Weight Training Questions - How To Gain Strength
But Not Size
Weight Training Question:
I'm seeking some advice on my weight training routine. My continuous
aim is to gain strength but not so much size anymore. During the
period between April and July, I gained 22 pounds. I'm quite happy
to maintain my current weight but if gains in size come as a result
of my routine then that's fine. I'd appreciate if you could critique
my current workout.
I do a full body workout, 3 days a week on Monday, Wednesday and
- Pull-ups - 8 reps
- Chins up - 8 reps
- Machine chest press - 2 sets of 10 reps @ 85kg (+40kg)
- Lat pull down - 2 sets of 8-10 reps @ 40kg (+10kg)
- Barbell Bicep Curls - 2 sets of 8-10 reps @ 25kg (+5kg)
- Upward Row - 2 sets of 10 reps @ 25kg (+10kg)
- Upward Row wide grip - 2 sets of 10 reps @ 15kg
- Barbell Squat (without a spotter) - 2 sets of 10 reps @ 25kg
- Leg curl - 2 sets of 10 reps @ 40kg (+15kg)
- Leg Extension - 2 sets of 10 reps @ 30kg (+10kg)
- Tricep pushdowns - 2 sets of 10 reps @ 25kg (+5kg)
- Barbell Military Press - 2 sets of 8 reps @ 25kg
- Smith Machine Bench Press - 2 sets of 10 reps @ 45kg
I realize that this workout is quite high in volume, could you
possibly suggest how it can be improved? Perhaps some exercises
could be omitted and/or replaced with more useful ones. I eat a
fairly balanced diet, 4 meals a day and I also try to consume close
to 3 liters of water a day.
Weight Training Answer:
Here are a few things I recommend for gaining strength:
- Drop your rep range from 8-10 to 5-7 reps (after warm-up). Doing
lower reps with maximum output will help build strength.
- Drop your overall number of sets. Always think "short
& intense" when working out. Hit it hard and then let
your muscles grow. Maximum time in the gym should be 45 min.
- Increase your meals to 6 per day. Eat every 2.5 to 3 hours
and make sure to eat at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body
- Include more basic mass building exercises into your routine
like squats, bench press, deadlifts and military press.
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