Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Strength and Size

Strength


You measure progress by the number of weights on the bar, so every week you want to increase that number. Let's say you're doing 5 sets of 3 reps on the bench press. In the first week, you use 135 lbs for your fourth and fifth sets. The second week, you might want to go up to 155 lbs for the final sets. You can continue like this for a few weeks, but eventually you'll hit a point when your strength gains are smaller than the weights you can add to the bar.

If you want to use heavier weights, you have to reduce your number of reps. Instead of 5 sets of 3, you could do 3 sets of 3 or 6 sets of 2. Use heavier weights in each set. The goal in mind is using the heaviest weight possible in your final set each week. This can be applied to any exercise with any configuration of sets and reps.

Size


Muscles grow bigger when you make them stronger, which is easy enough to understand even if it's sometimes hard to pull off. Muscles grow when you make them do more work. This can be done by adding a rep or two to each set, or adding a set to each exercise. It's all up to you. Let's use the bicep curl machine for example. You start with 4 sets of 6. For the first few weeks you should see steady increases in strength simply by adding more weight. When you feel your strength plateau, try to squeeze out an extra rep or two. This gives you more total work, which should lead to bigger muscles.




Source: Men's Health Magazine

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