I finally got around to finishing Beyond Brawn: The Insider’s Encyclopedia on how to Build Muscle & Might. Throughout his book, Stuart McRobert talks about how to increase your strength and gives lots of detailed instruction on how to do so.
One important point he emphasizes is that in order to increase your strength you need to focus on poundage progression. Every week you should be increasing how much weight you are lifting.
Once you’ve been lifting for a while, however, this quickly becomes easier said than done. At most commercial gyms the minimum poundage increase you can make is 5 pounds at a time. If you are maxing out each workout, to think you can continually add 5 pounds to your weight successfully is crazy.
So that’s why Stuart McRobert advises that you invest in your own weights to bring along with you to your gym. He suggests owning a couple pairs of ½ lb and 1 lb weight plates that you can use to make very minor poundage progressions each week. While these increases may seem small, they add up to big increases over time and help keep you from burning out in the process.
After doing some Google searching, however, I realized that finding ½ lb and 1 lb weight plates is also easier said than done. So I went for the next best thing.
Ankle Weights. At Fitness Resource in Bethesda I was able to find Adjustable 2.5lb Ankle/Wrist Weights for about 30 bucks. The best part of these weights is that each Ankle-Weight is comprised of 10 ¼ lb weights… making it VERY easy to adjust your poundage increase.
Yes… I definitely get some funny looks when people see me strapping ankle weights to my squat bar… but honestly the progress I’ve been able to continually make from it has well been worth it. 🙂