Looking to get bigger and stronger as fast as possible? Then check out this guide to strength workouts and how to achieve the best results as quick as possible. Improving your strength is not only good for many sports but is also a good way to keep fit and healthy in your everyday life.
Strength workouts should form a part of any comprehensive health and fitness program, and while you may be focussing on other areas such as stamina or fat loss, by ensuring you also include strength exercises you will improve muscle definition and overall strength.
Strength routines can also increase the effectiveness of your other workouts, what you really need to aim for is a health and fitness program that includes strength training, stamina training, fat loss, diet and nutrition. Just like some of the workouts you can find in our reviews section.
You can then attain a good level of general health and fitness while still targeting the main area you want to improve.
If your main objective is to improve your strength then the first thing to understand is that muscle mass and strength will only increase if your muscles are pushed beyond their normal load or intensity.
Strength workouts will consist of strength exercises that will work on resistance, usually by increasing the amount of weight used for the exercise. There will also be a certain number of reps and sets of varying intensity.
The way in which your strength training workout is structured will affect the results you achieve so there are some general guidelines.
If you are mainly looking to gain muscle you will need to start your strength workouts gradually and build up. Starting with lower weights you should be gradually build up over the first few weeks, eventually aiming to use enough weight so that you can only complete between 4-8 reps and do 3 or more sets.
Rest for one or two minutes between sets and leave two or three days between strength workouts. You will usually need assistance for safety and to maximise your workout, this is called using a spotter.
If you want to gain muscle and lose fat to give better definition then you should use an amount of weight so that you can only complete about 10 – 12 reps, and between 1-3 sets. Rest for approximately 45-60 seconds between each set and leave 1 day between each strength workout.
To improve general health and work on muscle endurance you should be aiming for between 1-3 sets with 12-16 reps in each. You should shorten rest periods to approximately 30 seconds and only leave one day between your strength training workouts.
Some of the main exercises included in strength workouts will include the following:
- Bench press
- Dumbbell press
- Lat pulldowns
- Seated rows
- Pull ups
- Bar dips
There is a separate article for more specific information on strength exercises.
If you are really serious about greatly increasing your strength and muscle mass then you will inevitably end up spending a lot of time using exercise equipment to effectively target certain areas.
This may be in a gym or you can purchase exercise equipment suitable for use at home including weights, benches and exercise machines. Remember that if using large weights during your strength workouts you will need assistance.
There are also a range of exercises that you can do that do not require expensive equipment, some don’t require any and will still give you a good strength workout. These include press ups, lunges and pull-ups and are a good way to get started.
If you want to know more about finding the best strength workouts or you just want to get started right now then check out our workout reviews where we’ve got some of the best strength workouts for you to take a look at.