Is it better to look good or be strong? Many people bodybuilding to look their best, exercising to build and sculpt their physique, rather than adding functional strength. Power athletes, on the other hand, train to lift weights without worrying about how their muscles look, because aesthetics are simply not a top priority.
If you have ever been between these two goals, you are not alone. Many bodybuilders are tired of chasing aesthetics and transitioning to strength-based competitions, and many strength athletes enjoy the pleasure of fine-tuning their appearance. It is rare to find an athlete who cares only about this or that, because most of us want to build muscle, which both show and leave. We want not only to look stronger – we want to be stronger!
Here are five top tutorials that will make both of these goals a reality.
Tip 1. First attack your weaknesses
Nobody is perfect. We all have strengths, and we all have weaknesses. The problem is that many athletes increase their ego by working only on their strengths, while ignoring their weaknesses. While this may work in the short term, neglecting what you need to work on in most cases will eventually bite you on the buttocks.
If you need dimensions and strength, recognize your weaknesses and eliminate them first. If your upper chest lags behind, start with the slopes. If one side is weaker than the other, work first on this side and add a couple more repetitions. This approach will not only help your physique, it will also help you mentally. Instead of ignoring your problems, you attack them. When your weaknesses become stronger, your physique and performance will improve.
Tip 2: Troika down your goals
Heavy load not only helps with strength, but also increases muscle density. I do not propose to go after PR every week. Instead, use cluster sets to safely grow size and strength.
Cluster sets are groups of 2-5 repetitions in which you lift a heavier than usual weight with long rest pauses between them. Work 3×3 clusters in your plan. This means making 3 mini sets of 3 repetitions with a break of 20-25 seconds. Troika – a good target range of repetitions, because you make a hard move, but also do a few repetitions.
To add triples to your workout, select a weight that you can stand for 5 reps. As you group your repetitions, you will do 9 repetitions instead of 5, so this weight will quickly increase. Make two of these sets of clusters with your main component movement of the day, resting about 2 minutes between sets of clusters.
Tip 3: Control Weight
How many lifters have you seen trying to lose weight as quickly as possible? I think a lot. Perhaps you even think about someone in particular when you read these words. While weight loss may seem like a newcomer to the gym, the rest of us know that this is not very useful.
Being really strong means that you don’t need tricks such as momentum to lift weight. You are able to control your ascents from start to finish. And in terms of aesthetics, slow and controlled lifting increases the time your muscles spend under tension, which leads to greater overall growth.
If you are guilty of using physics, not the forces to raise, slow down and regain control. Although there are some rare occasions when deception can help, this is not the case when force is a priority. If you need to use momentum instead of generating your own muscle strength, you are already done with your set.
Tip 4: get positive by going negative
This is a continuation of the previous advice, but it also benefits. When you exercise, you want to break down these muscle fibers so that they can repair themselves more and more. Negatives – part of the exercise in which you reduce weight under control – not only reinforce good lifting mechanics, but also accelerate the process of destruction and improve size and strength.
To complete your isolation exercises, dedicate your last approach to focusing on the negative. Lift the weight at your normal pace, then reduce it to five. You will feel that the muscles work throughout this period. Once you are at the bottom of the movement, lift the weight upward at a normal speed for the next repetition.
Tip 5: Redefine Your Approach
No matter how committed you are to your learning, in the end you will have to face a scary p-word: plateau. Sometimes training through a plateau seems like you are hitting your head against a wall, and it’s much more difficult for you to keep moving toward the same goal.
If you have reached a size or a power plateau, use it as an opportunity to step back and shift the focus to something new. If you are stuck in a back squat and cannot even add 5 pounds or go through 10 repetitions, change it and start using the front squat. If you cannot reduce your waistline with diet and cardio, try increasing your armor to improve the V-shaped cone.
If you go to the plateau in a new way, then think about different ways to get what you want from training. The more creative you can become, the more chances you have to see improvements in both size and strength!