Choosing the right workout strategy for strength gain involves careful planning. Not only does your exercise programme itself need to be correct, but so do your nutrition and rest patterns. Strength gain can be jeopardised by several factors, including the wrong diet, too little sleep, under-training, or over-training.
Strength gain requires a specially designed workout regime. General purpose programmes do provide initial strength gain for people new to exercise, but after the first few months there will be no further development in this direction. That’s when it’s time to think about tailoring your programme to meet more specific goals.
One key element is how you structure your resistance-training programme. Choosing heavy weights, with 4 –6 repetitions per set, is a good strategy. If you up the workout to 7-12 repetitions, you’ll maximise muscle growth. However, you should choose your weights so that 12 repetitions is the most you can manage in one set. A set of 15 repetitions or more is more appropriate for people wanting to increase their muscular endurance.
The next stage is to choose the right cardiovascular workout. Every fitness programme needs to include some cardiovascular work, but in this case two much cardiovascular work can actually interfere with the results of your resistance training. For the best results, limit your cardio work to three 20-30 minute sessions per week.
The best diet for this type of programme includes plenty of protein, although it’s important to make sure your diet is well balanced so you’re getting all the nutrition you need.
Your body grows and repairs itself while you sleep, not while you exercise, so make sure you get plenty of rest in between workouts.