3 Strategies Linked to Increased Strength

We know that strength and hypertrophy training is not exactly linear. There are fluctuations, peaks and troughs, and it takes ongoing committment throughout these to see results over time.

That said, here are three simple factors linked to increases in muscular strength.

1. Getting enough sleep helps the body release growth hormone, repair tissues and leaves the brain feeling sharper to recruit motor units (the muscle fibres plus the neurons which activate them). At least 8 hours of quality sleep is recommended for most adults every night.

2. Taking caffeine about 30 minutes before the training session has been found to stimulate the nervous system to again recruit motor units and sharpen overall focus. 90-180mg for most people is sufficient (equivalent to 1-2 cups of coffee). Keeping in mind, that the more caffeine taken means the more the body acclimatises to it and then needs more for the same effect. Cycling through periods of less caffeine for this very reason can be beneficial.

3. Creatine monohydrate (the naturally occurring chemical found in muscle tissue, which assists muscular contractions), is well recognised as being linked to increases in muscular strength and hypertrophy (references below). 20-25grams per day for one week is the typical loading phase, followed by 5 grams every day thereafter as the maintenance phase. Unlike caffeine, the body won’t develop a tolerance to its effects. Numerous studies have shown creatine monohydrate to have no ill health effects with long term use.

(Medical disclaimer: This is scientific information only not advice or advice to any one individual. Always consult your physician for any health concerns or medical conditions such as pregnancy. Consult your trusted physio if it has been a while since exercising).

Remember, we want to maximise performance in the gym, that’s why we are there. Then we relax and recover when we leave. Get in, make it count, and get out.

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