Building yourself up to be able to lift heavier is always a process. That long process goes hand-in-hand with being able to achieve those gains you've been working towards. It could take a month to increase the weight on your deadlift by even 5kgs, but with these tips, you'll be able to lift heavier, faster without compromising your journey so far.
CUT YOUR WARM UP
When warming up for a lift like a bench press, many usually opt for a lifting light to heavy, building up to their eventual goal weight to start off the workout. For example if you'd like to lift 64kg, you'd be lifting 50kg for 10 reps, then 54kg for 8 reps, increasing the weight and lessening the reps until you reach your goal weight. This is all a warm up to lifting that 64kg for 3 sets of 8 reps. That utilises a lot of unnecessary energy that could be exhausted during your main lift instead.
To lift heavier, cut the warm up to 3 reps each, and increase the jumps between the weights you load. Start off by pressing just the bar for 5 reps, then move on to lifting 54kg for 3 reps, 58kg for 3 reps, 60kg for 3 reps then on to your main lift. You'll conserve energy for your actual workout, while warming up instead of exhausting your muscles.
Improving your grip is crucial to lifting more. When you lift heavy, it is your hands that tire before your main muscle group, thanks to the moisture that comes from sweat in your palms. You need more friction to maintain your grip, so don a pair of gloves or have some chalk dust on your hands so you can get a better hold on the barbell.
ALWAYS CHECK YOUR FORM
It may seem narcissistic to video yourself lifting or to lift in front of a mirror, but it's all for the good cause of ensuring your form is there. Lifting without proper form can cost you a lot, the least of it being not able to lift as hard as you probably could, and the most being a severe injury. Keep track of how you are lifting, and watching yourself provides visual aid to identify the mistakes. If you're uncomfortable with that, ask a friend to help spot your mistakes.
HAVE A DELOAD WEEK
Of course, it's all about lifting to that one goal, and packing on the weights until you get there. It is good to give your muscles a quick break, and let them recuperate with what is known as a deload week. By dropping the total volume of what you lift, or lifting lighter each set, your body has more time to recover and it reduces the stress training has on your body. Ideally, do this every 4 to 6 weeks, and you'll return to your next session fresh, rejuvenated and with muscles ready to lift heavier.
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- August 12, 2017
- Beatrice Bowers