3 Tips to get Stronger in 2022
2021 was difficult for many due to the extended lockdowns, covid surges, lack of gym access and everything else in between, causing it to be a year of less success many would have liked.
In sight for a more optimistic future, this blog highlights 3 tips to help you improve and get stronger in 2022.
Here we go!
Add Weight to the Bar
This one sounds simple right ? But for many this is harder than it sounds, adding weight to the bar is one of the most difficult, yet important aspects of strength training. In order to improve you must force the body to experience stress. In the case of strength gains, this stress comes in the form of lifting. Adding weight to the bar over time, is a principle known as progressive overload. Progressive overload is when you gradually increase the weight, frequency, or number of repetitions in your strength training routine. The idea is that progressive overload causes stress, which results in adaptation. The mechanism by which you get stronger is called GAS (General Adaptive Syndrome), this is a technical term meaning your body will adapt to accommodate the stress you have provided it. In saying this, in order to cause an adaptation and meet progressive overload, adding weight to the bar is paramount.
In order to improve you must force the body to experience stress. In the case of strength gains, this stress comes in the form of weight on the bar.
Lifting more weight is not the only way to improve your strength, as completing additional repetitions or increasing the difficulty of an exercise may also do so, however, the most basic thing to do, is to continue to add weight to the bar where possible. Its clear that continuously attempting to increase the weight on the bar or increase the amount of work you do per session is crucial, as you cannot continue to provide it with the same stimulus and expect an improvement, you must be increasing the amount of weight you lift in order to catalyse the adaptation to get stronger.
Improve Your Technique
People have heard time and time again that lifting with good form is a priority, and honestly, it really is! Technique is everything, particularly if you are trying to get stronger at a particular lift.
There are a few reasons why;
- It decreases risk of injury. Doing a lift correctly will reduce your risk of injury while doing that exercise. It will also allow you to safely continue to add weight to the bar, which is crucial if you want to get stronger. Avoiding injury means you are able to train consistently, this means you can spend more time training and improving.
- It improves your lifting efficiency. If you find a technique that suits your body type and capabilities, you want to continue to practice that technique, to ensure it is consistent. Therefore, it should not matter how much weight is on the bar, your technique should remain the same.
- Lifting is a skill, it requires practice in order to perfect. As you practice and improve, the way in which you set up, lift, and move the weight should become autonomous, meaning you can complete the lift without much thought.
- The body moves and transfers forces through a chain, whenever the lifter makes a slight, even minor error while lifting maximal loads, energy is lost, which may be needed in order to lift the heavy loads that are on the bar. Energy leaks not only make you weaker, but may also show signs of a technical flaw, which may risk injury. This is why perfecting your technique is crucial in both keeping you in the gym and ensuring you continue to add weight to the bar.
Focus on Recovery
This is probably one of the hardest concepts for any athlete to comprehend, particularly amongst beginners. The need to focus on recovery. You are only as good as your ability to recover. If you are never recovered from training sessions or competition, you will continuously carry around a level of fatigue that will hinder your performance. You must prioritise your recovery in order to manage the stress your body is under, providing an environment for it to adapt and improve.
You must prioritise your recovery in order to manage the stress your body is under, providing an environment for it to adapt and improve.
Being in a continuously fatigued state can only hinder performance, as you never truly feel fresh when it matters. The factors that contribute to recovery are, training, life stress, nutrition, sleep, illness, fatigue, and more. All of these factors can take a tole on your ability to recover, each person will incur either more or less of a cost from any one of these factors based off what they are used to. The mismanagement of any one of these factors can take serious effects on ones performance, ruining weeks, months, or years of hard training, far quicker than what it took to get there. Without focusing on recovery, all of the hard work you put in never really comes to fruition and you are left with performances that do not reflect your true potential.
The below image shows just how much of an impact fatigue can have on ones performance despite the individual being fit.
There you have it! 3 ways to improve your strength and break plateaus in 2022, focusing on these 3 things alone, should pay dividends over the course of the year, if you find you are struggling or need extra guidance, feel free to shoot me a message under the ‘Contact’ page, email, or send me a DM on Instagram, I am always happy to help.