How to gain pure strength and progress quickly?

How to gain pure strength and progress quickly? Having muscle mass is not synonymous with strength. In bodybuilding, strength is essential and it is not the quantity of muscles that counts but the quality.

It is not enough to increase the volume of the muscle to have strength, you will also have to work on your endurance and your flexibility.Your strength, by definition, is your ability to overcome a certain resistance through muscle contraction .
How to gain pure strength and progress quickly

The muscle and the nervous system: how it works

Muscle contraction 

Muscle contraction is only possible because our central nervous system sends information during movement to all muscle fibers . However, the contraction is much more complex than one might think because different fibers will activate in the main muscle and in the supporting muscle.

Neuromuscular factors

When looking to increase strength, the basic work is done by improving neuromuscular factors . The nervous system will adapt to the exercises performed.
This is why when we start in bodybuilding, we progress quickly but without muscle mass gain: in reality, it is the muscular innervation which adapts and improves at first.
Motor units
The motor unit represents the functional unit of the muscle. It itself contains a motor nerve and motor fibers. From the spinal cord, it is the motor nerve that will trigger the activation of muscle fibers .

The more intense the effort, the greater the number of motor units (MU) recruited will be. You should know, however, that 100% of these MUs will never be recruited, even during maximum effort because the nervous system must keep a reserve: this is called the strength deficit .

In a beginner, this strength deficit is very important. It is regular training that will increase the number of motor units recruited.

The coordination of the muscle

Recruiting MUs is not the only factor in building strength. It is also important that the muscle fibers are synchronized with the contraction so that the effects are increased tenfold. The training therefore helps the practitioner to develop the coordination of his muscle fibers.

During an effort, the opposing muscles are relaxed to allow the muscle participating in the movement to act effectively. The beginner will not contract the muscles properly and will also contract the opposing muscles.

As the training progresses, the practitioner will learn to release the pressure of the antagonist muscle in order to be able to develop their strength.

The different forces
When we talk about strength, we distinguish between two concepts: maximum strength and relative strength .

Maximum strength

The maximum force represents the maximum tension that the muscle will be able to exert.
Improve intramuscular coordination over the long term

Increasing maximum strength
is partly based on intramuscular coordination : you need as many muscle fibers as possible to contract at the same time.

It is therefore by improving innervation that you will be able to gain strength. Your muscles will be better used thanks to a more efficient contraction and activation of more fibers. You will therefore take in pure force .

Improve immediate strength

Potentiation will allow you to gain strength quickly but in the very short term. Lift a very heavy weight, above your usual weight, and perform a few small movements at low amplitude.

After a 2 minute cool down, perform your classic set. This will make your nervous system much more efficient at performing a series with less weight.

Relative strength

Relative strength is the ratio of the practitioner's body weight to the weight lifted . To increase this relative strength it is therefore necessary to have a significant muscle volume with the lowest possible body weight: it is therefore necessary to eliminate all the fatty mass which represents an unnecessary weight.

The program to follow to gain pure strength

To increase muscle power, you need to perform a strength program . This program is different from a regular strength training program.


Beginners should start with a larger number of sets at each repetition because the important thing at the start is to master the movements and to give the nervous system time to adapt and strengthen before starting a program of grip. of pure strength.

The power take-off

It is important to work on your basic movements before adding weight. You need to master the squat, deadlift, bench press, and tilted bust pull .

To increase your strength, you will first need to determine your 1RM (maximum repetition) for each of the basic movements mentioned above. That is, you will need to set the maximum weight that you are able to lift in a single movement . To gain strength, your work will therefore be done by manipulating between 80 and 100% of your 1RM.

The 5X5

The most common strength exercise is a pyramid exercise, the 5X5, which offers a rise in load as the series progresses . To perform this exercise, you will therefore need to know your RM (maximum repetition) and start training with a load equal to 40% of your 5RM, then go to 55%, then 70%, 85% and finish at 100%.
This exercise is the most effective for gaining maximum strength,During your sessions, choose three or four movements to perform in 5X5. There is no point in exercising too much, you risk being less efficient.

To gain muscle strength, focus on short sessions. Here, we work on intensity and not on duration. A short session of one hour maximum is therefore recommended.
At the same time, I invite you to watch this explanatory video to sweat the 5X5 in bodybuilding in order to know how to use it to gain strength:


In bodybuilding and as part of a pure power gain , it is important not to neglect the diet. If your body is not being fed properly, you will not be able to perform your workouts effectively.

Your muscles will have to lift heavier and heavier loads, so it is essential that they can find all the necessary nutrients to perform as well as possible .

The proteins

They are essential for the growth of your muscles. In fact, the heavier you lift, the more your muscle fibers will be damaged. To rebuild themselves, they need protein .

The recommended natural protein sources are eggs, poultry, dairy products, lean cold meats (grisons meat, beef jerky).


Stored in the body in the form of glycogen, they are essential for your muscles to obtain the energy they need to function .

Be careful, however, to distinguish between good and bad carbohydrates. You should favor slow-digesting carbohydrates such as pasta, brown rice, cereals, wholemeal bread, oats or bran.


You should include good sources of fat in your diet : olive oil, avocado, nuts. These fatty acids are essential for the proper functioning of the body and important for providing a sufficient amount of energy.

Mistakes not to make in order to gain pure strength

In order to gain strength, there are some mistakes you shouldn't make in order not to damage the muscles and to ensure that the benefits of your training are long term.

Too many repetitions

The ideal number is 5 repetitions . To gain pure strength, you need high intensity without fatigue. Multiplying the repetitions would therefore send the wrong signals to your muscles.

Doing so may tire your muscles without generating enough muscle tension. Your strength training would therefore be ineffective.

Here is also an explanatory video to determine how many exercises and sets are necessary in bodybuilding:

Not enough recovery time

To develop your strength, it is important to observe rest times between sets , especially between sets where you are handling very heavy loads. It is essential to allow time for the muscle to recover and rebuild itself.

When training, also consider taking a break of one to two seconds between each repetition. Recovery is a very important part of physical transformation, I invite you to read:  Muscle recovery after physical exertion.

Lift loads too quickly

The main thing is to perform the movements with precision . This is the best way to get good results. If you lift a weight too quickly you will stretch your tendons and muscle and in the long run it will limit your exercise.

Brute force in short?

It is important not to confuse strength and muscle mass . Building muscle size doesn't help build sheer strength . To increase your maximum strength, you have to perform short series with heavier and heavier loads .

We thus seek to work on the power of the muscle and not on its volume. You can incorporate these exercises into your regular training program or perform strength cycles of 3 to 6 weeks once a year.

To gain pure strength, do not underestimate the role of diet: your muscles need to perform as well as possible for your workouts to be effective, you must provide them with all the nutrients necessary for them to function properly .

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