Get Stronger: Strength Training Workouts, Exercises & Unique Methods to
Maximize Raw Power!
Although strength training is often used to mean resistance or
weight training, the true meaning is to focus on getting as strong as possible. In other words, its not really
about the looks or the conditioning, its more about gaining strength and performing well on the major compound
There are several ways to get freaky strong, but the first step is to choose a training routine that you can
follow. But first, here are the training principles when you're focusing on gaining strength:
1) Work Mostly with Compound Movements - Isolation exercises that target individual muscle
groups take up unneeded space in a strength training routine. Focus on the exercises that will deliver the best
bang on each set. The only exception to this rule is when you've plateaud due to a weak bodypart such as
tricep, bicep or front deltoid, in which case some isolation work can be useful.
Aside from the Olympic Lifts, the top strength training exercises are Bench Press, Weighted
Pullups, Military Press, Barbell Bent-Over Rows, Squats, Deadlifts & Romanian Deadlifts. After these
compound exercises, some additional moves for assistance work are Barbell Curls, Close-Grip Bench
Press and Seated Calf Raises.
2) Low Volume Per Workout - Since the weights you're working with are relatively heavy, and
recovery needs to be fast so you can get back in the gym within 48-72 hours, the overall number of sets & reps
per muscle group will be low compared to a bodybuilding routine.
3) Long Rest Between Sets - Each rep of each set needs to be as explosive as possible, so you
need to make sure that rest times between sets are in the 3-5 minute range to allow you to have the energy &
freshness you need to put in a maximum effort.
4) Avoid Training to Failure - Related to points 2 & 3 above, training to failure will
typically prolong recovery time between sets and between workouts due to soreness, so its best to avoid training to
failure as much as possible.
The above 4 principles are common amongst most strength training routines, with the exact details such as reps,
sets, exercises and cycles being different.
The basic version of the 5x5 training system is the most
suitable choice for beginner & intermediate strength trainees. It has all of the elements of a good strength
training program along with an outstanding track record of success amongst recreational and Professional lifters.
Its very flexible and easy to modify according to different goals, making it an ideal option even for Advanced
trainees who can customize it to their needs.
We have an entire article dedicated to the 5x5 Workout
Here are some advanced methods for increasing strength:
Rest Pause Training
Once you've gone through a few cycles of the standard 5x5 program, an
advanced tactic is to use Rest Pause Training to really shoot strength through the roof! It is a lot of hard work
and takes mental toughness, but the results are well worth the hardship.
In a nutshell, you basically take super short 10-15 second rests between each Rep of an
exercise. Thats right, breaks between each repetition, not each set. For example, on the bench press, you would
choose a weight that you can only complete 2-3 reps for, then pump out a single Rep, rest for 10-15 seconds, pump
out the next Rep, rest, and repeat this cycle until you've done five reps. These five reps would complete 1
As you can see, doing five reps with the given weight is better than doing 2-3 reps. This type
of training scheme will allow you to use much heavier loads than you would normally use with conventional rep
ranges. It is a very effective method for breaking plateaus and to gain serious strength. Another major benefit is
that with shorter rest periods, hypertrophy(muscle growth) is heavily stimulated.
The rest times between each rep can be manipulated to suit your individual needs, but in
general, the most you want to rest is 45 seconds between each rep to make the most out of this training style. Any
longer than 45 seconds, and you lose the benefits of pausing between each rep.
Keep in mind that Rest Pause training is for advanced lifters only who have experience working
with heavier loads and demonstrate proper technique in the major compound exercises such as Squat, Bench,
Deadlift, etc. For a given workout, choose 2-3 muscle groups to work on, performing no more than 2-3 Rest Pause
sets per muscle group. Don't exceed more than 4 total workouts per week.
In simple terms, think of using a mouthpiece to clinch your teeth and clamp down your jaw hard,
allowing you to concentrate and release the energy needed to perform explosively. A fancy name for this mouthpiece
is the Mandibular Orthopedic Repositioning Appliance, and according to some trainers, it can boost the strength
potential of an average lifter by about 10-15%.
A chiropractor named Dr Sipple came up with this simple tweak to your regular stance to supposedly allow for a
better transfer of energy throughout the whole body. In a squat or another standing exercise, one foot is slightly
turned in or adducted and placed about 3"(inches) ahead of the other foot.
When using this stance, its best to try it out with moderate weights until you become comfortable with it. Some
have claimed a 50% increase in strength and an even higher boost in endurance, although there isn't any hard
scientific data to back these claims up.
If you're really serious about increasing your strength in a specific exercise or throughout the entire body,
get started with a basic 5x5 routine and progress into a 3x3 workout, at
which point you can switch to more of a rest pause training style to handle the maximum loads that
Pay attention to your bones and joints, because they typically won't advance as fast as your
muscles, so make sure that you progress slowly in order to have a much better long-term training effect. Keeping in
mind the 4 core principles we mentioned at the top of this article, you should be able to make steady gains in
strength with a reduced risk of injury and fewer plateaus.