There are many different methods to increasing strength. Strength is the ability to productively apply force. If your 1 rep max goes up or if you are able to execute a certain weight for more repetitions, then you have gotten stronger.
Of course, improving technique will give you increased leverage or decreased wasted movement and effort, ergo: making you “stronger”. This can simply be achieved with practice, which is widely underplayed. The exposure to intensity will cause physical adaptations and these are the results most athletes are interested in getting.
Here highlighted are three strategies for strength training with different benefits and objectives. There is no one “right” way to train, in fact you will find that the strongest athletes in the world either use some variation and combination of 2 or all of these methods together.
The Maximum Effort Method
This method puts the muscles under maximum tension with anywhere from a 1-3 rep maximum weight lift. Lifting this heavy has a high demand for the central nervous system, therefore it is only performed for about 1-5 sets. This type of loading will result in things like increased bone density, increased core strength as well as flooding the body with hormones. It hurts, it is physically and emotionally fatiguing, and it works.
The Dynamic Effort Method
This method does not emphasize weight as much as speed. Lifter will perform 2-3 reps with maximum speed for 8-10 sets at about 60-70% of maximum load. The goal is the learn how to move the weights quicker to eliminate sticking points. This method improves the strength and speed at which to brain fires signals to the muscles. This is a way to maintain current size and increase power. It is also less damaging to the body.
The Repetition Method
This method uses lighter weights at higher reps. Usually 50-70% for 10 reps or higher for 1-5 sets. This is most similar to traditional body-building, chasing adaptations like increased muscle size (hypertrophy). This is a great way to increase muscle mass, tendon strength as well as isolate mechanical weak spots.