So you wanna lift heavier weights? Welcome to the club. We have jackets. And more importantly, knowledgeable brofessors. They, our brofessors that is, split their time between lifting heavy objects and studying the Swoley Book of Gainz. 

In this article, one such brofessor will pass along the ancient wisdoms of How To Master Lifting Heavier to help you increase strength, build more lean muscle mass, and of course look like one seriously badass buck. 

In the following sections I will offer techniques to lift heavier, ranging from in-the-moment actions to incorporate in your next training session to more technical tips. There will also be one or two contrarian sections that might just challenge your current methodologies for training (but I’m not telling you which ones, because it’s a secret and spoilers suck). 

  1. Progressively overload on practice — 10,000 hours 
  2. Optimizing Your Warm-Up: yes, you need to warm up. Sorry…bruh.
  3. Schedule training frequency according to your specific goals
  4. Rest: this common mistake is killing your gainz
  5. Create tension — functioning as a “unit”
  6. Train “accessory” muscles (or miss out)
  7. Fuel smart — supp smarter
Practice Dictates Progress

 

“Ten thousand hours, I’m so damn close I can taste it. On some Malcolm Gladwell, David Bowie meets Kanye shit. This is dedication.” – Macklemore

When referring to mastery over any skill, thought leaders and influencers often quote Malcolm Gladwell who illuminated society with his theory that one of the primary factors masters (e.g. The Beatles, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Micheal Jordan, Eminem, etc.) have in common is 10,000 hours of practice.

Rarely do individuals think about the pursuit of physique design in terms of practice. We’re taught using words like:

  • Working out 
  • Gym session
  • “Think I got legs today.”
  • “International Chest Day!”
  • Calorie Burn and cardio
  • Lifting heavy things and putting them down
  • And, for some more “serious” exercisers, “training”

I’ve said everyone of those statements, and I’ve got no problem with any of them. But they don’t accomplish the same clarity of what I firmly believe was the scaffolding on which I (as well as those far more impressive than myself) increased strength and lean muscle mass. And that’s practice. 

I don’t mean in terms of being a professional athlete or in becoming some massive fitness influencer. I am referring to the actual art, craft, and skill. For the scope of this article, this most primarily pertains to lifting heavier weight. Often. And with proper technique. 

Warm-Up to Maximizing Strength

Warming up before lifting heavy weights is critical. In order to train at a higher level of performance, you must make sure you’re prepping all the joints you’re planning to utilize during your workout.

Foam rolling can help, specifically for glutes, since a lot of lifters have greedy gluteus maximus, meaning it doesn’t let the gluteus minimus do its job.

Personally, I like mixing up my warm up between easier exercises or very brief cardio workouts. Whatever I do to warm-up, the chosen method will include using the primary muscles that’ll be used during that day’s workout. Once that tedium’s outta the way, then I allow myself to move on to the fun.

If I’m training specifically for strength and hitting heavier weights that day, then I’ll perform a couple warm-up sets. These will be super light. But that doesn’t mean I will treat them like I would when doing a high-volume day. 

 

What’s most important is putting as much emphasis on tightening the body, and performing even the warm-up sets with as much focus on technique as possible. The way you hit warm-up sets with lighter weights will carry over into your working sets. No idea why that’s so difficult for people to understand. 

 

For example, let’s say it’s chest day. I’ve got my muscle mind connection going with a couple sets of contraction focused cable crossovers, and now I’m moving onto my most important exercise, which for me is often the plate loaded incline machine. My sets will look something like:

  1. No weight. Just 5-10 reps. Focusing a lot on speed, tension, etc
  2. 1 plate per side: 5-10 reps. Same thing
  3. 2 plates per side: 5-10 reps. I’ll admit, sometimes the reps on this one will get higher, because, well…the pump, duh.
  4. 3 plates per side: 4-6 reps, with about 3-4 reps in reserve (RIR) so I’m not fatiguing the muscle too much before my heavier sets.
  5. For these two sets, I’ll hit whatever my working weight is, usually around 4 plates (honestly mostly just depends on what weights are available in my crappy commercial, stupidly crowded gym). Rep ranges should be around 4-8 with no more than 1-2 RIR.
Scheduling Training Frequency

In order to increase strength and lift heavier weights, you have to actually, you know, lift heavy weights. On a regular basis. Mind-blowing, right?

But here’s what will actually blow your mind (or at least the minds of some bro’s out there). Lifting on a regular basis, for our purposes, does not mean just going to the gym for your typical bro split.

Sure, you are training regularly and hitting the gym frequently, but you’re neglecting some critical components…

Muscle stimulus frequency, as well as movement frequency. Both of which impact your strength, technique, and growth.

Quick regression: when I refer to a bro split, I’m referring to:

  • Monday: Chest
  • Tuesday: Back
  • Wednesday: Delts/Traps
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Arms for dat pump bruh
  • Saturday: 2 sets leg extensions, then…Chest! Duh.
  • Sunday: couch (i.e. glutes)

There are so many things wrong with that routine it’s almost difficult to name just one, but we’ll focus on training frequency.

Notice how, aside from the joke about hitting chest twice in a week, every muscle group (legs excluded) only gets hit once during the week? Yeah…that’s not ideal for improving your efficiency with moving and contracting using heavier weights. At all.

Instead, we should approach training frequency with a routine/split optimized for training frequency. A basic example routine/split: 

  • Monday: Press 
  • Tuesday: Pull
  • Wednesday: Legs 
  • Thursday: Press
  • Friday: Pull
  • Saturday: Legs

One thing to note is that you will need to drop your volume in order to get through the entire workout with maximal results, specifically in regards to hitting the heavier weights. My suggestion would be to perform somewhere between 4-6 true sets per muscle group. True sets are working sets. Each exercise will have between 1-2 warm-up sets. 

To maximize this type of split for both strength and aesthetic muscle growth, you want to be intentional with your exercise selection. 

(Disclaimer: I’m not a huge fan of the “big three” {bench, squats, deadlifts} for those focused primarily on aesthetics, but for simplicity’s sake, we’ll use them as our foundation.) 

For example, let’s say I wanted to increase my efficiency with lifting heavier in the Big Three —bench, squat, deadlift — I would keep those exercises in every appropriate training session, then add variety after hitting those lifts to avoid building a lackluster-looking physique. 

Rest Times: Between Sets

It’s pretty common knowledge that when lifting heavy weights the ideal rest time for optimal recovery and performance is two minutes ( or 120 seconds). That’s not just broscience. There are actual studies done on this subject, and two minutes is the rest time that science suggests is the most effective, specifically for lifting heavier weights, such as you might in sets ranging from 3-6 reps. 

This is most true with compound exercises. They simply tax the body more, and in order to get the most out of every set, it’s imperative we rest enough between. This is largely due to what’s known as ATP, but that’s an entirely different article (which you can find here). 

With isolation exercises like leg extensions or straight arm lat pulldowns, we can decrease that time to around 60-90 seconds. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking (or at least I’m assuming I do). You follow fitness influencers and professional bodybuilders and whatever who regularly perform sets with only 30-45 seconds between sets. I’m not going to dive into the topic of anabolic steroids, because I couldn’t care less about who’s on gear or who’s not. But what I will say is that if you, like me, fall under the category of “natty” then you gotta train with human limitations in mind.

Let me be clear, when I say you must train with limitations in mind, I am not advising to set your expectations lower, and I am absolutely not bashing on anyone’s choice (it doesn’t affect me at all, nor does it affect you, so if you talk —- on enhanced athletes, that’s a reflection on you not them). What I am saying is that you should train according to what works best for you, and others with similar supplementation. 

Basically, if you actually want to maximize results with lifting heavy, increasing strength, and getting ‘dem gainz, then stop treating your lifting sessions like they’re cardio sessions. To make it easy, here’s a general guide:

  • Warm-Up Sets (sets with 4-6 RIR): 30-45 seconds is fine
  • Working Sets on compound movements: 2-3 minutes
  • Working sets on isolation movements: 90-120 seconds 

That being said, if you really want to maximize your recovery periods between sets, the absolute best thing you can do for yourself is to incorporate creatine into your supplement stack. Yes, even if you’re a female. And if you’re worried about water weight, then don’t worry, Six Point Creatine has you covered. Read more about creatine here, or catch up on lost gainz right now and check out Six Point Creatine on the website.

Create Tension

Something many lifters forget is that our body works as a unit. The tighter we clench our fist, root our feet into the floor, flex our core, the stronger we can often be.

Take a barbell overhead press for example. Doing this press without ‘turning things on’—keeping your legs soft, not engaging your core, taking a weak grip—makes finishing through solid reps feel more difficult. If you were to drive your feet into the floor, squeeze your glutes tight, white knuckle the bar and so forth, the cleaner, more powerful, those pressing reps would feel. 

Additionally and –also– consequently, you’d likely be able to get more reps. But we don’t care about a bunch of reps (currently) so, for the scope of this article, the heavier you’d be able to go on the lift. This applies to pretty much any exercise, but specifically compound movements.

Like I said, your body works as a whole unit. In order to train with heavier weights, you must learn —via practice — to use the entire system effectively. 

 

Which brings me to my next point…

Train Your "Accessory" Muscles

I’m talking about biceps, triceps, rear delts, forearms, and this should go without saying, but your core as well (it still baffles me how many lifters neglect their core entirely or do a couple sets of crunches and call it good).

Here’s the thing: if your biceps aren’t strong, that will absolutely negatively affect literally every pulling movement (rows, pulldowns, etc.). If your triceps are weak, then your presses will suffer. If your grip sucks, then, well, that should be obvious; you can’t rely on wrist straps forever.

Even if your forearms, not just your grip but your biceps brachialis, are weak, then not only will your pulls suffer, so too will literally any press, specifically any press with dumbbells (biceps brachialis, often hit with exercises like hammer curls, play major roles in stability, as well as getting the dumbbells into position for any incline or military).

To me, this seems pretty obvious, but I’ve known several lifters that totally neglect their “accessory” muscles. 

In fact, an old legs day buddy of mine once tried giving me flack for training arms as diligently as I do. He said hitting arms was a waste of time, and they were only for aesthetics. Well, first off, I happen to love the artistic component of bodybuilding and lifting, so that argument of course meant jack—- to me. And second, well…I didn’t feel like arguing with him, so instead I kindly suggested we have a day of heavy compound lifts. 

We had only ever trained legs together, because I typically prefer to train alone, but greatly appreciated the intensity and competition he brought to those leg day sessions. 

So, after taking a day of rest (we decided we had to be fresh because six sets of squats all with quadruple drop sets {along with everything else we did} left me dead the following day), we hit the gym. We didn’t touch arms the entire set, since we both knew I’d destroy him in that muscle group. 

Instead we hit compound movements such as bench, dumbbell military, bent over barbell rows, etc. 

Sufficient to say, he finished the workout with his tail between his legs, and asked if we could train arms together sometime. I agreed. It was quite a beautiful moment, if I’m being honest. 

And all that goes to say, hit your bucking accessory muscles. And hit them with as much determination and vigilance as you do any of the larger muscle groups. Not only will your aesthetics thank you (and me) so will your increased PR’s.    

Best For Last: Fuel Smart, but Supp Even Smarter

You hear it time and time again: the way that you fuel your body is just as important as what you’re doing in the weight room. This is basic. You know you need enough protein to recover between workouts, and you know you need the proper amount of other efficient macronutrients to fuel your workouts. And if you didn’t. Well, now you do.

I won’t go into a bunch of depth in this article. That being said, no matter which detary discipline you decide on, if you wanna really knowledge up on nutrition, we have several articles that’ll help here.

For now, let’s talk about how to maximize your gainz through incorporating the proper supplementation. Below, I’ve listed the primary supplements needed to maximize your heavy training, both in the pre-workout and post-workout department. 

Pre-Workout

You cannot possibly need me to explain the importance of a pre-workout. If so, that’s fine, I won’t hold it against you. We all had to start somewhere. I just think that, if you’re reading these words, in this article, then you’re kinda sorta starting in the wrong place. Check out this article. 

Now, for those who already hold such fundamental knowledge.

WOKE AF is our highest stimulant pre-workout. It’s for the insane, the insatiable, and those who refuse to accept anything less than reaching energy levels over 9,000. It’s formulated with clinically studied ingredients (at their clinical doses) to help deliver pump, endurance, focus, and performance. But that’s just the quality you expect from any Bucked Up product. What’s truly astonishing about WOKE AF is the combination of stimulants.

Think of your energy like a rocket. Caffeine goes off first, sending you skyward. Synephrine and Dendrobium kick into gear next; breaking atmosphere, hanging out in space, looking down on all the mere mortals and how small they all look from the “heavens.”

PUMP-OCALYPSE is not for those who would abuse its power. PUMP-OCALYPSE is for those who train in preparation for doomsday. It’s for those brave enough to flex before a mirror, not for mere vanity, but to assess their work of art — and of course to do a form check when slaying that PR.

We added Peak O2, a trademarked adaptogen clinically shown to increase strength over time (it’s safe to assume increased strength over time is a dream benefits for most heavy lifters). That way, no one can ever accuse you of being “all show,” and if they do….joke’s on them. Flex on your haters and when that’s not enough, out lift them too.

Post-Workout:

When it comes to post-workout, your muscles are in a hyper sensitive state. They absord nutrients (or calories devoid of any) like crazy. That increased absorption is not limited just to macronutrients either. Your body is also primed to efficiently utilize the ingredients and compounds your muscles need in order to recover in time for tomorrow’s heavy lifting session.

In other words, you need to improve your post-workout nutrition.

All Bulk No Bloat is a groundbreaking new development in building lean muscle mass. Formulated with several powerful clinically studied ingredients, we built All Bulk No Bloat with the sort of genius mastery typically reserved for structural engineers, or I don’t know, Einstein (especially when factoring in the role his genius played in nuclear fusion).

This master post-workout supplement can help you maximize everything from muscle recovery to mitochondria function to hormone function and even nutrient utilization. When it comes to increasing strength, lifting heavier weights, etc. you can consider every ingredient found within All Bulk No Bloat an Infinity Stone. And yeah, I think you know the potential powers that can result from such a synergy…

BONUS: unlike the infinity stones, to reap the more realistic but still epic powers of All Bulk No Bloat, you don’t have to sacrifice the one you love most. Your soul will do just fine. (Read more about All Bulk No Bloat here.) 

Buck Feed Whey Protein is a hormone free, all-natural, and keto friendly protein. Wheying in with an impressively conservative 120 calories, Buck Feed delivers 25g of high-quality grass-fed whey protein.

With Buck Feed, we made sure to exile all unncessassry fillers, simple carbs, and unhealthy fat that the other guys use to pervert their (already pathetic) protein powders. Additionally, Buck Feed boasts a clean 3g of carbs and 1g of fat. This shredz-friendly macro profile keeps you progressing in strength and gainz, without flooding your gut with crap like typical whey proteins.

Recover like a mutant (no adamantium required). Come back stronger. Lift heavier.

BUCK FEED: this is the whey.

I mentioned earlier that one of the tips in this article would be of the more immediate nature. Your supplement stack is of that immediate nature.

I’m assuming you already take one of Bucked Up’s pre-workouts as well as the Buck Feed Grass-Fed Whey (because I trust in your intelligence) but if you haven’t started taking PUMP-OCALYPSE with your pre then you are missing out on some absurdly pleasant pumps, and of course, unequivocal power. So, for pre-workout, do yourself a favor and prepare for zombie-slaying with PUMP-OCALYPSE. 

Add in that sweet super supplement, Six Point Creatine, along with the ultimate in physique transmutational post-workout supplements, All Bulk No Bloat, and prepare for power, because once you combine the tips in this article with what I consider the champion of supplement stacks, well…there is no weight. Click here for a full body dumbbell workout.

Head on over to the site. Get BUCKED UP and go hero mode on some heavy weights. 

Logan Peterson

Logan Peterson is an avid writer and an unprofessional, non-competitive bodybuilder. Logan has several degrees, all of which he made up to sound more credible (for obvious reasons, Legal said he can’t list them). In truth, he simply has an insatiable curiosity. After eleven years of obsessive research, he knows too much about fitness, nutrition, and supplementation for his own good. Despite all appearances, he’s fiercely nerdy. Outside of fitness, his passions are reading and writing; his genre interests run the gamut from litrpg to satire. Due to ADHD, he’s currently working on several novels, and will likely publish all of them at once. And yes, he wrote his own bio...in third person.

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