How to Get Strong

by Michael Plank

Lift heavy weights.

That’s pretty much it!

There are a whole bunch of other considerations: time under tension, eccentric vs. concentric loading, progressive overload, periodization, accessory work, nutrition, recovery, etc. But for generations and generations, people have understood that probably the best way to get strong is to grab stuff that’s heavy and pick it up/carry it/throw it.

What does this mean for you? If you’re working on getting stronger, don’t overthink it. Let’s say your stuck on your front squat. You’ve been able to hit 95lbs, but breaking that 100lb barrier just messes with your mind and you feel like you just can’t get it. Try this: find a heavy weight – let’s say 85lbs – and accumulate 5 reps in a day, twice during the week. Next week, accumulate 6 reps. The next week, accumulate 7, or drop back to 5 but try it with 90lbs. Any of those will work. What’s the consistent thread? Lift heavy. What does “heavy” mean? Something where you have to grunt and strain.

(It should go without saying, but just in case – work with a coach to make sure you’re grunting and straining with good technique)

Do that, and you’ll get stronger. It’s not always easy, but it is simple. It’s worked for centuries and still works today!

If you’re a UPCF member, we’ve got a 6-week strength club at the end of September. Most of our coaches have gone through the program that we’ll do and the results have been impressive! You know what the strategy is? Lifting heavy! Check out the announcement board at class and stay tuned for more information.