No joke. It works like magic (except it’s science).
Wanna make your lifts stronger almost instantly?
If you said “no”, get off my page.
If you said “yes”, this small trick will be right up your alley.
It’s nothing new, it’s nothing fancy, and it’s nothing “X-TREME”, but it gets the job done like “Dayum!” and the difference you’ll notice when you start making this trick a regular part of your routine will be unmistakable.
It’s called pre-tensing the muscles, and it’s exactly what it sounds like. Usually when we strength train, we prepare ourselves in RESPONSE to the weight rather than in ANTICIPATION of the weight. Rookie mistake, but one you don’t have to make forever. Pre-tensing the muscles prior to an exercise can increase strength by up to 20%!
How do you do it? You can do it any way you like, but i like to do it in sequence. The sequence in particular is one I picked up from Geoff Neupert. I’m not gonna give away all of his great cues for squeezing the most out of each and every one (You’ll have to attend one of his “Kettlebell Strong” workshops for that), but I *WILL* give you a sneak preview of the ones that will give you the fastest bang for your buck:
1) Push your feet through the floor
2) Squeeze your glutes
3) Tighten your abs
4) Tighten your lats
5) Squeeze your fists
Hold this position for 3-5 seconds, and then without hesitating immediately hit 1-5 of whatever lift/exercise you’re working on.
Doing this will take you from struggle central to epic domination of anything you’re working on, with exercises as varied as barbell, bodyweight, and kettlebell exercises all seeing instant improvement. Personally, my weighted pullups, pistols, front levers, and handstands have all seen massive improvement in a short amount of time.
The caveat (if you even want to call it that)? You will get fatigued more quickly. If that bothers you, ask yourself: Do you want to get stronger, or do you want to mindlessly do more reps?
If your answer is in the first category, you now know what to do.
Here is a simple way you can test it right now. Go grab a kettlebell or heavy pair of kettlebells. Clean them to your chest and press them for a few reps (3-5). Rest for a few minutes, and then go through the above sequence one by one. Hold that full-body tension for 10 seconds, then relax and shake it out. After a few seconds, get tight again, clean the kettlebell(s) to your chest, and press for a desired number of reps (3-5, for example). Your press should be noticeably stronger, easier, and more stable. You may be slightly out of breath, but that’s a small price to pay for being stronger than before.
Do this in your regular training and watch as your old PRs fall and get replaced by new ones.
Go forth and rock, my friends.