My next contest will be next year so now is the time to get stronger! During my contest diets I really hate being weaker, having to lift lighter weights than I normally would. Now I am very excited about building up my strength once again! So time to start my six weeks strength training program which will enable me to lift heavier and gain better muscle tone.
Hypertrophy versus muscular strength
Hypertrophy training is the way to build muscle but after 6-8 weeks the muscles start to get so used to same kind of stimulation that the development slows down. This is why we need to do muscular strength training to shock the muscles and challenge the body with heavier weight. After following a strength training programme we will be stronger and should be able to lift more when training for hypertrophy. As a result you should gain more muscle, simple!
I really like the intensity of hypertrophy training when I sweat and feel like I am working hard, so when I first begin strength training I sometimes wonder to myself “was that enough training today?” Even though it is really hard to lift heavy weights, with longer rest periods I feel like I am resting too much! This is just because I am so used to having to do lots of supersets, tri-sets and really intense workouts when training for my contests.
After my first few strength training days I really began to enjoy it. I felt great after squatting heavier than I normally would and I feel more focused. When training for hypertrophy I just do the workout as hard as I can but, when lifting really heavy and using low repetitions I really need to focus on every rep and that feels more like a performance. I was surprised with my muscle memory as well! Before the contest my weights went down so much, I thought ‘’oh no it will take forever to build up the same level of strength that I had!’’ I was wrong, just after one week of strength training I was able to lift the same that I used to before and that feels so wonderful! I am happy to surprise all the big guys at the gym!!! Small 46kg girl squatting 90kg and deadlifting 85kg and I really do not look like as if I could! At the moment I am really focussed on working towards my maximum lifts, and who knows after 6 weeks I am maybe be able to squat 100KG!?
One hour before you train have a pre-workout supplement, which really helps to boost your strength and lift heavier.
Before you lift make sure your technique is perfect!
If you want to use wrist straps or a belt only use them on your heaviest lifts. This way you will get a stronger core and grip when you really need to use them.
Before your workout do dynamic stretching! This will help you to gain more explosive strength and you will have a better range of movement.
So let’s train hard and get strong!!!