“Strength” is how much force you can produce or simply put how much weight you can lift, push, pull, carry, move etc. Strength training is used to increase the strength of a muscle, along with its supporting tissues and structures.
So when we talk about getting stronger we are talking about increasing the amount of force you can produce.
For some of you that aren’t at the level of lifting weights then really simple bodyweight movements can also be a measure. The strength to stand up, do a push up or even stand on one leg can be a measure of your strength.
The absolute strength of a muscle or movement is measured by what we call a 1 rep max or 1RM. This is the maximum amount of force you exert for 1 complete repetition. However 1RM tests are typically only done by very experienced lifters and athletes.
If you want to increase your strength, this is how your training should look.
- High intensity (load) / Low volume (reps)
- 1-6 Repetitions
- 4-6 Sets
- 3-5 min rest period
- 80%-100% of 1RM
What I will say is that although the above is the criteria we use for true strength training, it’s generally not suitable for those of you who aren’t used to lifting weights or are just getting back into it. So it’s important to adjust your training to suit your current level of fitness and strength, then build from there.
So if this is you, try starting with lighter weights and higher reps (4-8) to get you started.
We help clients assess their current strength and create suitable programs to help them achieve their goals. If this is one of your goals and would like support then we’d love to hear from you.