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Articles > Other Resources > So, You Wanna Be Strong?


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To get stronger and build more muscle mass you must push yourself past a certain comfort zone in your lifting.

Just like it says.....

So you wanna get strong. The problem is most people I see in the gym say this but don't take the necessary steps into getting strong. I see most people going through the motions and then 4 weeks later wondering why they can't bench 405 or squat 500 lbs. Granted if you you are a beginner you are not going to see these numbers until you train hard for a couple of years or on the other hand your a genetic freak. Just going to the gym and doing 3 sets of 10 on 3 different exercises it is not going to get done. In fact those 3 sets of 10 are what we call waste of effort. At the same time I see people in the gym who want to "tone up". This is utter nonsense. Another wasted effort. There is no toning up. especially just in the gym. getting more cut and ripped is what you put in your mouth. On the other hand lifting heavy weight and you don't have to be so conscious of everything going into your stomach. Well I take that back but I will harp on that later in my article. First we must discuss what people are doing and what they are doing wrong to not get their goals.

All of these goals are centered around one thing in my opinion, getting stronger. There is one simple thing to follow in the layman's terms. If you get stronger you will grow bigger muscle mass. Getting bigger muscle mass will also help you burn fat and manage calories much better. Now I'm far from having a set of 6 pack abs but I'm working close to it, and I've done every workout under the sun it seems. I've always gone back to lifting heavy weight. This has been the best thing to loose more fat feel better in general and just getting into shape.


"The real building ends and begins with proper rest and diet."

You can't tell mainstream gym goers about intensity.Most of them want to just get on the treadmill and walk their allotted time and forget about really working hard. This is what is lacking in most workouts in most gyms now days. People want to stay in a comfort zone when they workout. In order to grow you have to get outside of that comfort zone.You have to be willing to put up with pain. There is going to be a certain amount of pain in all of this, but there is a difference is pain and injury. Pain is good. pain make you know your alive, makes you know your doing something. Injury is different and this is where you have to pay attention and know the difference. The gym is not a social area although that is what you see a lot of people doing when they are their " socializing" but you have to get past this and focus on your training. So to find the problem you have to define what the problem is and from the way I see it, it is defined as wasted effort or no effort what so ever.

So how do we correct this. The first step in my opinion is making yourself disciplined enough to put up the the uncomfortable zone. Being able to put up with the pain of Heavy weight. Hey this shit is not going to feel good. It will feel good in your mind when you are breaking those personal records. It will feel good once you know you worked your ass off getting to where you got from working harder than anyone else in the gym. But keep in mind, even though you might be working harder than anyone else in your gym just remember somebody somewhere is working harder than you. Use that to help fuel your workouts. You are not competing in the long run against anyone else but yourself. Going into this with a massive ego will get you hurt. Don't let yourself get set back by your own ego. Ego has been the culprit of most lifters in getting them hurt. There is a difference between being out of the comfort zone and just down right stupidity. Learn the difference between the two.

So how do you know the difference. You go slow. each week getting a little stronger along the way. if each week you can go one more rep with the same weight or 5 lbs heavier you are getting stronger. You know your making the muscle stronger and it is getting conditioned to do a massive amount of work. The human body is an amazing machine that can adapt to alot of different stimulus. It works even better under stress. It adapts better to, but only when it is treated right. Never go immediately into heavy lifting common sense would tell you to warm up effectively first. This is so true. In fact so true that most people don't warm up enough. One common thing I hear all the time is well I don't want to waste all of my energy. Bull, you would be surprised on how much or how heavier you can go if you warmed up good first I mean like doing several sets of other exercises almost to the point of getting a pump where you know the muscle is pumping blood through that area. That blood is like armor for muscle makes is swell and protects is against injury. Proper stretching too. We all don't stretch nearly enough. After warming up we should stretch extensively between sets. This is another very important aspect of keeping injury free. Move the weight slowly even on the light weight. I see guys getting under a bench press and act like a piston jerking the weight up and down like they are going to impress someone. All this does is put undo stress on joints. That right there is really bad. Move the weight slowly. what this does is makes the muscle work together with other corresponding muscles into completing the proper rep and getting the lift done effectively. You want this. Isolation exercises have their place put most of the time not. Hell most people do bicep curls the wrong way anyway with way to much weight, so moving the weight slowly makes all those muscles work twice as hard and later this makes you ultimately stronger.

I'm going to talk about Diet and Rest now a little bit. Diet I'm certainly not an expert on but I've found out what works for me. What works for me is Low carb. This may not work for everyone else but in my opinion with the way almost everything is is processed these days carbohydrates have become the real enemy for me. So I stay away from them as much as I can. Rest is another subject. I can't begin to tell you how important this is. There are so many levels on how important rest is when you do any exercise program. One thing that people don't understand about working out is you don't build anything in the gym. You are tearing it up in the gym. Breaking it down. Beating it into submission. The weight room and all of those 45's you stacked on the bar are the tools used like a surgeon uses a scalpel to get the job done.

The real building ends and begins with proper rest and diet. You need protein to grow. So this should be a staple in any muscle building diet. If you are overweight your can limit the carbs and convert your body fat to be used as fuel to burn. If you are not overweight you need those carbs to fuel your workout and yes Carbohydrates are anabolic meaning using the theory of taking in carbohydrates increases skeletal muscle protein synthesis. Blah Blah Blah.... Don't get me talking about the science part of this because for the most part I understand it but I don't know how to talk about it. I know enough to say that if you are underweight and want to gain muscle you need carbohydrates to fuel workouts and to help protein breakdown to trigger growth. On the flip side for guys like me with excess fatty tissue you can limit the carbs or even in most cases go extremely low carb and the fat can be used as fuel. Also there are new and exciting studies that are proving all those carbs are actually not that good for you like you have been taught all your life to believe. First off, food is not the same as it was 50 years ago. With global hunger we have found ways to increase yields to wheat crops ten fold but at what cost to health.

Saturated fat is good for your health this has been proven even on me. I've seen my cholesterol go haywire while eating oats and wheat in the morning and still have fatty triglycerides in my blood stream but go a couple of months low or extreme low carb and find out that your fatty triglycerides have all but disappeared from my blood, but even though my HDL and LDL have gone up slightly this is a good thing as long as the triglycerides are not clogging up my blood stream. Cholesterol is not a bad thing for us guys trying to gain muscle. Refer to this article:

Cholesterol and testosterone are related compounds that perform essential functions in your body. Your body is able to synthesize cholesterol from dietary fats and obtain it in the diet. In addition to its role in metabolism, cholesterol serves as a precursor to the sex hormones, including testosterone, the male sex hormone.

But I digress, back to rest and how important it is as well. Your body uses sound sleep for several repairing projects on your body. Sleep helps production of growth hormone and repairs muscle damage and also build it bigger so to speak. So, I can't speak enough about the importance of getting proper sleep. So think about that next time your buddies want to paint the town when you have goals set for yourself.

Let's bring this all together. So to get stronger and build more muscle mass you must push yourself past a certain comfort zone in your lifting. You have to lift heavier weight to make the muscle work harder and also move the weight slower at times to make the muscle work even harder to make it adapt. Speed training has it's place but only for explosive strength using it limited in training. Eating right and getting enough rest is essential in reaching your goals.


Meet The Author...

Kevin L. McEntyre

Fitness Writer For IllPumpYouUp.com

My name is Kevin McEntyre from Birmingham Alabama. I've been lifting weights since I was 10 years old. Starting off with no more....View Full Profile











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