Building strength in theory is a pretty easy concept to understand.
Pick up a heavy weight for little reps at high sets with really long periods of rest between sets.
Every week add a little bit more weight. Over time, you will be stronger than when you started.
How do you build strength if you do not have an endless supply of weights laying around?
If you have zero weight available to you?
There are more ways to strengthen your muscles than just adding more of an external load.
Here are some of the unsung heroes of getting stronger.
Isometrics are a way of strengthening the body without moving. With isometrics you are using gravity and usually your own bodyweight to build a strong solid physique. Isometrics are a great way to strengthen the body because it forces your muscles fibers to fire and while keeping the joints relatively safe.
The more time you are able to add to the exercise, the stronger your muscles will become.
Change the angles:
Strength training and lifting weights is all about levers and fulcrums. Think of it like this, when you carry groceries into your house from your car do you carry them at shoulder height with your arm as straight as possible? Or do you carry them low and at your side?
The further away a weight is from your body the harder it will be to lift. Try lifting the weight a little bit further away from your body.
Change your stance:
Typically when we lift weights we are going to lift with our feet in a squared off or inline position. This is the strongest and most stable position we can lift weights in. Changing your stance will change the entire lift, try moving one foot to where the ball off the foot is inline with your heel.
You could even try your lift on one or both knees.
Time Under Tension:
The easiest way to explain time under tension is by adding more time to your sets to load the muscles for longer. The extra time under tension will put more stress and stimulus on our muscles forcing them to strengthen similar to isometric strengthening.
We will want to do this at a tempo. Tempo lifting is counting certain times within the different phases of our lift.
The phases of our lift being, the concentric or lifting phase, the pause at the bottom or top of the movement, and the eccentric or lowering phase. A 2-2-6 tempo is a lift that is 2 seconds positive phase, 2 seconds pause, 6 seconds negative phase.
We may not all have an endless supply of weights laying around or even a full gym to go to. This does not mean that we are not able to build the strength and physique that we want. There are more ways to build strength than just adding more weight to a bar. Iso holds, a small stance change, or just slowing down your reps are just a few. Which of these unsung heroes are going to help you reach your strength goals?