While the vast majority of people hitting the gym tend to focus on either losing fat or building muscle, two important characteristics that don’t receive enough attention on strength and power.
Yet, when you think about it, when you become stronger and more explosive, not only can you get bigger, but you are also able to jump higher, run faster, and hit harder — all traits any athlete or serious trainee would kill to have more of in their repertoire.
Step away from you 3×10 presses and curls for a bit and read up on these top tips to increase strength and power. The gains you make in these areas will translate to bigger, badder, and stronger muscles when you resume your hypertrophy training.
Top Tips to Increase Strength and Power
Master the Big Four
If you want to get stronger and more explosive, you have to master the big four barbell lifts — squat, bench press, deadlift, and overhead press.
Simply put, these are the four best exercises for building strength and power. Chin ups, rows, curls, kickbacks, and dumbbell exercises have their place, but when it comes to building pure, raw strength, you better own the barbell lifts.
Use Low Reps
Research has shown that muscle building can occur across a broad spectrum of rep ranges, but if you goal is to build strength as fast as possible, keep the rep count low. In other words, your sets should be limited to no more than 5-6 reps at most.
Take Enough Rest
Building strength and power is not about circuit training, drop sets, super sets, or any of that other fancy nonsense. To lift as much as weight as you possibly can, or move as explosively as you can, you need to take sufficient rest in between sets. On average, this means resting between 3-5 minutes per set.
Resting this long allows ATP stores to fully replenish and lets you recenter your focus so that you can commit everything you have to the next set.