How to Get Strong Fast – Introduction
Do you want to know how to get stronger faster – even in the comfort of your own home?
A lot of people think that to get muscular and strong, you need to work out in a well-equipped gym.
They mistakenly assume that the more tools you’ve got to train with, the more effective your workouts will be.
While well-equipped gyms are fun places to train, the truth is that you don’t really need loads of fancy equipment to reach your fitness goals.
In fact, you can get into amazing shape in the comfort of your very own home or garage gym using nothing but some training basics.
While setting up a home gym does involve an unavoidable cost, in the long-term, it can end up saving you money as there are no ongoing membership fees to pay.
And, best of all, you don’t have to waste your time traveling to or from the gym; a 60-minute workout will really only take 60 minutes.
So, how DO you get stronger training at home?
We’re here to tell you how!
Use these tips to make your home workouts as productive as possible.
How to Get Stronger at Home
Just say no!
Build your home strength workouts around these tips, strategies, and principles to achieve your true strength and muscular potential.
#1. Follow a GREAT workout program
A good workout plan is like a map to success.
If you follow a program, you are much more likely to make progress toward your body transformation goals.
You can write your own program or follow something like:
- 3×5 Workout: The Only Strength Training Program You’ll Ever Need + Free PDF,
- The 20-rep squat program,
- 5×5 Workout for Over 50: The Pros and Cons You Need to Know,
- Beginner Powerbuilding Program: Big & Strong Workout + Free PDF,
- Wendler’s 5/3/1,
- Weight Lifting for Weight Loss Plan: A Program That Works,
- 8 Week Bodybuilding For Men Over 50 Workout Routine,
- The Minimalist Training Home Workout for Strength & Fitness
- 12 Week Deadlift Program for Beginners in Fitness or Powerlifting,
or any other proven workout plan.
Having a plan and following it means you know exactly what you are going to do when you start each workout.
It’ll guide your effort and also provide you with a way to monitor your progress.
#2. Focus on the big lifts
Broadly speaking, strength training exercises can be divided into two types – isolation and compound.
Isolation exercises involve one joint and very few muscles, and examples include biceps curls, dumbbell flyes, calf raises, etc.
Isolation exercises are good for localized hypertrophy but won’t do much for strength.
In contrast, compound exercises involve multiple joints and large groups of muscles working together.
- bench presses,
- bent-over barbell rows,
- overhead presses, and
- power cleans
Compound exercises make better use of your time and are much more effective for building muscle strength and size.
As such, you’ll get better results from your workouts if you build them around compound exercises.
That’s not to say you can’t or shouldn’t do isolation exercises, but they should be the icing on your compound exercise cake!
If you choose to use them, do isolation exercises after doing your compound training.
For example, squat, leg press, and Romanian deadlift first, and then, if you still have energy left, you can finish off your quads with some leg extensions.
#3. Deadlifts are compulsory!
While all compound exercises are good for building strength and muscle mass, the deadlift is arguably the king of the hill.
Deadlifts work almost your entire body, and you can do them safely without a squat rack.
If you can’t complete a rep, you can just lower the bar to the floor.
Deadlifts also teach you how to safely lift a heavy weight off the floor, that is, using your legs and without rounding your lower back.
Whether you want to beef up your back, build more muscular legs, or develop a cast-iron grip, deadlifts are the way to go.
A workout without deadlifts is not much of a workout!
#4. Keep a training journal
You are only as strong as your last workout, and if you want to get stronger, you need to expose your muscles to a little more work than last time.
That can mean doing more reps, lifting more weight, doing more sets, or resting less between sets.
However you do it, your workouts must be progressive if you want to keep gaining strength or building muscle.
So, unless you have a photographic memory, you’ll need to record your workouts so you can plan your next workout.
I like to plan my next workout just as I finish training.
That way, I won’t forget to increase the weights or plan to do more reps.
As an added benefit, it’s very motivating to look back at past training journals and see just how far you’ve come since you first started recording your workouts.
You’ll be amazed how much your strength will increase over a few years.
#5. A good workout starts with the right warm-up
Warming up is a critical part of working out.
Warming up prepares your muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons for what you are about to do.
It also helps get your “head in the game” and provides an opportunity to determine how well recovered you are after your last workout.
Warm-ups should generally involve the following phases:
Raise your pulse
Some light cardio and the part of your warm-up that makes you feel warm.
5-10 minutes should be enough for most people.
Jump rope, air bike, rower, treadmill, stair climber, or elliptical trainers are all good options.
Dynamic mobility and flexibility exercises
These exercises are designed to get your muscles and joints moving.
Examples include things like shallow then progressing to deeper squats and lunges, leg swings, side bends, waist twists, shoulder circles, hip thrusts, and Yoga postures.
It would be a BIG mistake to jump into lifting heavy weights at the very start of your workout.
Your body is not really ready, despite your general warm-up.
So, instead, do a couple of progressively heavier sets to build up to your first work set, for example:
1st ramped set – 10 reps with 45lbs (empty barbell)
2nd ramped set – 7 reps with 70lbs
3rd ramped set – 4 reps with 100lbs
1st work set – 5 reps with 135lbs
#6. Use perfect training technique
Training at home invariably means working out without supervision.
This means you may develop some bad habits, and your training technique might not be as good as it could or should be.
There are two ways to do any exercise – the right way and the wrong way.
The right way is generally safer and more effective than the wrong way.
So, for exercises, you are already familiar with, and especially when learning a new exercise, make sure you pay the utmost attention to your training technique.
You should always be able to feel the movement you are doing in the correct target muscles, and there should be no unexpected pain, especially in your joints or lower back.
If in doubt, video yourself training so you can see exactly what’s going on during your workout.
Also, don’t be afraid to dial down the weights and refocus your attention on your technique.
In almost every case, it’s better to do an exercise properly with less weight than improperly with lots of weight.
And remember, if you are injured and unable to train, your progress will grind to a halt, so it’s always better to keep safety at the forefront of your workouts.
#7. Feed your muscles
Strength training takes a lot out of your body.
Lifting weights damages your muscles at a microscopic level and also depletes your energy.
Your body needs calories and nutrients to repair this damage and restore energy so you can train again in a few days.
Intense training and good nutrition go hand-in-hand, or they should!
You are what you eat, and if you want to get stronger at home, you need to feed your muscles.
It’s beyond the scope of this article to tell you precisely what you should eat for strength and muscle growth, but general nutritional guidelines include:
- Eat primarily natural, fresh foods
- Minimize your consumption of processed and junk foods
- Consume around 0.7 to 1.0 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight
- Eat plenty of starchy carbs for energy, for example, sweet potatoes, pasta, and rice
- Consume about 0.3 to 0.5 grams of healthy fats per pound of bodyweight
- Drink mostly plain water and avoid soda, refined fruit juices, etc.
- Eat more if you are trying to bulk up and less if you want to lose fat. The rest of your diet should remain largely unchanged.
See The Best Diet to Get Ripped and Lean at Home + Meal Plan for more information.
#8. Be consistent
Rome wasn’t built in a day, or so the saying goes, and the same is true for a muscular, strong body.
So, forget the idea that you can get big and buff in only 30 days – that’s marketing hyperbole.
While you WILL start getting stronger and building muscle the day you start training, any increases are so small they’re virtually invisible.
It’ll be several months before you see much in the way of changes in your physique.
That means you need to knuckle down for the long haul and train consistently if you want to see any results.
Commit to hitting the weights 3-4 times a week every week, remembering that missed workouts won’t do anything for your progress and could even lead to backsliding and muscle atrophy.
Having a home gym means you’ve got one less excuse for missing workouts, as your training facility is always open – even late at night and on public holidays.
So, if you miss today’s workout, you can always make it up tomorrow, right?!
#9. When in doubt, do push-ups and pull-ups
Are you still wondering what exercises you should use to build strength at home?
In addition to the all-but-compulsory deadlift, I suggest push-ups and pull-ups.
In fact, between them, these three exercises do a pretty good job of training your entire body!
Where push-ups work your chest, shoulders, and triceps, pull-ups hit your back and biceps.
Toss in deadlifts, and you can train all your major muscle groups in 30 minutes or less.
Load up your barbell with 50% of your 1RM (One Rep Max) and try this simple yet challenging workout which is based on CrossFit’s famous Cindy WOD:
After your warm-up, do as many circuits as you can of the following in 20 minutes.
Rest when you need to, but remember the clock is always ticking.
10+ laps is a good target for most lifters.
- 5 pull-ups or chin-ups
- 10 deficit push-ups (hands 4-6 inches above the floor)
- 15 conventional deadlifts
See this article: Why CrossFit Loves the Deadlift + 7 Best Workout WODs to understand why deadlifts are such a big part of CrossFit training.
How to Get Stronger Faster for Men – Even at Home
It’s a fallacy that you need to train in a gym to build muscle and strength.
In fact, you really don’t need a whole lot of equipment to transform your body from flabby to lean and muscular.
A barbell, a power tower, and maybe a pair of dumbbells are really all you need.
Anything above and beyond this is nice to have and would add some variety to your training, but certainly isn’t essential.
So, don’t worry if your home gym is a little on the spartan side.
Instead, focus on training hard and consistently and putting the nine tips in this article into action.
THAT’S how you build muscle and strength at home!
Discover the essential, yet minimal equipment you need to get started with one of the best exercises on earth for anyone of any age – the deadlift:
Best Deadlift Equipment: Home Gym Guide: Start Lifting Today!
And once you have your deadlift studio set up, learn how to get stronger on bench press fast with:
The 10 Best Exercises to Improve Your Bench Press Strength