Feeling delayed onset muscle syndrome (DOMS) or pushing to muscle failure all the time are not viable signs that you are getting stronger. Neither is getting a solid “pump” during training shows otherwise too.
So, what are the signs that you are getting stronger?
I’m glad you asked. Let’s dig in.
Progressing every week
If you are lifting heavier weights with the same intensity or pushing more reps and sets with the same weight previously, it is a good sign that you are getting stronger.
The caveat is, it has to be consistent. It can’t just be on one good day but consistent throughout the week(s).
2. Increasing appetite.
All things being equal (You are training using the same frequency, stress levels are maintained and no changes in initial diet), an increasing appetite is a good sign that you are getting bigger and/or stronger.
More muscle mass requires more calories, ergo your body will require more food to sustain that new increase in mass.
3. Every rep feels easier
If you are sporting a 6reps, 2 RIR (reps in reserve) @200kg for a squat previously and it is more fluid currently, it is a good sign that you are getting stronger. A more fluid and less tiring set of the same rep and weight shows that your body is adapting to it by getting stronger.
4. You Look Bigger
Erm, duh. By having a look in the mirror will tell you everything you need to know. A tighter fitting shirt will say a lot too. Pfft.
5. Pen It Down
Every lifter should have a physical or a mental notebook to keep a record of their advancements. A logbook of sorts if you will. You know you’re getting stronger when you see your numbers slowly increasing every week. For more intermediate lifters, you might see a slower gain over time.
Effectiveness and the efficacy of your workout regimen are important. Whether you are a novice lifter or an experienced beast, feedback is important in knowing that your training is working. Therefore, paying attention to your body is fundamental to a stronger/bigger self.
Look out for signs of tiredness and fatigue. Those are important flags to take note off, being factors that determine if you need to start deloading or easing up on your training.
If you aren’t getting stronger or bigger, it can be due to a poor diet, bad workout regimen or just insufficient rest.
Whatever it is, I hope that even during unprecedented times like this, you can still push on and push further. Don’t let anything stop you.
Student, Strength fanatic, value investor and the guy who Tourettes all too often. I’m just another lad who is happy to share my experiences, opinions and research skills to bring more facts and perspective into the world of fitness.