly had to adapt and get stronger every day
The end result of the progressive overload is a constant and progressively increasing challenge to your muscle.
The stimuli will be more than they have been able to handle in previous workouts, but if you’re willing to push yourself even further, then it’s possible for them not only to reach new heights physically, but mentally as well!
That’s all there really is to it: do some strength training and make the exercises more challenging–you’ll become stronger with time.
This means if you drop down right now for just one knee push up, then technically you’ve done a strength-training workout already!. So we’re here to tell you:
YOU HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO BUILD AMAZING LEVELS OF STRENGTH!!!
Bodyweight exercises are a great way to start exercising. They can be done anywhere, and you always have your weight with you.
Bodyweight training is just one type of exercise that does not require any equipment whatsoever. It’s also the best place for beginners because it allows them to build muscle without having an excess amount of body fat get in the way – since they don’t need gym memberships or kit!
Bodyweight exercises are the most human exercise you can do. You’re doing what we were literally designed to do, and by starting with bodyweight movements, you will become less injury-prone because these types of workouts build your strength without adding more weight (while still being challenging). For example: start out with knee push ups then go to regular ones before moving on from there!
Strength training for beginners with equipment
Regardless of sex or gender, age if your goal is to get strong quickly then you should be training with a barbell. It’s much safer when lifting heavier weights too – especially for lower body exercises like squats and deadlifts.
It is important to check the weight capacity of the bar before using it since some weighted bars are only made to handle lighter weights. This ensures that there won’t be any accidents. A general rule is that a bar with a higher weight capacity will be thicker and sturdier than one with a lower weight capacity. It’s also important to have the correct form when using the barbell, otherwise someone could get hurt.
For most beginners, it would be best to start out with a lighter weight to help you get used to the movement, and eventually allow for heavier weights.
A great first step into the world of strength training for beginners. They are easy to bring with you, don’t take up much space, and can be used for bodyweight movements as well! Dumbbell exercises also force an added stabilization challenge that many find less intimidating than barbell workouts.
Dumbbells come in many different weights for different preferences and abilities. For example, people who are just starting with strength training would start off with 5kg dumbbells (or even 2kg) until you’re confident in your ability to use them safely. Then you can progressively overload your body by increasing the weight over time.
Kettlebells are essentially cannonballs with handles. They come in various weights and don’t take up a lot of space. Kettlebell workouts can range from 20 minutes to an hour long which is perfect for someone who’s short on time but wants high-intensity interval training (HIIT). We’ve compiled 8 simple exercises that you can do alone or at the gym without any other equipment needed!
Resistance bands are a real space saver and super convenient, but they can also be used for more than just simple exercises that require little to no equipment. These stretchy rubberized tools make it possible to create your own workout routine anywhere you go. The possibilities really seem endless when considering all of the different ways resistance bands enable us to exercise!
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Which strength training option is best for you?
Get started on the right path with our free strength training for beginners programme and receive 1-on-1 coaching feedback and advice from a certified Strength Coach.
We get to know you and your goals, will check your form via video, and make adjustments based on how well things are going in order to maximize success!
The Three Key Things For Building Strength
You’ve been going to the gym and working out for months now.
You’re sore, you’re tired, but something in your gut tells you that there is more work to be done before you can get the strength gains you want.
And it’s because no matter how hard you try, even if you follow a training programme religiously, there will still come a time when progress slows down or stops completely.
And this is where most people give up on their strength goals – not because they don’t want it anymore but because they don’t know what else to do next!
But have faith: with these three simple steps (that take less than 5 minutes) we’ll show you exactly how to break through any plateau so that you can reach your potential.
The key principles of training
The problem with most training protocols is that they are not designed to be effective for everyone.
Most of the time, trainers will make you do a bunch of exercises in a certain order and then tell you to lift until failure. But if your body has responded well to this approach in the past, it doesn’t mean it will work again next time. It might even have negative effects!
Here we give you 3 key principles that should form part of every good training routine for building strength. If your workout does not incorporate these principles then there is no way it can be considered sufficient to get you results…
Step 1: Train consistently
Training twice a week all year round is superior to training 5 times a week for just 20-weeks because consistency is king when it comes to getting results.
You can’t go to the gym “once in a while” and expect great long-term progress, just like you cannot train sporadically throughout the year without any real success. Short blasts of training have their place under certain conditions but consistency is key!
As a general rule, if you want to get strong then you should do at least two resistance training sessions per week to maximize strength development, but the greater frequency can lead to even more desirable results.
Training too often can cause overtraining, but for the vast majority of people, training too frequently is not the issue. Training frequently and consistently is a big challenge because life can easily get in the way.
Put simply, the lifter who trains consistently will experience steady strength and muscular gains over time.
Step 2: Work hard but not too hard
You don’t need to kill yourself every workout, but you do have to push yourself.
You should listen and make adjustments if your body says so on any given day.
There are so many variables that can affect how hard or easy a particular workout will be for you before you even set foot in a gym. For example, the amount of sleep you’ve had recently, what your diet is like recently, and also just regular life stressors in general such as going through tough times with family members/friends who might still be upset over something that has happened recently.
You need to be prepared to manage these variables and adjust your effort accordingly, otherwise, you set yourself up for failure.
So when is the right time to train to failure?
It’s tough to say as some lifters can tolerate it more than others. Beginner or newer lifters should keep their sets medium in intensity, which basically translates into leaving 2-3 reps left “in the tank” at the end of each set.
Those who have been lifting for a little longer and are feeling good following a new workout schedule can experiment with their training volume by going all out on the first set of exercises. If it turns into one too many reps towards failure though, then they may burn themselves out which would lead them to do less overall work that day–so pay attention and make sure you track your data.
As a general rule of thumb, we normally advise people to train until they fail during their final set for each exercise although it’s important not to overtrain and reduce frequency accordingly if you feel like your intensity has dropped too much. Always remember that consistency is king!
Step 3: Focus on your technique
It’s important to know when it is time for form and when it is not. Sometimes you have to let loose a bit, throw your weight around, and go heavier than the norm.
The lifting technique is a delicate balance between maximizing the stress on your muscles to produce a performance while minimizing the risk of poor technique and potential injury.
If you’ve ever been to a gym, then you know that consistency in technique is also key. An inconsistent exercise technique leads to the false impression of progressive overload, which can lead to injury if you’re not careful.
The most obvious example of this phenomenon is with squats: people may believe they are progressively overloading their muscles when really all they’re doing is cutting depth and rounding back more each week without increasing weight on the bar or reps–leading them down an incorrect path for success.
In reality, you’re not getting stronger at all. In fact, you’re progressively reducing the challenge through various biomechanical shortcuts that never take you anywhere near your dream body.
There are many components to training, but the three key points we want you to remember when it comes to maximizing results is to…
1) train often,
2) train hard (but not too hard) and
3) focus on your technique.
If these principles sound simple enough but difficult for you in practice because of life getting in the way, then be rest assured that most people feel that way.
Our team can help with setting realistic expectations and creating a solid plan based on how much time you have available each week so that progress doesn’t stall just because things got busy at work. So what are you waiting for?
What Are The Best Strength Training Exercises For Beginners?
If you want to know how to build strength, there are three rules: train consistently, lift heavy and use compound lifts with the proper form.
There are hundreds of exercises and workout routines that can help you get bigger and stronger, but when you’re limited on time or equipment, there are three important exercises that you should add to your strength training program: back squats, deadlifts and bench press.
Since your body is comprised of muscles that help you push and pull, you have to work them all to maximize strength. To do this effectively, choose the whole-body push exercise that is generally considered the king of all lifts: the squat.
Couple that with the high demand of a whole-body “push-pull” like the deadlift and both your core and lower body muscle training is complete. For the upper body, the main lift to incorporate is the bench press.
It’s a myth that strength training is only for muscle-bound bodybuilders.
In fact, strength training for beginners especially, helps you get stronger, more muscular and leaner, which makes you healthier and happier. It also boosts your self-confidence because it changes the way people see you in all aspects of life!
The big three exercises
Here are the three key strength training for beginners exercises that you need to look into if you want to look and feel strong: squats, deadlifts and bench press. Each exercise targets different muscles for strength building. Let’s look at each strength-building move one-by-one.
How to: Squat tips
Keep your head neutral and chest high during the entire movement. Your first movement should be back with your glutes, as if to sit in a chair. Maintain a slight arch in your lower back. Your feet should be placed shoulder width apart with your toes pointing slightly outward.
How to: Deadlift tips
Think of the move as a push and a pull—you are pushing through the floor with your heels and pulling the bar up your body using your grip and back. Don’t use momentum to get into your next rep. Deadlift equals a dead stop on each rep. Once the bar is off the floor, drive hard into the floor extending your entire body at once.
The completed concentric portion of the lift occurs when the body is fully erect. Do not hyperextend your back at the top. Click here to download our FREE Deadlift Cheat Sheet for a handy easy to use guide.
How to: Bench Press tips
Grab a hold of the bar with hands about 6-8 inches outside of shoulder width on each side to keep the emphasis on your pecs. At this bottom position, the bar should cross, or be slightly above, the nipples. Avoid bouncing the bar off your chest, which can reduce muscle recruitment and put your joints at risk. Exhale forcefully as you pass the most difficult part of the movement.
Don’t let strength training intimidate you. It will help you get stronger, more muscular and leaner, which means healthier and happier.
Plus strength training, for beginners espeically, boosts your self-confidence because it changes how people see you in all aspects of life! And the best strength-building exercises are squats, deadlifts, bench press & barbell rows.
These three strength-building moves work for beginners because they are simple to learn with low risk of injury or pain and can be done by anyone regardless of age or experience level (including the elderly). Start today by adding these 3 strength-building exercises into your routine!
DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE DEADLIFT CHEAT SHEET
Perfect your technique and hit PBs…DOWNLOAD NOW
Stop Wasting Time In The Gym With These 5 Hacks
Do you want to get stronger? Then you need to make the most of your precious time in the gym.
Time is one of the most valuable assets in life. We all have 24 hours in a day, but some people just seem to be able to get everything done that they need and want, while others struggle just to get through their never-ending chores. The difference between those who are productive and those who aren’t is often motivation and self-discipline.
Hour for hour, the gym should be one of the most effective places to use your time. You could sit at home and watch TV or surf the internet, but you’ll get more out of spending that time in the gym. However, if you can’t assemble a workout that’s productive, it will be a waste of time. It’s as simple as that.
Here is what you need to do to be successful in the gym:
1. Have a plan
2. Prioritise your lifts
3. Utilise supersets
4. Track your progress
5. Get some accountability
1. Have a plan
Heading into the gym without a firm plan in mind is a surefire way to waste time. The truth is that having a good outline for what you’re doing can help make your workouts more efficient. Having this sort of outline lets you know exactly what exercises you need to do, how many sets you should complete, and can even help you to choose the right weights for your workout.
Once you have everything planned out, it’s much easier to go through each step of your routine without worrying about forgetting something or having to stop mid-workout because you suddenly don’t know what comes next.
For anyone who has ever stepped foot into the gym without putting any thought into what they were doing, you know all too well how frustrating it can be to not have a plan of attack. Not only is it difficult to know exactly what exercises you should do and in what order, but it’s even harder to figure out which weights you should pick up. That’s why having a plan of what to do and how much weight to lift is so helpful – it lets you know exactly what you need for each workout, which can save a lot of time and effort in the end.
Once you have everything planned out, it’s much easier to go through each step of your routine without worrying about forgetting something or having to stop mid-workout because you suddenly don’t know what comes next.
2. Prioritise your lifts
Choose 2-3 exercises to focus on for each workout and perform them first. Everything afterward should be an accessory exercise that complements the main lifts. This way, if you run out of time on your accessory lifts, you’ll know that at least you were able to get the main lifts (and the hard work) in before time ran out.
You know the old adage “If you want to get strong, you need to squat.” Well, it turns out that this is more than just a catchy slogan; it’s actually true.
What does this mean for your workout routine? It means prioritizing lifts. When time is limited (and it always is), prioritize the main lifts and then use accessory exercises as secondary work that complements those main lifts. If you run out of time on your accessories, at least make sure to do the main lift before quitting!
Here’s what a prioritized workout may look like:
Prioritized workout example
Main Lifts: Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift Accessory Exercises: Reverse Hyperextensions, Face Pulls, Weighted Chin-ups/Pull-ups
Note that both workouts use the same exercises. The difference is in the order of exercises.
*Tip – If you are pressed for time, prioritize your main lifts before using secondary accessory exercises.
3. Utilise supersets
Supersets are probably one of the most often used and obvious methods for getting in an efficient workout.
Pairing two exercises back to back not only saves time, but it also mimics a cardiovascular workout on the weight room floor.
So if you’re looking to get stronger without losing aerobic conditioning or gaining fat (both common side effects of too much weight training), then supersetting is your answer!
When you superset, you do two different exercises back-to-back with no rest in-between. A good example would be doing a set of bench press, then immediately doing a set of lat pulldowns. If you have more time on your hands, superset opposing muscle groups like back and chest or biceps and triceps. This will allow for maximum rest so that you can lift full strength again before continuing to the next exercise.
4. Track your progress
You will not be successful in your fitness goals if you don’t track your progress. This is because you may think you are making progress, but really you are doing worse (or no better) than before. Use a fitness journal to track your workouts and what exercises you perform. Take these measurements seriously, as it is important that you see changes over time.
A fitness journal can also be useful if things are not going the way they should be. For example, maybe you have trouble squatting or bench pressing very heavy weights. If this is the case, you need to take a look at your program and see if you are completing all of the sets and reps that are prescribed. If not, figure out why (you got tired quicker than usual or your ego got in the way) and make sure it doesn’t keep happening.
This is the reason we include a progress tracker when you join The Strength Lab, so you can reflect and see the progress you make every session.
5. Get some accountability
If someone else knows that you are going to the gym, there is a good chance they will ask what you did when you get back. You don’t want to tell them that you spent an hour wandering around the weight racks or that your workout consisted of 100 reps on every machine in the place.
A training partner can help you stick to your goals. If you are the type of person who likes accountability, make sure you pick someone who is pretty serious about training themselves. You can train with them once or twice per week; that should be enough to keep you motivated and on track.
A Personal Trainer can also be a great source of accountability. Not only will they make sure you know what to do but they will make sure you actually do it. They can also keep an eye on your form and suggest ways to make those moves even more effective. The best part is that they even have to cost that much.
Time is a precious commodity. In the gym, wasting time can lead to wasted gains and even fat gain.
If you want to make the most of your precious time in the weight room, follow these tips:
- have a plan with exercises prioritized for maximum efficiency;
- choose 2-3 exercises to focus on for each workout and perform them first.
- utilise supersets which mimic cardiovascular training while doing weights at once;
- track your progress so that you know if things are going according to plan or not;
- get some accountability from an exercise buddy or Personal Trainer who will help keep you on target with workouts and motivation.
With these 5 steps, wasting time in the gym will be a thing of the past!
How Do You Train At A Crowded Gym?
You have your gym membership sorted and your brand new programme loaded and ready to go.
This will be the start of something amazing. So, with your new workout gear on, you make your way from the changing rooms to the gym floor.
What could go wrong?
As you enter the gym area you are met with a slightly less violent but equally busy scene from WWE…
With your favourite kit being used, your enthusiasm and confidence slowly drain.
Whilst a busy gym can be frustrating, upskilling yourself on how to not just survive but how to thrive in this environment will ensure that you still achieve all your fitness goals.
Read on to find out our top tips for thriving in a busy gym…
How to thrive in a busy gym
When the kit you want to use is already taken, it is understandable to think ‘is this really worth the hassle?’
Although it may feel like the whole gym is watching you on your first day back, everyone returning to the gym will have the exact same feeling. So you are not alone.
However, if you do decide to give in to frustrations like this then you say goodbye to that goal you had of lifting your bodyweight in a barbell back squat or mastering your first pull up.
So if we agree that stopping is not the solution then what can we do?
Well, aside from practising a little patience and understanding, here are our top tips for navigating a crowded gym:
1. Be flexible with your workout
I know, I know, the thought of doing your bigger compound lifts anywhere other than at the start of your workout sounds like a cruel joke, but hear me out.
If the rack is in use and you aren’t going to get on it for at least 15 minutes, is it really worth standing around until then? That’s another 15 minutes onto the end of your workout.
Instead, could you skip to the next exercise and come back when that piece of kit frees up?
I know the programme says you should do squats first, but…
The programme is written with the ideal order in mind. It should not be viewed as the only way.
Instead, be open to trying a different order if needed. The goal should be to complete the workout for that day. The benefits of sticking to the exact order pale in comparison to whether you complete the programme or not. By doing this and being flexible, you will save a lot of time and stress.
2. Pick the right programme
A lot of programmes are not created considering how someone will implement it in ‘insert name of popular health club here’.
Programs such as starting strength, 531 or Juggernaut are all great programmes, however, they require almost a full 60 minutes on a rack. This is not always feasible for a large number of us.
If you need to wait to get on a rack initially then this 60-minute workout could easily become longer.
Not to mention the awkward interactions you have with every member that has to wait on you finishing barbell set number 19.
There is nothing worse than being on the gym floor reading your programme about what you are planning to do and thinking…
Instead, when you are selecting a programme or putting your own one together, visualise yourself going through it in your gym.
As good as a programme may seem, if it isn’t feasible or it’s going to be too time-consuming to execute then it is not good for you.
Our Free Strength Training For Beginners Workout was created with this in mind.
No illogical supersets that have you running from one end of the gym to the other. No workouts that have you waiting for a rack only to set up camp for the next hour. Instead, we have planned a workout for people that can be implemented in any gym and still get you stronger. Click HERE to get started for free.
3. Use your voice
This one may seem obvious, but just asking ‘hey, are you still using that?’ or ‘hey, I was just wondering if you had many more sets left?’ can make a world of difference to your workout.
No more wondering how long a piece of kit will be used or assuming someone will be using it for an age. Just asking means 2 things:
You find out how long they will be using that piece of equipment for and;
If you are having to wait for them to finish you have also just made it known that you are next in line. It is likely that they will seek you out when they are done.
The ironic thing is that if you are the one using a piece of equipment that you know is popular, then having someone just ask is much better than you feeling awkward that you may or may not be delaying their workout.
And who knows, you may even make friends or at least build some rapport that will serve you well in the future.
On a side note, if you are new to a gym a great way to get comfortable with the environment is to ask for an induction.
Gyms can be busy and the kit you want can often be taken, this does not mean you should stop training and cancel your membership.
Instead, before and during your next gym visit you should do the following:
1) Change the exercise order if needed to use what is available at the time.
2) Follow a programme that can be easily carried out in any gym.
3) Use your voice and communicate with your fellow gym comrades and work together instead of against one another.
How Strong Is “Strong”?
Have you ever been at the gym or at home working out when suddenly you just stop mid-training and worriedly wonder, “Am I strong enough”?
We totally get it.
It’s a question that gets asked by thousands of people every day. Especially since we live in a world filled with 1000-kg squat and 500-deadlift Youtube videos.
Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but if you’ve spent any time on the internet you probably know what we’re talking about.
You think you’ve been making progress in your training. Heck, you’ve probably even been hitting your PBs.
But seeing folks able to move Herculean amounts of weight can easily have you doubting your own strength and feeling insecure. Or worse, it could have you doubting your hard-earned progress.
Fear not, because we’re here to put those worries to rest!
In this article, we’re going to talk about what it really means to be strong, how to assess your strength through achievable standards and what you can do to improve your strength.
Can’t wait to get started on your journey to strength improvement? Let our well-designed free strength training programme guide you every step of the way.
Why should you even measure strength?
The answer to this question might seem obvious, but there are still a lot of beginners and intermediate lifters who want to know how strong they are without even knowing why they should know.
Before you ask, “How strong is strong enough?”, it’s worthwhile to consider what measuring strength can do for you.
The simple answer is that knowing how strong you are lets you know whether you are making progress and what you should be aiming for.
Having standards can help you set expectations, decide which goals to strive for and allow you to ask better questions that lead to better choices.
The cherry on top? When you know exactly how to assess your strength, you can stop comparing yourself to those ‘lift bros’ you keep seeing on social media. And once you stop comparing, you also stop getting distracted and disheartened. Naturally, this means you’re left with more time for productivity in your training.
Get stronger with these tips
With just one click, you’ll find tonnes of articles online talking about how to get stronger. The amount of information available plus the contradicting views can get quite overwhelming.
Let’s make things a little simpler, shall we? Below are action points that can help you improve strength if you’re not sure where to start.
Tip # 1: Decide on what you’re aiming for
What are you training for? We all have our reasons. Do you want to be able to move your furniture without breaking your back? Do you want to look more attractive? Do you dream of someday holding the record for being the strongest man in the entire galaxy?
Clearly identify what your strength goals are, with clear being the keyword. Be as specific as you can.
So, instead of just saying “I want to get stronger”, a better goal would be something like “I want to be able to do 130 kg-bench presses before winter.”
You also have to ensure that your goals actually mean something to you, personally. This way, you’ll have enough motivation to see the journey through to the end.
Tip # 2: Set objective strength standards
Aiming for objective strength standards can help give you more clarity when it comes to your overall progress.
Often shown as tables or charts, strength standards provide benchmarks for various exercises.
They typically classify strength based on reps, body weight and gender. Sometimes, they’re shown as multiples of body weight. In other cases, they’re based on a rep-max instead of a one-rep max.
You’ll find many types from many different sources. An example of a strength standard is the one from powerlifter and powerlifting coach Tim Henriques. His chart divides lifters into three categories: Decent, Good and Great. It’s a bit simpler than most of what’s out there, but take time to find one that works best for you.
Do keep in mind that strength standards are meant to be starting points to help set goals and find weaknesses.
If you’re not reaching the numbers in the charts, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re unhealthy. At the end of the day, it’s good to ask whether you’re pursuing valuable improvements or just chasing numbers.
Tip # 3: Follow a plan designed to help you improve
If you want to optimize your body’s capabilities, you can’t just wing it. What you need is a structured programme that will prevent you from wasting time and effort by focusing on the areas that you need to work on the most.
The Strength Lab Programme by Health by Science is a great example of a well-designed plan that can support your strength improvement journey from start to finish.
With a person-centred plan tailored after individual goals, preferences and experience, The Strength Lab Programme helps you make changes that when applied consistently, can lead to awesome results.
Don’t just take our word for it. Check out the amazing results of Paul Sarte, a Physicist from the University of Santa Marta.
The Strength Lab not only helped him increase his lean muscle mass by 50%, but he also gained confidence that he lacked prior to joining the programme.
Now that you have a pretty good idea of how strong ‘strong’ is, you should have a good grasp of just how strong you can get.
It’s up to you to take charge and reach that potential through the action points mentioned here:
– Assess your strength using objective standards
– Identify areas for improvement
– Start a structured strength programme
For more inspiration, browse through our strength and performance testimonials.
If you’re ready to begin your strength improvement journey with us, access the The Strength Lab here.
When you put in the work, you can become your strongest self. We’re rooting for you!
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