How to Build Up Muscle Strength

By: Derek Manuel

If you want to learn how to build up muscle strength, then look no further. My goal is to put together for you the simplest, purest, and most learnable form on how to build up muscle strength to whatever you want it to be. Whether you want to compete in weight lifting championships, or you just have some personal weight lifting goals that you always wanted reach, then read on my friend.

Gaining strength, or poundage progression, is a very simple concept. Before you do anything else, I want you to take out a pen or pencil and a pad of paper. Now I want you to write out long term goals for however many lifts you want. For instance, one of my long term goals for a long time as a kid was to squat 405 pounds. At the time I set that goal I could barely squat 135 pounds for 10 reps. What I did next was set a goal for 185 pounds for 10 reps. This was my immediate short term goal.

Then all I did for the next few weeks was concentrated on adding weight a little at a time each week until I could squat 145 pounds for ten reps, then 155 pounds, then 165 pounds, etc, until I could eventually squat for 185 for ten reps. Then I would set a new short term goal, 225 pounds for ten reps, and go at it again. Now, it sounds simple, and it is, but the secret is in the HARD WORK you put in each workout to pass your last workout, and having the tenacity to keep going and NOT QUIT!

Each workout you are getting an inch closer to your long term goal by attacking the heck out of your short term goal. They say the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. This is how great success works in anything, and it is more measurable in weight training then anything else.

There are a couple different ways in which you can progressively go up in weight. One way, following the example of my squats, is to add one or two pounds each workout and do ten reps with it. This approach you are more likely to reach the ten reps almost every time. Another way you can do it is to add five or even ten pounds each workout until you can't complete the ten reps, then stay at that weight until you complete the ten reps in good form, and when you do, add another five or ten reps and do it again. Neither of these approaches is better then the other, it is just up to your preference.

It is important to point out some psychological aspects that I am describing that will help you in subtle ways on how to build up muscle strength steadily and stay the course. The first is the fact that you write everything down: your long term goals, short term, and each and every workout. This way, when you approach each individual workout, you know exactly what you need to accomplish that day down to the last rep.

Another aspect is that by making short term goals, you are making it easier to reach your long term goals because you may not really believe you can reach your long term goals in the beginning, but you believe you can reach your short term goals. And as David Schwartz says in The Magic of Thinking Big, "belief is the thermostat which regulates what we accomplish in life."

Here is perhaps the most important point: once you make your long term goal, write it down and then forget about it. Concentrate all of your energy on your short term goal and nothing else! Don't even think about what your next short term goal will be, just go to each workout and focus 100% on completing your goal for that day.

This is how to build up muscle strength to astronomical levels. Most people at the thought of a long term goal will cower from it and never even begin, but not you. You now understand the process, however long it may be. I will end with a quote I stated earlier in this article that I hope you really take into consideration, "It sounds simple, and it is, but the secret is in the HARD WORK you put in each workout to pass your last workout, and having the tenacity to keep going and NOT QUIT!"

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