It’s not uncommon for people to assume that lifting heavy weights will automatically give them bulging muscles. While serious bodybuilders or professionals in the field do want to have a ripped body, many people don’t want to add on too much bulk. It’s important to understand that you can lift weights, gain strength and stay lean without getting very big. Here are 5 tips that will help you get stronger and stay lean too.
#1 Lift Heavy Weights
The most basic thing to do to gain strength is to lift heavy and that’s the only way to go about it. You also need to understand that the concept of heavy is relative. Something that you consider heavy may not be heavy for someone else and vice-versa. This is something you would have to determine by measuring your repetition max; you can then decide how much you would have to use for a certain rep count.
#2 Cut Volume
When you lift heavy weights, you are compelled to work at a far lower volume. At this point, you can use the 5X5 training technique to build strength and it enhances hypertrophy as well. If you don’t really want to gain too much bulk, you should spend fewer hours under the bar. If you are looking to gain optimal strength & power, you should use maximum effort on 2-4 reps in each set. Since your muscles don’t get stressed for too long, you don’t gain too much mass.
#3 Be Explosive
When you do any exercises such as power clean, that forces your body to generate a significant amount of power and optimal strength because you give it everything you’ve got within a shorter timeframe.
#4 Plenty of Rest Is Important
This is with reference to resting between sets as well as resting when you are at home. When you rest in-between sets, it gives your body the ability to handle higher weight on every set. It’s equally important to rest when you are at home and this includes having some days away from the gym, and getting sufficient amount of sleep. When your objective is to gain maximal strength without gaining too much mass, it means you should stay away from the weights for a certain period of time. But when you are working out, the priority should be to lift heavier weights.
#5 Focus on Your Weaknesses
One of the best ways to negate your weaknesses is to do more of the exercises you aren’t very good at. For instance, if you aren’t too great at doing handstand push-ups that should be something you should focus on more. The other effective way to work on the weaknesses you have is to pay more attention to smaller muscles that function in the background, such as the rotator cuffs, rhomboids, calves, groin muscles etc.
When you hit the gym, these aren’t the muscles you generally think about; however they are the supporting muscles and also the ones that largely end-up getting hurt because most people don’t focus on them. Since these muscles aren’t too large, you don’t have to be concerned about gaining mass when you focus on strengthening them.
Keep in mind that there is a very fine line between gaining strength without the mass and you will have to experiment a little with weights, reps and sets to find which exercises and routine work best for you. If you have any questions about how to grain strength without packing too much muscle, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Schembri PT. Our number is 02 9648 6405. You can send us an email to [email protected] or fill in this contact us form and we’ll reply as soon as possible.
Thanks for reading,
Schembri PT Team
02 9648 6405