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Muscle Sport Magazine

Lifting Heavy = Optimal Gains?

Andrzej Jaworski/AJ JAWA Photo

When it comes to packing on muscle, the conversation will eventually turn to rep ranges eventually. The common myth of high reps for weight loss and low reps for strength will generally surface. Most workout plans that revolve around hypertrophy (the increase in size of skeletal muscle) will recommend consuming kilos of protein powder and lifting anywhere between 8-12 reps with a medium weight. But what if you were to mix it up a little?

 

Take one look at any strongman or powerlifting competitor and you’ll see a huge, hulking behemoth of a human being. Although their diet and sport generally calls for a considerably higher body fat percentage than most athletes, underneath all that is a physique meticulously designed to lift unfathomable weights. Whether you’re 30% body fat or 5%, muscle is still muscle. Although not everyone can (or should) lift like a Strongman, it’s worth taking some of their techniques into account when looking to pack on real size, and earn the strength to match it.

 

Although training strictly for hypertrophy will naturally increase overall strength, it doesn’t translate as well as you’d think, meaning just because you’ve got huge arms, it doesn’t mean you’re the toughest dude in the weights room. If you’re not ready to become a fully-fledged superhero just yet, try including some strength techniques into your regular sessions, for example:

 

Chest Day

 

Warm Up

Push Ups 2 x 15 Reps

Incline Dumbbell Flyes 3 x 12 Reps

Barbell Bench Press 3 x 2-4 Reps

Barbell Incline Bench Press 3 x 2-4 Reps

Incline Dumbbell Press 3 x 12 Reps

 

As well as watching your numbers go up, lifting heavy will naturally increase your testosterone levels, whilst ramping up your metabolism, helping cut additional weight, as long as you keep your diet in check. Eventually, try adding a full strength day for the body part you’re trying to bring up (legs, chest, back etc.) and see the difference.

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