Strength training is a routine which allows you to build up your level of strength and while you will see some muscle growth, there is a difference between strength training and muscle training.
While one develops the muscles more, the other focuses in on the level of strength you possess.
They both require a strict diet and determination, and you should follow these guidelines to get the best results possible when training for physical strength over muscle growth.
How to Begin
The first thing you want to do is set yourself a specific yet challenging goal. This will allow you to define what you want to gain out of your training sessions.
It is a good idea to write down your long-term goals as well as develop a timeline for your short-term goals.
You can also write down your progress and what you feel you need to focus on to help keep your goals challenging.
Beginning with goals helps you to motivate yourself and can help you find what benefits you during your strength training routine.
While there are a multitude of different strength focused exercises, there are 7 specific exercises that you should include in your routine.
These are both basic and natural movements that will help to decrease the stress you put on your joints.
While it is recommended that beginners start with 8 to 10 reps per set, the more experienced strength trainers should perform 1 to 5 reps per set including other basics.
The top 7 include bench press, deadlift or Romanian deadlift, military or push press, barbell and dumbbell rows, and power cleans or Olympic lift variations.
You should also include the basics like chin-ups, pull ups, and dips to help build up more strength.
It is also recommended that you consult with a professional strength trainer to help specify your routine to benefit your needs and goals more effectively.
Planning is everything when you are strength training as it will help you to focus on your goals.
It also helps to have a trainer to help you develop more realistic timelines for you to follow while you are strength training to help you build a better plan.
You will want to record your progression as well to help you focus on where you need the most improvement and motivate you to reach and strive for the goals you have set for yourself.
Think of it like a monthly final, you work hard all month long to get ready for the big test and aim to destroy it when the final comes, record your results and if the first set of goals was too easy then modify your goals to be more challenging.
This helps to motivate people when they are having a hard time reaching the goals they strive for.
Supplements and Nutrition
It is also vital that you follow a set diet plan including all the necessary nutrition and supplements you need to help you with your strength training.
This does not mean you cannot cheat a little once in a while but try to stick to the plan that you and your trainer have developed as much as possible.
If you don’t stick to your nutritional and supplemental needs, your hard work will not provide you with the desire effects that you have been aiming for.
You can draw up a schedule for each meal, what you are going to eat each week, including the times for each supplement and the dose that you need to take.
Remember that you will need to take in a specific amount of protein, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fat, and other necessary nutrients to help you fuel your body and achieve your goals.
Persistence is key to conditioning your mind and body to reaching your goals.
Some people give up easily as they have not built up their persistence and perseverance to the goals they set for themselves.
While some of this can easily be lack of confidence, it can also be lack of will power to achieve the goals they have made.
Some people think that strength training or any other exercise will give them immediate results but they should consider it more of an investment than a purchase.
Routines and Systems that Work
There are many workout routines and systems that are focused on strength training and will allow you to both get started and expand your routine in ways that you wouldn’t imagine.
Systems like Starting Strength Program for beginners, Westside Barbell Training, Wendler’s 531, and Smolov Squat Building can easily set you on the right path.
They will also direct you through the basics to get your strength training underway.