The topics building muscle and strength are often used interchangeably, typically due to the fact that if you are really strong, you probably have pretty big muscles. But, that’s not always the case. The biggest guy in the room isn’t always the strongest and vice versa.
The reality is that muscle building and strength building are quite different and require different training protocols.
Gains in strength are best obtained when training with low reps, heavy weights, and long rest periods. Muscle building, on the other hand, can be accomplished a great many ways, using high reps, low reps, heavy weight, lighter weights, long rest periods, and short rest periods.
The good news is that the two complement each other remarkably well as a bigger muscle is capable of producing more force, and the stronger you are, the better you are at recruiting a maximum amount of muscle fibers (which helps your muscle building training).
Here we discuss three things essential to building muscle and strength as fast as possible.
How to Build Muscle & Strength
The single most important factor governing whether you get bigger and stronger than you presently are is progressive overload.
That is, in order to force you muscles to adapt and grow you have to force them to lift more weight for more reps for more sets over time. If you do not have progressive overload, even the most perfectly tailored diet and exercise program is meaningless.
Now, does this mean you have to increase the amount of weight you lift or reps you complete each and every workout? Not necessarily, but the general trend over the coming weeks should be in the direction of more total work.
If at the end of 6 or 8 weeks of training, you’re still lifting the same amount of weight for the same number of sets and reps, you’re not pushing yourself or abiding by the principles of progressive overload
Go Heavy First
Building muscle and strength can be done in the same workout, it just requires smart programming and workout organization on your part.
When training for size and strength (powerbuilding) in the same workout you need to perform the heavy, strength-based work first. If you try to save the heavy compound exercises for the end of your workout after the hypertrophy work is complete, your muscles will be too fatigued to lift as much weight as they’re truly capable of lifting. Furthermore, attempting max effort lifts such as the bench press, deadlift, or back squat in a pre-fatigued state also heightens your chance of injury.
Begin your workouts with a heavy compound movement. Then, once the heavy lifting is completed, you can move onto your accessory work using higher reps (6-20 reps) with lighter weights (60-75% 1RM).
Maximize Every Set
How many times have you (or someone you are training with) end a set and felt like “yeah, that was easy. I could have done more, but I stopped”?
You just violated the muscle-building law of making every set count.
Far too often people end a set with a considerable amount of reps left in the tank, and in doing so they’re undercutting their own progress and leaving droves of gains on the floor.
When you maximize every set, you’re also ensuring progressive overload, as the idea of maximizing every set entails pushing each and every set you do in the gym for as many quality reps as possible, ending the set when your form begins to break down or you feel that you might fail on the next rep.
If more lifters embraced this philosophy with their training, there would be a lot more jacked guys walking around, trust us.
Maximizing every set ensures you are pushing your muscles to the limit, exposing them to maximum amounts of tension and recruiting the maximum number of muscle fibers.
Basically, if you want to build your muscle and strength to the max, you need to maximize every set.
What About Muscle Building Supplements?
Proper diet, training, and sleep can take your muscle and strength building progress far, but having the right supplements can certainly help.
Performax Labs has created an arsenal of potent muscle building supplements with its diverse array of pre workouts and natural anabolics.
HyperMax Extreme is a high energy, high-performance pre workout bolstered by 400mg caffeine anhydrous, a generous 6 grams of pure L-Citrulline, and a hefty 250mg eria jarensis. Together the nutrients in HyperMax Extreme help infuse the mind and body to perform to their max each and every set.
MassMax is a cutting-edge anabolic harnessing the power of rare phytochemicals to enhance anabolic potential and support greater muscle mass and strength.