How to Get Stronger

How to Get Stronger Isn’t Always Simple

In all the years I’ve been a personal trainer in Austin, as well as a gym owner, I have yet to encounter any client, potential or otherwise, that stated to me that they were happy with their current level of strength. Occasionally, I’ve heard men tell me that they don’t want to get any bigger, though that’s extremely rare. Even more rare, is hearing a woman client tell me that she is happy with her figure and muscularity. These aren’t mere stereotypes, but just a reflection upon the fact that with most all of us, at least aesthetically, there is room for improvement. Strength wise, however, it’s another story. While there certainly is room for improvement in virtually everyone, even professional and Olympic power lifters, we all seem to be much more aware of our deficiencies in that department. In fact, one of the biggest questions I hear from both men and women, young and old, is them asking me how to get stronger.

How to get stronger is a little bit common sense, and a lot of science and hard work as well. It’s a lot of nutrition, as well as a lot of planning and consistency. The first thing to do if you’re wondering how to get stronger, is to eat properly. Proper nutrition is the backbone for every successful fitness regimen. You can’t lose weight, gain muscle, increase performance, etc, without proper nutrition designed not only for your specific needs, but for the goal you are trying to achieve as well. If you’re wanting to get stronger, you will have to build more muscle tissue, as obviously, muscles move things. You don’t lift a lot with your body fat, or your bones. You certainly can use your body’s fat reserves for a fuel supply, but fat stores aren’t moving the heavy weights.

In order to build more muscle, it’s going to be very important to not only fuel your body with the proper amount of carbohydrates, from the proper sources, of course, but additionally, you’ll be needing to ingest enough protein in order to build the muscle tissue. Lean sources of protein are always more favorable for good results. Lean chicken, beef, fish, beans, etc are all great options, but how they are prepared is of equal importance. Grilled salmon, for example, is a far healthier choice than a chicken fried steak, tasty and tempting as it may be.

If you’re still wondering how to get stronger after eating all of the right things, at all the right times, and within all of the proper amounts, you’ll need to focus your scrutiny to how you are training in the gym. A lot of folks assume bodybuilders are the strongest people around, but that’s not necessarily true. While successful and accomplished bodybuilders certainly carry an enormous amount of muscle mass, coupled with low body fat stores, they don’t train for strength. They train for aesthetics. There’s an enormous difference between the 2 methodologies. For example, a typical bodybuilder won’t care one way or the other if they added a pound or 2 to their bench press in any given session, while someone who wants to get stronger, obviously is more focused on that, as it means a positive progression towards their goals.

There are a boatload of myths surrounding everything in the health and fitness world, and the question of how to get stronger can be, and often times is answered very incorrectly as the answers are based upon hearsay, and not science. Anyone wondering how to get stronger will have to not only lift heavy weights for a few repetitions per set, but also have to lift lighter weights in each set, and for a much higher amount of repetitions, on different days, of course. The body has 2 distinct types of skeletal muscle fibers. Fast twitch fibers and slow twitch fibers. Furthermore, each one of your skeletal muscles are comprised of a combination with the 2 different kinds of muscle fibers. How many fast twitch fibers are in your bicep muscles compared to the person next to you will vary greatly, as it’s a very individual thing. With that said, if you are trying to get stronger, it’s of great importance that you train both types of muscle fibers equally, as one is certainly not bigger than the other. There’s no such thing as flexing your fast twitch muscle fibers, no matter what your skeletal muscle composition consists of.

How to get stronger is a very individual proposition that can’t be answered with any sweeping statements. Obviously, we can say lift weights and eat nicely, but that’s a rather useless bit of advice without scratching the surface and delving into the individual needs of whomever is trying to accomplish that specific goal.

One flippant answer to the how to get stronger question, is to take steroids. While anabolic steroids will certainly make you stronger, there is a big trade off with health ramifications and a plethora of side effects if you are not well versed with anabolics. While it’s obvious that they are prevalent in every sport, and if you are a consenting adult who knows what they are doing, and what they are getting into, that’s your business, but for the rest of the population, they are better off left alone or you’ll be playing Russian roulette with your endocrine system, etc, etc.

Supplements, as I wrote elsewhere on this site, are another way that people try to solve the how to get stronger riddle. Creatine is a very popular supplement that comes in many forms, and offers a slight advantage, as I wrote about in a different essay, but it’s not the easy answer that so many seek. Energizing supplements such as caffeine based pills and powders may offer a boost, but they don’t replace muscle tissue when it comes to lifting anything. They just make you amped up and jittery, not stronger. Nitric oxide is another supplement that I wrote about elsewhere on this website as well, and it’s positive effects have been quantified, but it too, like all of the other supplements, and even drugs like steroids, aren’t the magic formula that so many seek when wondering how to get stronger.

Ultimately, if you want to get stronger, you are going to have to forget about magic pills and potions, and get your nutrition dialed in so that you not only have enough fuel for your workouts, but enough protein in order to build more muscle tissue. The other aspect to consider is the actual workouts themselves. As I stated earlier, it’s of vital importance that whomever is wondering how to get stronger, trains for strength, not bodybuilding, endurance, or a single sport specifically. Those other methodologies and goals will certainly yield some strength increases, but they are finely tuned for a different end result. If, for example, I’m training an NBA player for a better vertical jump, or for quicker lateral movement, yes, of course he will be gaining strength in certain areas, and if he were to quantify the gains on a leg press, a squat rack, etc, you would be able to measure an improvement, but that’s not of any significance, as how much he can squat doesn’t correlate with how high or far he can jump for a rebound in a basketball game, which is obviously, the ultimate goal as opposed to how much he can lift in a gym setting.

Getting stronger, just like any other goal that you might pursue in the gym, with, or without a personal trainer, is going to require a lot of sacrifice, consistency, and effort. The end results, however, are well worth it. Being strong is an empowering feeling. You can do more activities, and with greater ease. If you are one who enjoys paddling canoes, for example, you’ll find that being stronger not only equates to more powerful strokes, but even the loading and unloading of the boat is made that much easier. Anytime you work hard for something, and can see and feel appreciable results, it’s not only a great feeling but it is something that is worth working for.

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How To Get Stronger
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How To Get Stronger
How to get stronger is not as easy a question to answer as some people think, nor as quick a process as most would hope. Austin personal trainer Andy Bruchey details what is needed if you want to get bigger and stronger.
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Andy Bruchey- Complete Fitness Design
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Complete Fitness Design
Complete Fitness Design
3100 W Slaughter Ln Austin, TX 78748

About Andy

My name is Andy Bruchey and I am a longtime Austin personal trainer having founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition, and sports specific training for professionals. Contact me today to see how I can help you!
3100 W Slaughter Ln Austin , Texas 78748 512-484-2270