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How can I increase my strength?

Strength is the maximal amount of force a muscle (or group of muscles) can produce at a given velocity. This means that in order to increase strength, we need to focus on improving the muscles ability to produce maximal force. A muscle contraction is a neuromuscular event. So in order to produce maximal strength, the nervous system and the muscular system need to be functioning optimally. Now that we know the basics behind muscle strength, lets look into how we can increase that strength.

The human body will respond to any stimulus/stressor that is placed on it, but it is resistant to change. This means that we need to force the body change by adhering to a weight training program that challenges our bodies. The program should be based on your current fitness level and progress from there. Some individuals will see strength increases by performing 1-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions using light to moderate weights. As you become more advanced, you will want to focus on increasing the stress placed on your muscular system by changing one or more of the following variables:
- Increasing volume (# of exercises, sets, reps, etc)
- Increasing the amount of weight being lifted
- Increasing your time under tension (slow down the tempo of your exercises)

As always, it is important to progress at your own pace. You need to push your body, but not to the point of injury. Additionally, make sure you are supporting your workouts with a healthy, balanced nutrition program. The body will not be able to respond to your workouts properly without the right building blocks!

In order to increase your strength, select externally stabilized pieces of equipment or exercises and perform one to 12 repetitions at an intensity level of 70 -100%. You should complete two to six sets of these exercises with a moderate tempo.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.