How to Get Stronger

Three Parts:Using the Right Workout StrategyExercising Different Muscle GroupsMaking Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Are you ready to find out what your body is capable of? If the same old exercise routine doesn't seem to be making a difference, it's time to make some changes that will help you build muscle and get stronger. It's important to challenge yourself with each workout, train every muscle group, and fuel your body with healthy calories if you want see improvements. Read after the jump to learn how to start getting toned and strong right away.

Part 1
Using the Right Workout Strategy

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    Challenge yourself with every workout. When your aim is to gain strength, working out should never feel easy. In fact, that 30 minute to 1 hour period you spend lifting, pulling and pushing weight every day should be extremely uncomfortable. If it's not, you aren't putting enough stress on your muscles to help them grow stronger. Challenge yourself to "go all in" with every single workout to see maximum results over time.
    • Some bodybuilding experts advise "training to failure." This means pushing yourself so hard at the end of any given workout that you are unable to do one more rep. Training to failure puts the type of stress on your muscles that causes them to break down and rebuild.
    • If you're new to strength training, consider working with a personal trainer before pushing yourself too hard. It's important to learn the right techniques for each type of exercise; otherwise, an injury might prevent you from being able to continue workout out and gaining strength.
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    Add more weight and reps over time. Once your body becomes accustomed to a certain amount of weight, you'll need to keep adding more to continue challenging yourself. You'll know it's time to add more weight to a particular routine when it starts to feel easier, and you're able to complete several sets of reps without "failure" occurring. Adding another 5 pounds or 5 reps is the way to continue challenging yourself and building muscle.
    • Be careful not to add too much weight. You should be able to do between 8 and 10 reps before "failure" happens. If you can't do 4 reps without giving out, you're probably lifting too much weight. If you can do 10 or 12 without feeling the burn, you probably need to add more weight.
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    Don't spend too much energy on cardio. Cardio exercises like running, swimming, and biking are great ways to keep your endurance good and your circulation healthy. However, they aren't the best exercises you can do if your goal is to get strong. Weight training requires loads of energy, and if yours has already been used up by a long run or bike ride, you won't have enough left over to give weight training your best shot. Limit cardio to once or twice per week so your energy reserves are ready to expend on building strength.
    • Hiking, walking, and other low-energy exercises are good alternatives to running and biking if you want to conserve energy.
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    Train every muscle group. Some people want big, strong arms, but don't care as much about their abs. Others want to focus on legs, pecs, and so on, but don't mind if their arms aren't as strong. However, it's a good idea to train every muscle group in your body, rather than focusing on just one. Having a strong core will help you bench press more weight with your arms. Being able to lift heavier weights with your arms will give your legs a better workout. All the muscle groups in your body work together, and it's important to give them equal attention.
    • Don't work out every muscle group the same day. For instance, if you focus on your arms one day, during your next workout session you should give your arms a break and work on your legs or core instead. This gives your muscles time to rest and heal, preventing injury and promoting strength.
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    Get adequate rest between workouts. If you want to get strong, fast, you might be tempted to work out every single day. However, your body needs adequate rest in order to build back the muscle tissue you break down during workouts. If you work out every day, you'll never give your muscles the chance to get bigger and stronger. Plan to work out 3 or 4 days per week, remembering to rotate muscle groups.
    • On your "off" days, it's fine to go for a run, a bike ride, or do some other type of exercise to keep yourself moving and relax your muscles.

Part 2
Exercising Different Muscle Groups

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    Master the squat. The basic squat, and its many variations, is an excellent exercise for building muscle in the legs, glutes and abs. The simple motion of bending your knees to drop your body toward the ground while keeping your back upright, then raising yourself up again is just as effective as using fancy exercise equipment to work out the same muscles. Try the following squat variations:
    • The basic squat. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your back upright. Bend your knees and lower your butt until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Raise back up to starting position. You can hold dumbbells or a barbell to make the exercise more challenging; aim to do 3 sets of 10 squats.
    • The box squat. Stand in front of an exercise box or chair. Hold either dumbbells or a barbell at your chest. Lower yourself to a sitting position, hold for a moment, then raise back up to standing position.
    • The back squat. For this one you'll need a squat rack, which has a bar connected to weights that you move as you squat.[1] Stand under the squat bar and grip the bar with your palms facing outward. As you squat, pull the bar with you either behind your head or at your chest. Squat until your thighs are parallel with the ground, then move back to starting position.
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    Do push ups and chin ups. Lifting and pulling your own weight can go a long way toward building muscle. The basic push up and chin up are invaluable exercises you can do with very little equipment. Increase their difficulty by adding reps or affixing weights to your legs. Do these simple, effective exercises to work out your biceps and triceps, as well as your core.
    • The push up. Stretch out face-down on the floor or an exercise mat. Place your palms on either side of your body next to your armpits. Use your arms to lift your body so that your shoulders, stomach and legs are no longer touching the ground; only your toes and your hands should be touching it. Lower yourself to the ground and repeat to failure.
    • The chin up. For this exercise you'll need a chin up bar. Stand below the bar and grip the bar with your palms facing outward. Use your arms to lift your body toward the bar until your chin is above the top of the bar, crossing your feet behind you to keep them off of the ground. Lower yourself until your arms are straight, then repeat to failure.
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    Get familiar with dead-lifting. Dead-lifting is simply bending over to lift a weight, straightening up, then bending back over. It's an excellent exercise for your hamstrings, abs, and back muscles. With deadlifting, it's important to use the proper form and the right amount of weight for your strength level - otherwise, you might strain your back. Try these exercises:
    • The barbell deadlift. Stand in front of a barbell loaded with the amount of weight you can lift 8 or so times before failure occurs. Bend at the knees and grip the barbell with both hands. Stand upright, then bend your knees and repeat. This can also be done with dumbbells instead of a barbell.
    • The straight leg deadlift. Stand in front of an exercise ball, a barbell, or a set of dumbbells. Keeping your legs straight, bend at the waist and grip the weights with both hands. Holding the weights straight in front of your body, straighten up to a standing position; your arms should be stretched out in front of you holding the weights. Lower the weights down to starting position and repeat.
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    Learn how to bench press weight. Bench pressing is an important way to gain strength in your arms, pectorals and back muscles. To bench weight, you'll need a barbell and an exercise bench. Load the barbell with the amount of weight you can bench about 8 times per set. Slowly add weights if possible in a period of time. Use the following technique to bench press the weight:
    • Lie back on the exercise bench. Your knees should be bent over the edge, and your feet should be resting comfortably on ground.
    • Start with the barbell close to your chest, then lift it toward the ceiling, straightening your arms.
    • Bend your arms to bring the barbell back to your chest, then repeat.
    • Rack the bar and add more weight for the next set.
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    Do planks and crunches. If you're looking for strength-building exercises that don't require equipment, planks and crunches are for you. These exercises focus on your abs, and they're easy to do anytime, anywhere.
    • Do the plank. Lie face-down on the floor with your elbows bent and your palms next to your armpits. Lift your body upward as though you were going to do a pushup. Keep your arms straight and hold the position for 30 seconds or more before lowering back to the ground, then rest and repeat.
    • Do crunches. Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. "Crunch" your body into a semi-seated position by using your ab muscles to lift your head and shoulders forward, keeping your arms crossed over your chest. Lower your head back toward the floor, then repeat. You can increase the difficulty of this exercise by holding a dumbbell close to your chest.

Part 3
Making Healthy Lifestyle Choices

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    Eat plenty of calories. Building muscle requires burning calories - a lot of them. It's important to eat big meals to fuel muscle growth while you're training. That said, not all calories are equally great for building muscle; you'll want to eat healthy, whole foods that will nourish and restore your muscles, rather than depleting your body.You also need to remember that even if you don't like vegetables you still need it for stronger muscle.
    • Be sure to hit all the basic food groups. Eat loads of fruits and vegetables, fish, eggs, and lean meat, whole grains, and healthy oils and fats.
    • Eat three big meals a day with hefty snacks in between. The more you eat, the bigger your muscles will get.
    • Avoid sugar, processed flours, salty snack foods, fried foods, and foods packaged with additives and preservatives.
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    Stay hydrated. Drink about 10 glasses of water a day to keep your body hydrated during training periods. Even though many sports enthusiasts drink energy drinks, water is the best choice, since it contains no sugars or other additives. If you want to add flavor, try a squeeze of lemon or lime.
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    Consider creatine supplements. Creatine is a popular supplement that has been shown to safely increase muscle mass.[2] It's an amino acid that is naturally produced by the body to make muscles bigger and stronger. If you take the correct dosage, you may see improvements in your muscle tone more quickly.
    • Creatine comes in powdered form, and must be mixed with water in order to activate.
    • Beware other substances on the market that claim to be able to boost your muscles quickly. Before you decide to try a product, do some research to find out whether it has been scientifically tested for safety and efficiency.
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    Get a healthy amount of sleep. Many people take this step lightly, but it's absolutely essential when it comes to building muscle. If you don't get enough sleep, your body won't be in tip-top shape during workouts. That means you won't be able to work out as hard or lift as much as you otherwise would, not to mention you'll be more prone to injury if you're feeling sleepy. Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night, possibly more depending on your individual needs, during heavy workout periods.


  • Don't forget to get plenty of quality sleep every night to maximize your recovery.
  • Long periods of cardio does not make you "stronger". If it did, marathon runners would have the largest muscles of all athletes. The single stimulus to make muscles larger and stronger is to stretch them while they contract. When you try to lift a heavy weight, your muscles stretch before the weight starts to move. The greater the stretch, the greater the damage to the muscle fibers and when they heal after a few days, the greater the gain in strength. The results for this study give a clear message. You become stronger by lifting heavier weights, not by exercising more. If you do too much work, you can't lift very heavy weights and you do not become stronger. When it comes to becoming very strong, less may be more.
  • Allow at least a full day of recovery before resuming to train. This gives your muscles time to recover, for-long training without rest can cause serious injuries.
  • Have a plan before training.
  • Combine your training with a scientific nutrition and supplementation program to speed up your results.
  • Eat plenty of food full of protein and fiber such as wheat, fish, lean meat and grains.
  • Use the above tips within a professionally designed training program to get the best results.
  • Some body builders lift weights for more than six hours a day, but you don't have to waste that much time to become very strong. Training for weightlifting is done in sets. A set of ten means that you lift and lower a heavy weight ten times continuously before you rest. If you repeat these sets of ten three times with a rest period between each set, you have done three sets of ten.
  • Do all the exercises you can do every day for about 3-5 weeks, then you will see a difference. Always get enough rest, food, and water! #stayfit!


  • Take special care if you are a teen, as doing too much weight-lifting can be devastating to the joints.
  • Always consult your doctor before beginning any exercise or nutrition program.

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Categories: Building Muscle & Strength