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Thread: How fast can your body realistically get stronger?

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  1. #1
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    How fast can your body realistically get stronger?

    Random thought floating through my head during my workout this morning: how fast can I get stronger? I ask that specifically, not just "when will I be strong"--literally, how soon will I see strength gains from a specific workout?

    For instance, this morning I did a lot of shoulder work: strict presses and push presses, among other things. This Friday I have a little mini-competition in which I'll be doing a lot of heavy jerks. Would it be silly to think that my workout this morning will have a positive effect on my abilities Friday (assuming I take adequate time to recover and eat to build muscle over the next four days)?

    Just wondering about the time relationship between X and Y, where X is a particular workout, and Y is a particular gain in strength.

  2. #2
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    Depends on your level of adaptation. Novices generally tend to be stronger 48-72 hours after a given workout, if the workout is properly programmed to elicit the adaptation. Intermediates tend to need about a week of correctly programmed exercises to cause a strength adaptation. Advanced or competitive lifters typically need anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to add strength.

    The best book I know of on this subject is Practical Programming by Rippetoe & Kilgore

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    Depends on your level of adaptation. Novices generally tend to be stronger 48-72 hours after a given workout, if the workout is properly programmed to elicit the adaptation. Intermediates tend to need about a week of correctly programmed exercises to cause a strength adaptation. Advanced or competitive lifters typically need anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to add strength.

    The best book I know of on this subject is Practical Programming by Rippetoe & Kilgore
    This is 100% correct. And Practical Programming is a great book to add to your library. I learned A LOT from it.
    In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jefferson1775 View Post
    This is 100% correct. And Practical Programming is a great book to add to your library. I learned A LOT from it.
    It's funny that you tend to post on strength-training related posts and your screen name is the name of a lift where you straddle a barbell and nearly smash yourself in the balls (or coochie, in the caseof a lady lifter) with it.

    Or maybe just the idea of smashing oneself in the balls with a barbell is funny. Either way, it always makes me chuckle.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    It's funny that you tend to post on strength-training related posts and your screen name is the name of a lift where you straddle a barbell and nearly smash yourself in the balls (or coochie, in the caseof a lady lifter) with it.

    Or maybe just the idea of smashing oneself in the balls with a barbell is funny. Either way, it always makes me chuckle.
    I'm actually just a big fan of Thomas Jefferson, haha. I googled "Jefferson lift", and all I have to say is "wow." This is exactly what I need to get my deadlift up to 500 lb !
    In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock.

    This message has been intercepted by the NSA, the only branch of government that listens.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jefferson1775 View Post
    I'm actually just a big fan of Thomas Jefferson, haha. I googled "Jefferson lift", and all I have to say is "wow." This is exactly what I need to get my deadlift up to 500 lb !
    Little known fact: Thomas Jefferson routinely smashed himself in the balls with a barbell, and could deadlift 550.

  7. #7
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    So many factors, Recovery ( food, sleep, vitamins) stress factors ( work, whatever else), and the level of fitness your body has, but....you are tearing muscle, and draining your CNS, so how ever long that takes varies, but my belief is that it takes about two months....yes two months, when I say that though I don't mean, you lifted more and are stronger....because yes if you lift more than you once did you are stronger, but I consider myself stronger after a good amount of weeks and consistency, to where it isn't that I'm "pumped up" or "having a great day" in the gym, my body is literally stronger, where 225 ( for me which used to feel insanely heavy) is the last warm up before my work set and I don't even think about it as a challenge. Once your lifts are controlled and dominated....then you are stronger.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfman View Post
    my belief is that it takes about two months....yes two months, when I say that though I don't mean, you lifted more and are stronger....because yes if you lift more than you once did you are stronger, but I consider myself stronger after a good amount of weeks and consistency, to where it isn't that I'm "pumped up" or "having a great day" in the gym, my body is literally stronger, where 225 ( for me which used to feel insanely heavy) is the last warm up before my work set and I don't even think about it as a challenge. Once your lifts are controlled and dominated....then you are stronger.
    I'm not sure what you're talking about. You're stronger when you can lift more weight than you could before.

    Yesterday, I squatted 295# for 3 sets of 5. One week ago, I absolutely would have failed to squat this weight. Hell, 1 workout ago (~4 days), I would have failed. Why did I squat the 295 yesterday? Because I was stronger than I had been 4 days prior.

    2 months is not the answer unless someone is very near to their genetic potential, which would mean they're a competitive powerlifter and wouldn't be asking this question on a forum about Primal living. They'd be asking their professional coach.

    As I said, the answer for a novice is 1 workout and about 48-72 hours of recovery time. Selye's theory, general adaptation syndrome and all that. The science is pretty conclusive.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMahogany View Post
    ..... Yesterday, I squatted 295# for 3 sets of 5. One week ago, I absolutely would have failed to squat this weight. Hell, 1 workout ago (~4 days), I would have failed. Why did I squat the 295 yesterday? Because I was stronger than I had been 4 days prior.
    ok not to be an ass ... but got a guestion ... you squatted 295 and weigh what 180 that means you legs where moving basicaly 475lbs of mass threw a given space .... I weigh 450 + an empty bar being 45lbs = 495lbs of mass threw a given space so techicnaly I'm stronger right? not talkingpound-per-pound or just whats on the bar but total force leg musles need to exert to move the mass above them
    04/23/2012 Max Weight : 448 lbs
    01/01/2014 Initial Weight : 428 lbs
    06/23/2015 Current weight : 288 lbs
    12/31/2015 Goal weight : 208 lbs

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigChris View Post
    ok not to be an ass ... but got a guestion ... you squatted 295 and weigh what 180 that means you legs where moving basicaly 475lbs of mass threw a given space .... I weigh 450 + an empty bar being 45lbs = 495lbs of mass threw a given space so techicnaly I'm stronger right? not talkingpound-per-pound or just whats on the bar but total force leg musles need to exert to move the mass above them
    Well, I weigh <160, and a lot of my weight moves over a lesser ROM than the bar does. So the math isn't quite that easy.

    But if you're a 495er and squatting a 45 lb bar to parallel (hip crease below kneecaps), I'm nearly certain you're stronger than I am on an absolute basis.

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