Are you ready to reach your physical full potential? Too many people neglect their fitness, leaving them weak, susceptible to injuries, and unable to do fun activities like sports, hiking, or anything else outdoors.
If you want to get strong, it’s time to get started.
But how can you do that? Many people end up “spinning their wheels” when they’re trying to build up their bodies. What are the best ways to get stronger so you’re not wasting time with inefficient methods and fads?
We know fitness, and we’ve talked to plenty of strength-training enthusiasts who are constantly working to get stronger, more agile, and more confident in their bodies and abilities. We’ve got the best muscle building tips that can get you started on your journey toward strength.
Keep reading to learn more.
1. Don’t Be Ashamed of Your Starting Point
This is the first thing you should consider when you’re on your path to a strong and functional body. You need to drop any shame that you have about where you are right now.
Some gym snobs take this to mean that you shouldn’t want to improve yourself, but this isn’t true. Letting go of any shame allows you to progress safely and feel happy when you make progress.
But what does this mean in practice?
You should never feel like you’re not worthy of being in the gym with other people who may be stronger than you. They’ve been working out for longer, so, normally, they’re more advanced. When they first started, they were likely on or near your level.
Many people get gym anxiety and avoid weights because of this. Don’t let that be you.
You also shouldn’t be ashamed of your capabilities. Are you only capable of lifting five pounds? Do you want to stick to bodyweight exercises at first? Can you not run a mile?
Don’t worry about it. Knowing where you’re starting from is how you can make safe transitions later on. Overdoing it when you first get started is a recipe for burnout and injuries.
2. Progressive Overload Is Your Friend
Have you heard about progressive overload? It isn’t just a buzzword. It’s a real thing that can help you get stronger in as short a time as possible. You won’t be wasting valuable time or energy.
As you get stronger, you’ll find yourself able to lift your starting weights with ease. You’ll have more stamina as well. These things might sound great, but what happens to your body if you don’t amp up your routine?
That’s right; you plateau.
When you plateau, your body no longer progresses. You’re not putting enough of a strain on your muscles to give them room to adapt to something new. You need to keep challenging your muscles for them to grow.
How do you use this?
We’ll talk about types of repetitions in a moment, but here’s how each of them can apply to progressive overload.
If you want to stay at your current number of reps, make sure that you increase your weight as soon as the current weight becomes easy. You want your last repetition to be a struggle, but you should complete it with good form.
Some people choose to go up a small amount of weight every week, but this will vary depending on your abilities.
If you want to keep your current weight (or you’re limited by the weights at your disposal), increase your reps. Instead of 10 reps at 30 pounds, go for 12 or 15.
3. High Or Low Reps? Let’s Talk About It
Speaking of reps, what’s the difference between a workout with low reps and a workout with high reps? Is one better than the other?
Both high weights with low reps and high reps with low weight are valid. Why? Well, one increases overall muscle mass while the other is good for endurance.
When you’re lifting heavier weights with lower repetitions, you’re giving your body more to adapt to. You can’t continue this motion for more than a few repetitions (some people try for their one-rep max), but you’ll progress in weight more quickly.
When you’re lifting lighter weights with higher repetitions, your body adjusts to having to carry more weight for longer periods of time. This builds stamina and endurance.
So which is best? We suggest both. If you focus too much on low reps with high weights, your body will reach a point where you can’t lift any heavier. You don’t have the endurance for it. Balancing both options will keep you well-rounded.
4. Keep Calories In Mind
How much are you eating?
Many people go to the gym with weight loss in mind. You want to shed those extra pounds and look lean for the summer, which means you need to cut calories, right?
For beginners, you may be able to gain strength and muscle with a calorie deficit, but this is short-lived. This transition is referred to as beginner gains. You can find yourself shedding fat and gaining muscle simultaneously, resulting in a massive change to your physique.
If you don’t eat enough after this, though, you’ll plateau.
Your body needs adequate calories to build muscle. Muscle is weight. You can’t create more mass without putting enough food into your body. That’s trying to build something from nothing.
If you’re committed to getting stronger, you need to accept that there will be some weight gain involved. This is why it’s important to look at the mirror, not the scale.
You will likely have some fat gain. We’ll talk about how to mitigate that problem later on. Remember, gaining a bit of fat is a part of the process. The extra calories are what let your muscles grow.
5. Know How to Calculate Macros
Speaking of muscle growth, how do you know how much you need to eat to reach your goals?
It’s time to calculate macros.
Many experienced gymgoers don’t calculate their macros anymore, but it’s a good idea for beginners. If you want a lean bodybuilder physique, you should keep up with it even after getting more experienced.
There are helpful macro calculators online that can help you keep track of what you need to eat and what you’re already eating. They’ll show you your strengths and deficits based on your current goals. It’s easier than ever to track your macros.
6. Change Up Your Exercises
You need to have a varied workout routine if you want to have a strong and fit body. This breaks down into a few different categories.
The first is the topic of a common joke amongst gymgoers. Are you skipping leg day?
Too many people don’t pay attention to the muscle groups that don’t appeal to them. If you want big arms and a full chest, why would you want to pay any attention to your legs? Do you need squats and deadlifts if you’re not interested in growing your thighs and glutes?
You need to be well-rounded to reach your full potential. Leg workouts don’t only help with legs. They’re good for your core as well.
This works the other way as well. Do you love leg day, but try to skip your upper body as often as possible? It will be tough to lift the barbell or dumbells over your shoulders if you don’t have the upper body strength to hold them there, won’t it?
You also need to change up the forms of exercise that you do.
So What Different Exercise Styles Are Important?
We all want to get stronger, but strength training with heavy weights isn’t the only way to achieve your goals. You need a balanced workout routine if you want to reach your full potential.
This means that you should set aside time for cardio. It’s good for your overall health, and it will give you more stamina for your other workouts.
Cardio is great for a warmup. A brief run or jog will warm up your muscles, so you’re able to lift. You can also use high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to get a good burn in a short period of time (though we suggest HIIT on days that you aren’t lifting unless you have a routine that supports it).
Try to work on functional strength as well. Doing things like plyometrics will improve your balance and overall ability to maintain your balance and do cool things when you’re outside of the gym. You’ll be more agile and stronger in the ways that count.
You also shouldn’t neglect more restorative exercises. Yoga and pilates aren’t throwaway exercises for people who don’t want to lift. Pilates is great for after a heavy lifting session to get that final burn in your legs and core. Yoga is great for your core, and it’s good for rest days, so you still get a bit of a workout in.
It also makes for a great cool down and stretching period.
7. Get Enough Rest
We already talked about restoration, but why does it matter?
You need to give your muscles time to rest. When you work out, you’re creating small tears in your muscles. This is where the soreness comes from. While you’re at rest, your muscles rebuild themselves, so they’re stronger than they were before.
It’s a good idea to take at least one total rest day per week if you’re lifting heavy. If this makes you feel antsy, you can incorporate a low-intensity exercise like pilates, yoga, or a walk or light jog around the neighborhood.
When you overdo it, you’re more likely to burn out and get injured. This will slow your progress (or stop it completely).
8. Nutrition Is Key
Have you ever heard the phrase “abs are made in the kitchen?”
Your whole body is made in the kitchen, at least when it comes to gaining strength and muscle. Is your nutrition on point?
Use those macro calculations to determine how much of each type of food you need. Carbohydrates are your friend. They can help you get enough energy to do hard workouts. While you can gain muscle on low-carb diets, you shouldn’t be afraid of carbs.
You should also have a lot of protein. The average American gets enough protein in their diet if they eat meat, but track your average day to see if you’re in that category.
You also need to focus on vitamins and minerals. A body that doesn’t function well or get enough nutrients won’t want to devote resources to gaining excess strength.
If you get your diet right, you’ll gain less fat and more muscle while you’re training.
9. Consider Supplements
So what if your nutrition isn’t on track, or if you aren’t getting the gains you’re looking for?
You can supplement your diet and routine.
The most common forms of supplements for people looking to gain strength are protein drinks and BCAAs. Protein drinks make getting enough protein easy and quick, so they’re good for right after a workout or whenever you need a boost.
Basic vitamin supplements are also a good idea if you’re not getting enough nutrition from your food.
If you’re looking to gain muscle quickly, you have other options. Many people opt for plant-based protein powder supplement to help them build muscles. This facilitates quicker muscle growth. You can find SARMs for sale to try them out for yourself.
Whatever you use to supplement your diet and routine, make sure that you pay attention to how you feel and how you’re progressing to see if the supplements work for you.
These Are the Best Ways to Get Stronger
Now that you know how to build muscle and increase your overall fitness, it’s time to get lifting! You have everything that you need to get started, even if that means starting with bodyweight training and moving up from there.
These are the best ways to get stronger if you want to be your best and strongest self without risking injury. Go get strong!
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