How to Get Big and Strong (JUST DO THIS!)

If you want to get big and strong you must do one thing in your workouts. You have to remember to make progressive overload the guiding principle of your training. You simply cannot force your body to build muscle if you are keeping the status quo on the effort you are putting into your workouts. In this video, I’m going to dispel the myth however that progressive overload means simply adding more weight to the bar. There are many more ways to achieve this, and in doing so, many more opportunities for you to build muscle and get strong.

That said, it is important for you to first identify what your specific goal is. Are you looking to just get strong, just build muscle, or both? They both can be accomplished simultaneously, it just means that each will be compromised somewhat along the way. We can minimize the compromises if we know how to get big and strong the right way.

To illustrate the differences in approaches we are going to take a classic bodybuilding exercise for building bigger biceps like the dumbbell curl and pit it up against one of the most classic and effective compound lifts – the deadlift. As you’ll see, many of the techniques can be applied to each lift in a slightly different application but with the same end goal.

We know that the easiest way to create progressive overload and build strength and muscle size is to do exactly what we said however and add weight to the bar or dumbbell that you are lifting. As strength increases, often times, so too does muscle growth albeit at a slower pace (especially at the beginning of your training).

Next we can increase overall volume as long as the volume is of sufficient enough intensity to push your body to adapt in the form of increased muscle size and strength. The key here is to not confuse junk volume for effective volume. Lifting sub maximal weights that are greatly beneath your strength capacity is not going to trigger enough of a response to get either stronger or bigger.

Which brings us to effort level. Not talking about intensity as defined in the realm of strength as a percentage of a max but rather simply about the amount of effort you are directing into your training. If you are lazily lifting your weights rather than attacking them with a focused intention, then you are likely leaving many gains on the table and missing an obvious opportunity for overload.

We don’t always have to focus on how much we are lifting to ensure progressive overload. We can focus on how long we rest between sets that we are performing to achieve an progression as well. If your sets and reps are the same and the intensity is consistent but you decreased the rest time between sets by even just one minute, your second workout would serve as a form of overload and drive positive adaptations.

Range of motion is another way we can increase the effectiveness of an exercise from workout to workout without having to change the amount of weight on the bar. Performing either a deficit deadlift or a one and a half rep curl are going to increase the travel of the bar or dumbbell respectively on every rep and therefore create more work for the muscles you are training.

The range itself however does not always have to be lengthened. You can increase the “effective” range by taking advantage of accommodating resistance and overlapping strength curves. The inclusion of a band on a dumbbell curl or chains on a deadlift will help you to better match the strength curve of the exercise for a longer part of the range – thereby increasing it’s overall effectiveness.

Speed and momentum are also methods that can be manipulated for overload and are discussed in more detail in the video.

The key is that thinking that adding more weight to the bar is the only way for you to achieve progressive overload and get bigger and stronger is a myth. The schooled strength coach will be capable of steering you away from this and show you how not only to increase your lifting capacity but also to build size and strength through other methods.

If you’re looking for a step by step program for building bigger muscles and getting stronger, you can find them at athleanx.com via the link below. All of the plans are presented in a step by step, day by day manner so you can follow along and make sure that you never miss a beat on your way to making improvements and training like an athlete.

For more videos on how to get strong and how to get big muscles, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on youtube via the link below and remember to turn on your notifications so you never miss a new video when it’s published.

Build Muscle in 90 Days – http://athleanx.com/x/my-workouts
Subscribe to this channel here – http://youtube.com/user/jdcav24

64 thoughts on “How to Get Big and Strong (JUST DO THIS!)

  1. ATHLEAN-X™ says:

    *NEW “FAST ACTION” Q&A* – Got a question about training or injuries that I didn’t cover in the video? Leave yours (AS A SEPARATE COMMENT!) below and I’ll pick 8 to get a detailed reply from me right here in the comments. Answers will be posted within the first 24-48 hours of you leaving the question. Good luck!

  2. Cricket Class says:

    Quick!!!
    Jeff has been serving the world for a long now.. So much of quality stuff for free.. He will end up as the greatest virtual fitness trainer ever

    • John Krazzki says:

      @Dilbert123 it’s a matter of giving in to laziness and the good life much more than genetics. While it is true that in your 20s and 30s you gain muscles more easily and usually get away with bingeing better than later in your life you just don’t have to develop that middle age spread later on. It’s true that it tends to be harder to stay in shape, that strength and endurance slowly deteriorate but losing shape is not purely genetics. Some genetically advantaged people can still let things slide and look reasonable good while others get punished quite mercilessly for their lack of discipline. However, I would say that motivation is the key factor here. A lack of motivation and discipline and too much routine usually set in and these are killing your gains and shape. Many people just give up on sports more or less.

    • Jean Vieira says:

      If he gained massive amount of muscles since he started his YouTube channel, I would agree he’s using something. But to me, staying lean all year long doesn’t seem all that impossible, especially if he’s been lean his whole life

    • Dilbert123 says:

      XtreemCh1LL what most people are missing with my comment is that I’m not saying Jeff is natural because I don’t know him personally. He could very well be on testosterone which is the most ethical and the safest. Jumping to conclusions with no concrete evidence is just stupid. People who do those things just like to point fingers and play the blame game just because they can’t do it. But all other comments aside, he could be on HRT or he could be natural. We will never know unless he comes out publicly.

    • Dilbert123 says:

      John Krazzki I 100% agree with you and that is what I have said since the very beginning. Jeff looks great for a 45 year old, but some people his age look like they are 55. Part of it is training and your diet of course, but the other half is genetic. Some people can go through life with no wrinkles or anything at all because it’s in their genetic makeup. What people don’t understand is that everyone responds to aging and training differently. It’s never gonna be the same for everyone. Saying Jeff isn’t natural just because he is 45 years old is a stupid argument and shouldn’t have even been mentioned to begin with. I’m saying it’s possible that he is on HRT because it’s not out of the realm of possibility. But Jeff is definitely NOT doing a full blown cycle. At the very most he is on a low dose of testosterone, or he could be completely free of all that. We will never know.

  3. Woke AF says:

    Jeff’s 10 Rules To Makin’ All Kinds of Gains…………ALL KINDS!
    1:10 Define your goals
    1:50 Not all techniques will work for every exercise
    2:18 Increase the weight
    3:20 Increase the volume (with proper intensity)
    4:14 Increase the intensity/effort
    5:12 Rest times between sets
    6:07 Increase range of motion
    7:53 Increase the resistance in the exercise
    9:03 Pace/Time under tension
    10:10 Reduce momentum

  4. Garrett F says:

    Can we all take a moment to appreciate the fact that Jeff never uses ads on his videos and has given us hundreds of hours of quality content for free?

    • matt kells says:

      The video is a sales technique, you offer people something valuable for free, in this case good solid information, it builds trust between you and future potential clients, when they are ready to buy, in this case a fitness program who do they turn too? Someone they already trust….its very good business and I’m not saying it’s at all a bad thing.

    • alezio 299 says:

      @matt kells except he has countless of videos for every topic for free. If you want to buy any program you do it to support him. He doesn’t force you to buy them in order to find the ‘secret technique’, he doesn’t even speak about his site anymore.

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