A goal for some of you might be to increase strength over the winter months so that in the spring and summer you can look bigger and better than what you do already. Personally I am not into the bulking phase and then stripping as I like to stay lean all year round as I find it healthier for me. Many of you will associate gaining strength with increasing calories but this can cost you a lot of money and put you off from doing it. So here are three easy ways which will increase strength without you having to spend money on consuming an extra thousand or two on food.
One reason you might be wanting to increase strength is so that you can lift heavier weight which will result in a change of physique (providing you are eating the right foods to do this). Strength phases aren't just associated with men looking to increase brute strength for strong man competitions. You might be looking to do a strength phase of training to increase overall strength for a sport such as football, rugby or even running. Hypertrophy training is great for aesthetics and general strength, but when it comes to performance you will need to hit the strength training to really notice a difference.
Strength training is usually 1 rep maxes or reps no greater than 3-5 depending on what exercise you are on. Your lifts wouldn't include bicep curls or calve raises but more like deadlifts, squats, overhead press, bench and so on. Your lifts will work multiple muscles for two reasons, 1) release more growth hormone and 2) to break down muscle fibres when combined will help increase over shape and performance.
What To Supplement With
Zinc - This mineral will seriously boost testosterone and give you an extra boost whilst in the gym. Zinc is often found in different foods like eggs, milk, beef, yoghurt and oysters. Ideally you want around 15mg of zinc per day and in order to get the desired amount you might want to look into a zinc supplement so that you know you are getting enough.
Magnesium - With heavy lifting comes tiring and exhausted muscles that need to be recovered effectively so that you keep optimal performance high. Again there are foods out there which contain a good amount of magnesium like nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruit especially watermelon. Supplementing with magnesium if you can't get enough through your diet will give you so many benefits like increased muscle repair, cell function, immune system, reduce tiredness and so on. It has so many functions and while it is important to boost strength you also need to train smart and have your recovery game on point! Aim for 300mg per day with this :)
Creatine - One of the best supplements out there which will increase overall performance, strength and your ability to lift heavier is creatine. This supplement makes up the third part of what you should be using which doesn't involve consuming a whole load of food. Most of you will have supplemented with creatine before and the best one to use is a monohydrate in powder form. Load, maintain and reap the benefits from using such a product!