1. Building strength is a simple process.
Step 1: Lift things that are heavy
Step 2: Repeat
I always find it difficult that people call strength training anything that is done with weights.
Most people do not try hard enough to really strength train.
Lifting for strength has many benefits including getting stronger, losing weight, and feeling good.
There is also a degree of effort required for this type of training. Traditionally, training for maximal strength is accomplished with 3-6 sets of 1-5 reps.
This is effective if the load is appropriate. If you are doing 1 rep for example, 2 should be a comical thought.
Lifting weights should be hard, not slightly inconvenient.
A lot of times I see people choose dumbbells that they know they will do the exercise with. Sometimes this weight is never increased.
The issue with this is that the weights are not heavy enough.
The last rep of the last set of an exercise should be an absolute grind. It should be a struggle to lock it out.
You must overload the body with a training stimulus that it has not experienced before. If the weights are light and easy, strength is not going to be the result.
Just because you showed up to the gym does not mean that the gains are waiting in your duffel bag.
2. Here is a 5 minute circuit to try out.
10 med ball slams
Sprint 25 yards, jog back.
Start a timer and do this once on every minute for 5 minutes. Whatever time is left until the next minute comes around is rest.
This might take 20-25 seconds to perform which means 35-40 seconds of rest.
You can dog the sprint and get nothing out of the exercise, or give all of your effort to maximize your progress.
It is just like the strength talk above.
No one can force you to sprint all out. It is up to you to make sure that you are putting in the best effort that you can.
Simply just getting the work done is not the same as giving the work everything that you have.
3. “I gotta stretch my back out”
A very difficult trend to break is that the low back should not be stretched.
This joint Is designed for stability and usually hurts from a lack of stability.
The goal of stretching is to increase the range of motion or flexibility (not stability) of the area.
As you can see, something does not add up. Back pain is not the only time that stretching would be a bad idea.
The common notion is that if something hurts, stretch it. This is too narrow of an approach.
When something gets hurt, there is protective tension that occurs. Sorry, but you are not stretching that away.
What if the injury occurred from an overstretch? Would more stretching be a good idea? No.
Imagine pulling on a rubber band. If the goal is to reduce tension in the band (pain in the body) would pulling on it more make sense?
If the back is stiff, there is a reason. Addressing the issue is the strategy that needs to take place.
Avoid just blindly stretching everything that is sore since it can be ineffective and cause more damage.