By: Erin Connolly
The realm of strength training is very different than the realm of bodybuilding or endurance training. In order to put more weight on your barbell, you must program to become stronger, and understand how to increase the weight on your barbell. The Deadlift is one of the most fundamental movements of a proper strength training program and is one of the three powerlifts that all strength training programs should include (the other two are the bench press and back squat). The deadlift works the entire body, specifically the hamstrings, glutes and trapezius. It can also help spike Testosterone and GH levels which allows the body to be anabolic (ladies, this is good for you too!).
The three basic elements of increasing your strength are:
1. The manipulation of sets, reps, weight lifted and rest duration
2. The way in which you periodize your program - this model uses Daily Undulating Periodization for optimal levels of total volume
3. Nutrient timing
: Find your current one repetition max (1RM). How much weight can you lift for a single rep?
: Create a Daily Undulating Periodization model for your BIG LIFT (example = deadlift).
: Monday: 5 sets of 5 reps at 87% 1RM with 3-5 minutes rest between sets
Wednesday: 5 sets of 1 rep at 1RM with 5 minutes rest between sets
Friday: 5 sets of 3 reps at 92% 1RM with 3-5 minutes rest between sets
Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays can include supplemental exercises with a higher volume, and can include more traditional bodybuilding or endurance training. Try to keep training bouts separated by 24hours. This will allow for optimal recovery periods and muscle glycogen levels to restore.
: Supplement and Eat properly - Complex carbs should be consumed 30-60 minutes prior to training:
- 5g Creatine can be consumed 15-30 minutes prior to strength training in order to maximize strength gains
Amino Acids should be consumed during exercise
- 20g Whey Protein should be consumed immediately after training to repair muscle tissue.
If you want to be able to lift more weight and increase your one repetition max (1RM), you must program specifically for strength. Sets of 8-10 will help increase muscle size, mass and endurance, but sets of 1-5 will help increase strength and ultimately increase the amount of weight you can put on your barbell in the gym. I personally followed these 3 basic steps and my 1RM deadlift increased from 260lbs to 310lbs in just 6 short weeks. The proof is in the science of strength training. Let your results speak for themselves.