Tips from a power-lifter: Get STRONG… FAST!

Some of you may know me. I am Matthew Ward, I’m 23 years of age and I am an active power-lifter who has competed at national and divisional level alike in power-lifting competitions in the GBPF.

I have the same primary goal as you fans and athletes out there – we all want to “get strong… fast”. But the reality is that there is no secret formula other than hard work and consistency and, more importantly, the belief that you can achieve what you want in life!

 There is a saying, “Don’t run before you can walk”, and this certainly applies in training when trying to achieve something faster than is humanly possible. I always say to my training friends and clients that it is always important to get the technique right first and then the weights will increase naturally without even thinking about it. Do not let your ego take over in the gym. So here are my top 4 tips for getting strong… FAST!


  1. BSD – Bench, Squat, Deadlift: You must include 3 of these, as these are the most important compound lifts to gain size – FACT!

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  1. Explosive Reps: Explosive reps are an essential tool and help to build up strength and size for newbie trainers.

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  1. Post-Workout Shakes: A calorie rich post-workout shake with a 2:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein is essential after your workout.

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  1. Periodic Training: This is key to allow your body enough recovery time. The biggest common mistake from newbie trainers is over training and thinking more is better.

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Try to get four workouts in two bench press workouts in with relevant assistances, then one squat session and one deadlift session. However, these workouts will further develop your training into dynamic effort and maximum effort days.

It is important to focus on lifting explosively as training your muscles to apply force to the bar rapidly will ultimately lead to strength increases.

In contrast, on other days you will lift heavier weights to build maximum strength directly.

Heavy lifting also burns many calories in addition to keeping your metabolic rate elevated for hours longer than aerobic exercise. Forget running on a treadmill – in fact your metabolic rate will slow down within minutes of taking off the racing belt.

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