Most of the people start going to the gym to build big muscles, but fortunately, there are more and more gym goers who want to be incredibly strong as well. Hence, it is not hard to find a workout routine that is specially created for building strength.
On the other hand, a lot of people at the gym still dream about doing bench press with 220 lbs or squat with twice of their bodyweight.
What might be the reasons you cannot develop exceptional strength? Here, I have put together a few of the most common reasons.
You don’t perform the exercises with full range of motion.
Partitional reps can be useful for some sports, for example, quarter squats for jumpers, but not for building strength. If you want to increase the strength of your muscles, you should execute the exercises with a full range of motion.
So, perform the exercises with proper technique and full extent to make the muscles strong from every angle. Don’t forget! Partitional repetitions will bring only partitional success in the case of strength.
Source: Impact of Range of Motion During Ecologically Valid Resistance Training Protocols on Muscle Size, Subcutaneous Fat, and Strength
Always training until total exhaustion
If you always work out until complete muscle exhaustion that can be useful for building mass, because there are a lot of micro damages in the muscle fibers, but not the best way to build strength.
There is no need to reach the total muscle exhausting level at every set. If you do that, the risk of injuries will increase because you overload not only your muscles but also the joints and connective tissues.
There was a guy at the local gym who did bench press with 420 pounds but got a serious injury when he did dumbbell side lateral raise with 20 lbs. This is typical for those who overtrain themselves, and the muscles, joints and connective tissues have no time to recover.
In the best powerlifting workout routines, there is always a de-load week after the end of each mesocycle to provide the body enough time to recover. In these powerlifting routines, it is not rare that the trainers just work with the 65-85% of the 1RM, and they do not break records at each training. But, before a competition, they do workouts with only 1-3 reps.
So work out wisely and provide enough time for your body to recover.Recommended: All You Need to Know About OverTraining
You spend too much time in the gym without doing serious work
It is not rare to see guys who just go the gym to take a few photos and talk. They go from one machine to another like a butterfly from one flower to another. They pump themselves a little bit before taking a new photo for Instagram and share what they have achieved with a #nopainnogain hashtag.
Don’t be a monkey like these guys. You are at the gym to work out. Instead of making those fu***** photos and talk about nothing, focus on compound exercises that build strength such as squat, bench press, deadlift, dips, etc. Exercises that work many muscles at the same time.
A little bit more than one-hour intensive training, with warm up and cool down, three times a week is far more efficient than spending 3 hours with jerking.
Warming up problems
Fortunately, most of the gym goers now know how important it is to warm up before training. They make stretches, light cardio, or use equipment like a foam roller to activate their body for the workout.
However, it is hardly seen trainers who make a warm up repetition before the exercises. They do a general warm up and start lifting heavy weights.
Did you know that fitness experts recommend having 2-3 sets of warm up before each particular exercise by increasing the amount of weight progressively? For example, if you want to do 5×5 bench press, you make 2-3 sets just for warming up.
On the other hand, there are people who overdo it as well by making 4-6 warm ups before the exercise. This is also not very beneficial since you are going to be too tired to have a productive work. So, test and find the balance what works for you.
To sum up
If you want to gain strength besides lifting heavy weights, you should keep these tips in mind. So, be active, provide enough time for the body to recover, warm up progressively before the exercises and perform the moves with a full range of motion.
If you want to know other tips how to increase your strength, check out the following posts.