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5 Advanced Strength Training Exercises

Posted on January 12 2018

If you’re tired of the same boring workout routine, or if you’re not seeing optimal results with your current regimen, it may be time to kick things up a notch with advanced strength training. Before attempting these high-octane strength training exercises, you should be confident that you’re beyond the intermediate stage, and ready to move into more intense training.

Start off slow with these exercises. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is attempting advanced exercises that you’re not physically or mentally prepared for. Always do them with a partner, and know when to stop if you feel excessive or unusual pain. Advanced strength training can be a powerful step up, but it’s critical that you do it safely and work your way into it slowly.

In this handy guide, we’re going to show you how to take standard beginner/intermediate exercises, and make them more intense. You should be familiar with most or all of the basic versions of these maneuvers. If not, start with the easier version, and then move on to the more difficult approaches. These strength training exercises may take time to master, so don’t over-exert yourself.

1. Add a Pause to Your Back Squats

Traditional back squats are one of the most effective exercises for strengthening your core, quads, glutes, and abs. Adding a pause takes them to the next level. If you’re interested in advanced strength training, this simple improvement can really help you to get more out of every squat because it forces your body to work harder to keep you upright while supporting the weight.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Position the barbell across your lower back
  • Bend your knees towards the floor and push your butt back into a squat position
  • Maintaining full tension, hold the bottom position for two to five seconds
  • Do not relax during the pause
  • Push on your heels to return to a standing position
  • Line up your knees and toes as you rise, and keep your torso in an upright position

2. Reverse Your Crunches


Crunches are some of the best strength training exercises for your core and abdominal muscles. This twist on the old classic is one of the most effective ways to turn an easy exercise into one of the more intense advanced strength training techniques. The goal is to minimize momentum from your legs, forcing you to use power from your lower abs to elevate your hips from the ground.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle and your calves parallel to the ground
  • Place your fingertips behind your head
  • Keep your chest open and your elbows spread wide
  • Using strength from your hips, lift your butt off the floor, drawing your knees in towards your chest
  • Slowly lower your hips back to the beginning position, maintaining control the whole way down

3. Press Dumbbells Together During Chest Presses

Chest presses are some of the most common strength training exercises, and this simple change takes them to the next level. Squeezing two dumbbells together turns this ordinary exercise into one of the most powerful advanced strength training exercises. It targets your shoulders and your pecs.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Lie flat on a bench
  • Hold two dumbbells at chest height, keeping your arms bent and your palms facing away from you
  • Press both dumbbells together, holding them securely in place
  • Push the dumbbells straight up over your chest, continuing to press both ends of the dumbbells together
  • Maintaining control, slowly lower the weights back down until your elbows fall slightly below the bench
  • Continue pressing the ends of the dumbbells together, and bring them back up to the original position


4. Sit Down During Shoulder Presses

Simply sitting down while you do shoulder presses turns this standard exercise into a powerful advanced strength training exercise. The reason is because sitting down prevents you from being able to use your hips to assist with the lifting process. This focuses the weight on your arms and shoulders, making the exercise drastically more difficult.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Sit tall and upright on a mat with your legs extended in front of you in a V shape
  • Take a barbell or a set of dumbbells, and press them over your head
  • Make sure your legs and heels are pressed firmly into the floor for stability
  • Slowly lower the weight back down to your shoulders, maintaining careful control
  • Repeat the process

5. Add Variety to Your Lunges

Lunges are one of the most popular strength training exercises, and this variation makes them significantly more effective. In addition to helping you build strength, this advanced strength training technique helps you burn more calories while also improving your balance and coordination.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Stand upright, keeping your feet spread shoulder-width apart
  • While taking one step forward, lower your hips towards the floor, maintaining careful control
  • Pushing from the heel of your extended foot, return to the standing position
  • Use the same foot to take a step behind you
  • Lower towards the floor, sinking with your hips
  • Push the heel of your front foot to return to the standing position
  • Repeat this multiple times with the same leg, and then do it with the other leg

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