5. Train unilaterally
Unilateral workouts (performing the exercise with one arm or leg at a time) are a great way to activate some important muscles who don’t get enough attention in your regular routine. And using unilateral workouts to strenghten both of your arms or legs means more muscle fibers being used, which will increase your strength in the big lifts. According to many studies, lifters are able to generate more force when training one arm/leg at a time, so make sure to include at least one unilateral exercise per body part on every workout.
6. Take caffeine
Taking a caffeine supplement (200-400 milligrams) before your workout will give you a powerful strength boost. And the best part is that its effects are immediate. Scientifically proven benefits of consuming caffeine one hour before training include increased ability to complete more reps with a given weight and an increased one-rep max bench press strength.
7. Drink more water
Did you know that being only slightly dehydrated can reduce your strength by up to 20%?
The majority of people are slightly dehydrated every day and many of their body functions suffer from this lack of fluid. But for bodybuilders, dehydration should not be an option, especially in the hours before and during workouts. It’s best to drink at least one gallon of water per day to maintain your organism well hydrated and performing optimally.
Researchers have found out that relaxing before lifting is more effective than high-arousal techniques in terms of immediate strength boost in the bench press. So instead of attempting to properly ‘energize’ yourself with aggressive methods before an upcoming gym session, try completely relaxing your body and mind for half an hour with some soft music or breathing techniques.
It’s really a no-brainer that focusing solely on your lift will give you better results than letting your mind wander around, mostly by increasing your concentration and making it easier to maintain proper form. But now we have some scientific evidence to back it up – a recent study done in the UK found that lifters who focused on the concentration of the biceps while doing one-arm curls were able to increase their muscle activity by more than 20%, while lifters who focused on moving the weight increased their strength by 10%, compared to the ones who didn’t focus on any part of their movement.
10. Have an audience
Researchers at Arizona State University came to an interesting conclusion – according to their study, when lifters had an audience of 15 silent onlookers, they bench-pressed 30 pounds more on average than when they lifted alone. This is hardly a surprise, because the presence of others is known to serve as a motivation enhancer since the dawn of time. So contrary to popular advice, choosing a crowded gym once in a while can help you reach further than your current maximum. For additional motivation, make sure to listen to music of your choice over headphones during the workout.