Increase The Amount You Lift - Gain Strength

Upping the weight you lift in the gym is a common goal for gym-goers, but it definitely is harder than it sounds. People can train for years with little-to-no progression and the reason is usually because we don't challenge ourselves or we forget to change up our programs. Another common mistake is that we are not working in the correct way with reps and sets. Let's take a look at our PT's top suggestions below.

Goal - Gain strength:

  1. Work in low rep ranges a few times per week for 6 weeks, within this period of time you should be able to increase your strength, even if only by a small amount. Changes take time and effort, so be ready!

  2. Low rep ranges are anywhere from 1-6 reps. One being your one rep max. This is the amount of weight you can lift for one rep and it takes everything you have got to do it. Testing your one rep max on the three major lifts is a great base line before aiming to progress. Squat, bench press and deadlift.

  3. One you know your one rep max you should be able to calculate what weight you can do for the amount of reps you desire using this calculator. Or do it the other way around and use this calculator to find out your one rep max.

  4. Every 6 weeks re-test or re-calculate. Aim to increase your weights lifted by 1kg each week minimum. For exercises like shoulder press, this may seem like a lot but, even if you need to drop your reps throughout the sets (drop set) this will still aid in increasing your strength over time.

  5. Pyramid method: Work your way up from higher reps to one rep at the peak of your pyramid and then back down. Large sets will help increase strength over time.

  6. Track all improvements and even track decreases on weeks when you were not feeling as strong, this happens when energy levels are depleted, if you are dehydrated or haven't eaten enough/gotten enough sleep.

  7. Take longer rest breaks. The less reps and higher weight you lift, your rest breaks should be longer. 1-2 minutes between sets for around 5 reps is normal.