3 exercises to increases your strength
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These 3 Exercises Will Double Your Strength in Just Two Weeks

Struggling to find the best, most efficient strength training exercises? Luckily, it doesn’t take much to increase your strength. When it comes down to it, building muscle and strength only requires four things:

  • A balanced diet that focuses on sufficient protein intake (1).
  • The willingness to push past perceived limits (2).
  • Progressive overload (3).
  • Exercise selection (4).

Numbers one and two above may seem like simple points, however, they are complicated topics all on their own. In this article, we will not investigate these two points in depth. 

There are plenty of dieticians, health professionals, and coaches who can help you with these elements of strength building. 

Furthermore, there are many articles and studies which examine the underlying science of diet and psychology inherent in these points.

Instead, we will focus heavily on numbers three and four from our list. 

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How to Get Stronger

How to increase your strength

As was indicated in the introduction, we’ll now look at the concepts of progressive overload and exercise selection as they relate to strength building.

Progressive Overload

In the most general sense, progressive overload is the concept of lifting a little bit more than you did previously. Practically, progressive overload can be obtained through:

  • The Two-For-Two Rule (5);
  • RPE or One Rep Max Programs (6);
  • And many other methods.

For those that are just starting out on their strength journey, it can feel confusing and frustrating to try to navigate the complicated science behind these theories. 

Let me make some very basic recommendations: 

  • For competitive athletes or those with very specific goals: I recommend working with a coach. You will need to have your program precisely tailored for the demands of your sport. While this can be done with self-study and research, investing in an experienced coach is well worth it.
  • For everyone else who is just trying to get healthier and stronger: pick a weight with each exercise which makes you fatigue somewhere between 8 and 15 repetitions. When you no longer fatigue within this rep range, increase the weight or the difficulty of the exercise to the point where you again fatigue within this range. Repeat the process. It’s that simple!

There are different rep ranges that are appropriate for various exercise goals. 

While these different rep ranges may bear some consideration after you’ve been training for a long time, the 8-15 rep range will work well for most novice lifters.

Exercise Selection

Increase your strength

The other component of strength-building which was hinted at in the introduction is exercise selection.

Not all exercises are created equal. Some exercises simply provide more “bang for your buck”, so to speak.

Generally, multi-joint exercises are a better option for most strength-building goals due to the following reasons:

Therefore, in the following section, I will outline the three most beneficial strength-building exercises. 

Whether you’ve been training for years or are just starting out, these exercises need to be incorporated into your exercise regimen.

The 3 Best Exercises That Will Double Your Strength in Just 2 Weeks

Exercises to double your strength

Now, in the interest of honesty, you should not expect that these exercises will double the strength of everyone in two weeks. 

For example, if you currently deadlift 400 pounds for three reps, it’s unrealistic that you will increase your deadlift to 800 pounds for three reps in just two weeks. Similarly, it’s unlikely that you’ll increase your deadlift to 400 pounds for 6 reps in just two weeks.

The doubling of strength applies mainly to novice lifters who will quickly notice neuromuscular adaptations as they begin training (7). HOWEVER, everyone can benefit from the following exercises, regardless of their goals or training experience.

This workout can be performed 2-3 times a week. With strength training goals in mind, it’s important to remember that a given muscle group requires about 48 hours in order for it to fully recover and be ready for another workout.

The reps and sets will vary depending on your goals, but a good rule of thumb is 3 sets of each exercise for 8-15 repetitions. You’ll want to rest between sets and exercises until you feel sufficiently recovered but no longer than 2 minutes.

1. Squats

Barbell squats

Squats are one of the most functional, versatile, and effective exercises in existence. They can be easily modified and made more difficult by changing the resistance equipment or the position of the equipment. For our purposes, we will outline the barbell back squat.

Target Muscles

  • Primary: Quadriceps, glutes, calves
  • Secondary: Numerous core, shoulder, and back muscles 

Exercise Parameters

Perform 8-15 repetitions for 3-5 sets, 2-3 times per week. Rest until you feel recovered, but aim for no longer than 2 minutes of rest between sets and exercises.

How to Perform

  • With the bar positioned on your shoulders, slowly squat down by bending your knees, lowering your hips, and keeping your back flat with your chest facing forward.
  • Once you have reached the bottom of your range, begin to slowly reverse the movement, standing back up until you are in the starting position.
  • It is recommended that you use a squat rack with safety bars, a spotter, or some other method of ensuring safety, especially when squatting with a very heavy weight.

2. Bench Press

Dumbbell bench press

In the same way that the squat is one of the best exercises for the lower body, the bench press is one of the best exercises for the upper body. The movement is functional and adaptable to all ability levels. While many different types of equipment can be used for the bench press, we will focus on the dumbbell version.

Target Muscles

  • Primary: Pecs, various shoulder muscles, triceps
  • Secondary: Various core, back, and shoulder muscles for stability

Exercise Parameters

Perform 8-15 repetitions for 3-5 sets, 2-3 times per week. Rest until you feel recovered, but aim for no longer than 2 minutes of rest between sets and exercises.

How to Perform

  • Holding dumbbells, safely transition to lying on your back.
  • While keeping your elbows from flaring out, press the dumbbells straight upward toward the ceiling.
  • Once you reach the top of your range, without fully “locking out” your elbows, begin to slowly return to the starting position to complete the rep.
  • If using very heavy weights, it is recommended that you use a spotter or some other safety mechanism to prevent you from dropping the weight or otherwise injuring yourself.

3. Pull-Ups

Pull-Ups for upper body strength

Between squats and bench press, you’ll hit nearly every muscle in your body. The only ones you don’t emphasize with those two exercises are worked during pull-ups. Pull-ups can be easily modified through the use of bands, a weight belt, or even a lat pulldown machine.

  • Target Muscles – Primary: Biceps, lats.
  • Secondary: Various shoulder, core, and back muscles.

Exercise Parameters

Perform 8-15 repetitions for 3-5 sets, 2-3 times per week. Rest until you feel recovered, but aim for no longer than 2 minutes of rest between sets and exercises.

How to Perform

  • Hang with arms almost completely straight and back muscles engaged enough to keep you from “sinking” down.
  • Pull yourself upward toward the ceiling, aiming to touch the top of your chest to the bar and/or to get your chin above the bar.
  • Slowly reverse the motion, lowering yourself back down to complete the rep.
  • If using a weight belt to increase the difficulty of the exercise, ensure that you take any necessary safety precautions.

Conclusion on How to Increase Strength

The above three exercises will get every muscle in your body working. By focusing on proper form and activation of the appropriate muscles, you’ll get stronger in no time. Give this workout a try today and see what you think!

References

  1. Carbone, J. W., & Pasiakos, S. M. (2019). Dietary Protein and Muscle Mass: Translating Science to Application and Health Benefit. Nutrients, 11(5), 1136. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11051136
  2. Kent, M. (2007). Principle of Progressive Overload. The Oxford Dictionary of Sports Science and Medicine, 3.
  3. Peterson, M. D., Pistilli, E., Haff, G. G., Hoffman, E. P., & Gordon, P. M. (2011). Progression of volume load and muscular adaptation during resistance exercise. European journal of applied physiology, 111(6), 1063–1071. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-010-1735-9
  4. Hughes, D. C., Ellefsen, S., & Baar, K. (2018). Adaptations to Endurance and Strength Training. Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in medicine, 8(6), a029769. https://doi.org/10.1101/cshperspect.a029769
  5. Https://Www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Pmc/Articles/PMC5983157/.

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