Strength plays an important role in becoming a better athlete, and many athletes log countless hours in the weight room to get stronger. Before you encourage your athletes to lift any weights, you need to create a plan and set goals that are personalized in order to achieve maximum results.
Your plan for building strength should include a very specific “why and how” questionnaire. Why do you want a particular body part to get stronger? Be as detailed as possible so that you can cater your training in a way that is most beneficial to you. How are you going to gain this strength? If you have any doubt about what it takes to get stronger, consult a trainer or coach to guide you along the way. Never lift weights without a plan.
Once you decide why and how you’re going to build strength, the next step is learning the proper form for each exercise. Completing each exercise correctly ensures that your body gets the most out of each rep.
Incorrect form is not only a waste of time, but it can also lead to injury.
Check with an experienced trainer or coach before lifting any weights.
Not all exercises in the weight room are equal, so it is imperative to focus on training that is unique to your goals.
As a rule of thumb, complete power exercises that work multiple muscles at once, instead of isolating the muscles.
For example, to build lower body muscle, your leg workouts should include either squats, deadlift and/or cleans. These exercises involve the quads, groin, hamstring, calves and lower back. An isolated leg exercise, such as leg extensions, only activates the quad muscle group, so it would not be ideal for a total lower body workout. Check with your trainer or coach to see which exercises are appropriate for you.
Your core is the foundation of all of your athletic movements, so building a strong core should be every athlete’s primary goal in strength training.
You don’t need a weight room to increase your core strength. Your trainer or coach should be able to provide you with a list of exercises that you can do at home that will build the desired strength.
Unfortunately, many athletes begin their weight training without considering their core. The result will be an inability to complete exercises properly or injury. Isolate your core with strength training before moving on to more complex exercises.
Every athlete wants to get into the gym and get stronger immediately, but it’s just not possible. Take your time and gradually gain strength so that your body can adjust to the added muscle mass. Trying to move too quickly can result in injury or even muscle loss.
Keep in mind that you don’t gain muscle while you’re working out. In fact, working out breaks down your muscle, but those muscles rebuild themselves stronger as your body recovers. That being said, rest after your workouts is crucial because it gives your body an opportunity to repair itself. Without enough time in between for recovery, your muscles will become strained and you will actually begin to lose muscle mass. In addition, a diet high in protein and low in bad carbohydrates is incredibly helpful in building muscle mass.
Building strength is more than running in the weight room and completing several sets of bench press. Plan your workouts with precision and get advice from professionals to ensure you are getting the most out of every exercise. Get plenty of rest in between workouts and switch your diet to include higher calories. Be patient, the strength will come in due time with the proper training regiment.
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