The most important question in fitness is how to get stronger. If it isn't to build muscle, what's the point of pumping iron after every session?

Some of the strength you can develop are not related to muscle size. Increased bone density and improved joint function are some of the health benefits that come from being stronger.

To find out how you can get stronger, we combed through the most recent research. If you want to build up your strength, you can work out a program at home or at the gym.

Defining strength

How to get stronger: Image shows woman training with weights.

(Image credit: Getty)

There are seven aspects to strength training.


  • Agile strength
  • Endurance strength
  • Explosive strength
  • Maximum strength
  • Speed strength
  • Starting strength
  • Relative strength

Agile strength is the ability to change direction fast. It makes it easier for your body to move. You work on your agility without knowing it. Carrying your groceries into the house is a great way to get in some exercise.

Maintaining a consistent level of strength is what endurance strength is all about. Long-distance runs and high intensity interval training are great ways to build strength.

It's the maximal amount of force you can produce in a short period of time. There are many examples of pliometrics exercises here.

The highest level of strength you can produce is maximum strength. The maximum load that can be lifted is called speed strength. Maintaining your balance in your daily life can be helped by these two things.

The first push of movement you can make without any momentum is called starting strength.

The relative strength of a person is compared to other people.

The best ways to build strength

How to get stronger: Image shows woman lifting weights.

(Image credit: Getty)

It is tempting to think that building strength is all about lifting weights. A systematic review published in Experimental Gerontology found that just two resistance-training sessions a week over a period of 10 weeks can improve blood pressure.

According to research from Cambridge University, the most efficient way to increase growth is by lifting 70% of the weight. If you can lift 100 kilogrammes for a single repetition, your most effective muscle building will be done lifting around 70 kilogrammes.

The International Journal of Strength and Conditioning suggests increasing a body part's exercise volume by a maximum of 20 percent week-over-week, while you should rest for at least two minutes between sets.

Warming down, stretching and getting the right nutrition are some of the things you should do. According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition, a person with a body mass index greater than 30 can get a recommended intake of 1.4–2.0 g per kilogram of body weight per day.

How to get stronger: Image shows woman working out in gym

(Image credit: Getty)

Build a game-plan

If you want to get stronger, you don't have to lift heavy things.

A personal trainer and founder of London-based studio Train Yard says that strength doesn't have to be achieved in the gym. The only way to build strength is by using your body weight. Do squats, push-ups, pull-ups and lunges. Mat and reformer pilates are great ways to strengthen your body.

Creating a programme is the most important tip for building strength.

Go in with a plan. You need to be following a programme for at least four to five weeks doing the same exercises in the programme to make sure you are on track.

Start with full body workouts with a compound lift like bench press or barbell squat and move on to secondary lifts.

Always having a push, pull, hinge, squat and knee dominant exercise is important. This is a good way to structure your workout.

Writing down what you are lifting each week will help you build on this. If you find something easier than you did last week, you might get one more rep. If you want to build your strength, you need to make sure you stay consistent.

The article is not meant to offer medical advice and readers should consult their doctor or healthcare professional before embarking on any diet or treatment.