10 Power Tips for New Strength in 2013!

10 Power Tips for New Strength in 2013!
By Roger “ROCK” Lockridge

While there are many people who want to lose weight and get leaner every New Year there are also those dudes that have different aspirations. Some fellas want to gain strength and power. They want to break that one rep max on bench, they want to throw some more plates on the bar for squats, and who doesn’t like curling bigger dumbbells? If you are one of the weak who plan on becoming a superhero, heed these tips and you will find the strength you seek.

1. Warm Up Thoroughly

This doesn’t mean one or two light sets either. Take a few minutes and step on an elliptical or treadmill. Five to ten minutes of cardio to warm up gets that nutrient-rich blood flowing and prepares both the muscular and nervous systems for the onslaught you are about to unleash. After your brief cardio encounter, stretch out the entire body before going after the iron. Do NOT stretch before the cardio. Stretching cold muscles can lead to serious injury and no one wants that.

2. Safety for Super Strength

There are several factors that play into training safely. Make sure you have a spotter who you trust and can pull serious weight in case you get stuck. As willing as the gym attendant may be, if he or she isn’t comfortable then you may be in trouble. Also wrap accordingly based on the exercise you are doing. Wrap the knees on squats, wear the belt anytime you go heavy on anything, and protect the wrists and elbows on bench.

3. Form First

Letting the weight just drop and swinging wildly during a heavy set doesn’t make you look like a bad ass. It just makes you look bad. Proper form does more than make the exercise safer, training with good form gives you every advantage to gaining solid and real strength, not momentum.

4. Negatives for Positive Results

Now we can talk about some training techniques. Your body isn’t going to get stronger if you stay in your comfort zone every set. Your body needs to feel that extra weight so at the end of your set, have your spotter help you with a couple of extra reps. Slow the weight down so the negative (eccentric part of the lift) takes around five seconds to reach the bottom of the movement. Then have your spotter assist you with the lifting (or concentric) portion. Putting this extra stress on the muscles will help them adapt and eventually prepare to handle the load on their own.

5. Rest Pause

This strategy will help you increase your reps with that set you can’t seem to get past five or six on. Once you hit failure, rack the weight and count to ten. After your ten count, get back to lifting. After you do this for two or three workouts, reduce the count to five before starting again. If all goes according to plan, eventually you will be able to do the entire set without the brief respite at all.

6. Take a Break (Between Sets)

When it comes to weight loss, you aren’t getting paid by the hour so rest periods are normally brief. You are working to increase strength so for you it’s a marathon and not a sprint. Take a couple of minutes or even three if you need it. When you do your next set, you should be rested enough that you can do close to what you did last set but not to the point you need to warm up again.

7. Water, Water, Water

You need lots of H2O if you want to H2 Grow. If you are even slightly dehydrated then you won’t be able to perform at your best. It’s that simple. Water is the source of life and one of your ultimate sources of power. Drink at least 20 ounces of water during your workout and a gallon throughout your day.

8. Take a Break (Between Workouts)

As much as it is preached, it isn’t practiced as much as it should be. You grow and get stronger outside of the gym and not in it. If you train twice a day six days a week then you are doomed for failure. You are forcing your muscular system to do something it isn’t accustomed to doing so as soon as you finish the last set, get out of the gym and give them time to recover. Train each muscle group once a week and don’t train more than two days in a row before taking a day off. As much as you will be itching to get back to the gym, you will be thankful later when you see your numbers go up.

9. Feed the Machine

Just because you aren’t dieting doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay attention to what you eat. You need those vital macros, vitamins, and minerals just as much as your weight loss contemporaries who share the gym with you. Make sure you eat big but healthy. Labrada.com has plenty of nutrition programs that you can search through to find one that suits what you’re trying to do. There’s a bunch of recipes too so you don’t have to eat everything plain. You can treat yourself every once in a while if you choose but make sure you definitely take nutrition very seriously.

Having quality supplements to support your training and nutrition will serve you well as you try to take on the iron every week. Make sure you have a quality multivitamin/multimineral and protein at your disposal every day. Creatine, BCAA’s, and a good pre-workout should make a good stack to compliment your nutrition and training.

10. Stay Focused

I can’t emphasize this one enough. Training for strength gains is tough, will leave you sore on many mornings after workouts, and you will struggle occasionally. If you lose confidence or get side tracked you will fail. Determine what your goals are and shoot for them like it is a world championship. Commitment plus confidence equals success.

Take these tips, formulate your plan, and do all you can to make 2013 your year. Don’t tell yourself you can do it. Tell yourself that you will do it. Stay strong!

About the Author
Roger “ROCK” Lockridge is a writer whose work has been seen all over the world. He is most known as a writer for Iron Man Magazine and Bodybuilding.com. In 2009, he was named Bodybuilding.com Male Writer of the Year which along with the Female award is the highest award for writers in the bodybuilding/fitness world.

Roger is also known for his work against child abuse and domestic violence and he was featured as a part of the domestic violence documentary “30” as the only child survivor and the only male survivor in the film.