Healthy Byte: Strength Training Tips from the Pros


Every guy dreams of attaining chiseled abs and arms, which usually leads to lots of hours at the gym. Putting in the time will definitely set you on the right path, but it might not be enough to get the results you want. Tons of elements go into a well-rounded strength routine, and the little details really do matter. You may be greatat maximizing your effort for individual lifts, but slacking on recovery or consistency.

Fitness can be a tricky puzzle to put together, so it’s time to clear up some of the confusion. We asked six leading weight-lifting experts to share the advice that had the greatest impact on their own training, which they’ve since passed on to others. Read on to hear what they had to say.

1. Don’t shy away from intensity

personal trainer pushing a man at the gym

Working out | Source: iStock

‘Go to failure.’ That’s the best weight-lifting advice I received when I was a young man. Now that I’m a professional trainer, I witness the power of it often, and still in my own life.

After my wife’s second pregnancy and the joy of bringing a second little girl into the world, I reprioritized my workouts. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of backing off my intensity in the gym. That meant less resistance, ending before failure, and longer rest periods. The result? I saw a 10% increase in my body fat.

When I realized how I’d drifted, I repurposed my workouts and increased my intensity again. I used several resistance training methods to do it. With a change in diet, I dropped to below 4% body fat.

Joe Cross, CPT, and founder of Cross Fitness in Minneapolis

2. Remember to take time for recovery

resting, taking a break at the gym

‘Fatigue masks fitness.’ If you’re always doing a high volume of work, you’ll never give yourself an opportunity to realize or demonstrate your fitness gains. Short-term overreaching is a good thing, and part of the training process, whereas long-term overtraining is a huge problem.

Eric Cressey, CSCS, and president and co-founder of Cressey Sports Performance in Hudson, Mass.

3. Dedication is everything

a man lifting weights

A dedicated man pushing himself | Source: iStock

The most important advice anyone can take with regards to strength training isn’t something I was ever given explicitly, but something that was reinforced over my years as a weightlifter by my coaches. And that is hard work and consistency are the keys to success. There are no magic tricks. And thinking, reading, talking, and arguing about every new thing you hear of is wasting time and energy you should be putting into training and recovery. Or, as I like to tell my lifters, “shut up and get back to work.”

Greg Everett, head coach of the Catalyst Athletics weightlifting team, owner of Catalyst Athletics in Sunnyvale, Calif., and author of Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches

4. Keep everything in balance

performing push-ups at the gym

A man performing push-ups | Source: iStock