10 Ways to Build Strength Without the Size
Want to get stronger without having to bulk up and pack on the pounds? Follow these 10 easy programming tips.
7. Rest Longer
When bodybuilding or training for muscle growth, short rest periods are recommended between sets, such as 30-60 seconds. When training for strength, increase your rest to 2-5 minutes depending on the exercise. The loads lifted will require longer rest periods to ensure you complete the same number of reps in the subsequent sets. Your mental strength and ability to focus on the heavy set will also appreciate the longer break.
8. Hit Weak Links
You’re only going to be as strong as your weakest link. The major muscle groups that perform traditional exercises are known as your prime movers (e.g., pecs, lats, quads, hams, delts, etc.). Commonly, your weakest link will be the muscles behind the scene (e.g., rotator cuff, middle and lower trapezius, serratus anterior gluteus medius, abdominals, etc.). Incorporating exercises to strengthen these muscles will reduce the chance for muscle imbalances and decrease your risk for injury. The better able you are at recruiting these muscles, the more potential you have of increasing the strength in your prime movers.